The other tourons in the camp talked late keeping me up, perhaps it’s the short timer syndrome, but I felt like I’d heard it all before. There is also a certain type of tourist, a tour rat say, that I fortunately rarely encountered but I can’t say I’m a huge fan of. This type of tourist is sort of being a bum by choice like those kids that are homeless by choice but know they can return to mommy and daddy if they need to. These tour rats try to scam things, brag about their stealth camping prowess and so on. There were definitely a few tourons in this category on this night and I have to admit I’d rather become tired if it. So when C&C said they were skipping the next campsite (where most of tonight’s crew were heading) and going straight to SF I decided to see if I could get an extra night in my hotel and do the same. I packed everything up, made breakfast and called the hotel from the campsite bathroom as I could plug my nearly dead cell phone telephone in there. I was able to get a an extra night so now my days ride was going to be a lot longer.
I hit the road a bit after 9 but stopped almost immediately at the Roadhouse Coffee Shop in Bodega Bay just outside of the campground. I wanted a bit more coffee and I wanted to charge my phone more figuring I’d need it. Of course I ended up talking about my tour with a girl who had ridden the whole West Coast from Vancouver to San Diego last year. I left as soon as I could and I tried to set a good pace for this long ride.
The route began by winding through these little towns and developments in and around these coves. But soon it turned a bit inward and was dry ranch land again. Pretty similar mix of terrain to yesterday as matter of fact. It turned south again and there was a couple of pretty hefty climbs before the road descends into the tiny town of Tomales which looked ultra quaint but I sped on. Highway 1 in this section follows a river all the out to the tip of Tomalas Bay and then bobs along the coastal portion. This had many short steep climbs, it sort of reminded me of riding on Whidbey Island, especially with the oyster farms. After a good long ride the bay met the mainland at the very neat little town of Point Reyes Station where I stopped for lunch.
As I was cruising town looking at cafes I saw the Cowgirl Creamery which had a shop and cantina. One of the great small artisan cheese makers who I discovered in my recent soft cheese obsession. I had to stop there and I got a fantastic sandwich made with their cheese in wonderful locally made baguette. I ran into C&C there who are a bit of creamery hounds as they tried the ice cream. I myself got a handmade ice cream sandwich which was excellent. I did a quick spin around town but the road beckoned. The route left 1 just a few miles from Point Reyes and went up the longest hill of the day. It’d been cool and gray but of course the sun had to come out for the big climb. At the top of the climb the route exits onto a bike path that led right into Samuel P. Taylor State Park which was the days original destination.
I switched to the next set of cue sheets and headed out of the park (down the worst road) into dry desert-like hills for a few miles and then there was a long hot climb. After that descent it was all city riding, first through little towns, then suburbs and then a stretch on a bike path path ended in the coast a few miles before the bridge. I ended up riding with a local cyclist for a bit as I rode through these coastal tourist areas, talking mostly about my ride: he was very interested in the mechanics of touring. He rode on as I began the three steep climbs up to the bridge. I’d been fighting a headwind for a while but as I turned onto the Golden Gate Bridge it was more of a crosswind with a bit of a tailwind.
The bridge crossing was fine ,even with the wind but in the other end I realized that the K&S route turned south and didn’t really go downtown. I had a map of the nearby streets to my hotel but not a connection from where I was. So I used the iPhone and Google Maps and got a route worked out. I got on and off the routes and got to experience some of San Francisco’s famous hills. But I made it in pretty good time arriving at my hotel around 5:45pm.
Checking in it was entering a different world. I had no hassles with putting the bicycle in the room and I wheeled it up into my room no problem. Once there I didn’t really know what to with myself, but I eventually took an epic shower then wandered around looking for food. I settled on Thai which I’d been jonsing for. Then I went to a concert in a gallery only a couple of blocks from my hotel. This was pretty nice: a concert of the abstract music I like, the day I get into town only blocks from where I’m staying. Anyway the show was pretty good, after that I went back to the hotel and that was about all for the day. And the tour.
So that’s it Seattle to San Francisco in 21 days. I’m not going to do daily entries here whilst I’m in SF, maybe some of my activities will end up on the other blog. But I will post about the trip home, so stay tuned.
Miles ridden today: 77.8
Miles ridden to date: 1150.5
A few pictures from this day can be found here