Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Jerry, Robbie, and companion Blackie We're dressed for riding...but not this day!




Thanks to Jerry of Portland who came down to see me and ferried me past Eugene, Oregon for the gain of a day, desired for San Francisco arrival. Jerry accompanied me to sea fall on the Pacific Ocean, where I completed my cross-country bicycle tour by dipping the front wheel into the western waters. The Oregon sand dunes had very strong evening winds that made lofting my bike overhead difficult. We didn't linger on the late evening beach. Jerry was also with me at the conclusion of the 2013 cross-country ride, riding that year the last two days with me to the beach west of Astoria, Oregon.
It's very windy
Pacific Ocean quest finale
Robbie and Jerry
  I have wanted to ride down the Pacific coast for severeal years. Highway 101 and Highway 1 hug the coast so that riding southward keeps the ocean just off your right shoulder. Rock formations lie just off shore. Sometimes sea lions lounge on these rocks and harbor seals swim around. Some (but not me) will see whales surfacing a short distance from shore. Sea birds are plentiful. Food gets even more interesting the closer one gets to San Francisco.
Sunset over Pacific Ocean
Sea Lions
Sea cove with upper village
Sea rock arch
Beach sculpture
Highway 101/1 travels through several small towns and villages, some with agriculture history, some timber interests, some cattle, some fishing. I happened  upon the annual Cranberry Festival Parade early on a Saturday morning. 
Cranberry Festival parade and Smokey. Blackie gets excited.
Not a parade without horses and flags
  I am surprised more people don't take advantag of this coastal ride. There are numerous state and national parks where hiker/biker camp sites are available without reservations...just show up. And the cost is usually $5, a very good buy. Hot showers are always available. Some campgrounds lie within Coastal Redwood groves towering above.
Humbolt Mountain that we climbed 1,700' expecting great sea views...didn't happen
Falling after Labor Day, I find most other riders are of Canadian or European locale...Amelia and Sarah from Toronto and Ottawa; Wayne from Aukland, New Zealand; Bill from Australia; a French couple from Paris; a Montreal, Canada couple who sold their house and cars to set off on a two year journey to Tierra del Fuego, the most southern land point of South America.
Wayne and Joe
Entering California, I sense the end is near to ride into San Francisco. So to does Blackie...though I suggest he get his mind out of the 1960s.
Flower bear
A reminder to stay aware
  Many parts of the route pass through mature Coastal Redwood forests of 350' high trees.
Robbie in tree
  From the town of Ferndale, California there is a side trip into a remote territory that California determined to be to rugged to construct any new roads after 1930s. The road I ride in on was an animal trail widened by Chinese laborers when local speculators thought they might find oil. The grade is some of the steepest over many miles that I have ever ridden. Up and down steep climbs three times to get in and out of the area.
Ferndale, California
Ferndale Hotel
Hill climb 1 and 2 on left into Lost Coast; Climb 3 on right to exit Lost Coast
Last major climb of tour
Lost Coast coastal ride
Perhaps they got in and can't get out?
Coastal rocks
Road through virgin Redwood
Seedling in 912 CE
A point in time


Stopping at a local general store the regional shuttle driver having coffee tells me of a bakery coming up I the town of Mendocino, California, a quaint, but not too touristy, almost New England feel, small coastal town. This bakery becomes Sunday's treat as I stay three hours over pastries and coffee. Jillian, a mom with two young sons, quizzes me about the ride. She is thrilled to share with me a list of to do sites and food in San Francisco where she lived for many years before-children. I pick up the boys to show them my loaded bicycle just below the will of the window. Okay, that's great, but playing tickle with dad has more significance for two and four year olds.
Another memorial
Getting closer to San Francisco
Honeymoon encampment...wedding party has entire campground
Mendocino Hotel
Mendocino Bank
Charles Moore architect of 1965 Seaside Very influential in its day
There is also the only Russian structure constructed outside of Alaska in North America. They could not grow enough wheat to feed the Russian Alaskan demand, so they closed the fort and sold it to a Californian.
Fort Ross
Chapel dome ceiling
Village general store
San Andreas fault... I'm on Pacific plate moving north; you're on North American plate moving west
  Approaching the San Francisco Bay Bridge signifies the end of this journey. I have now ridden a loaded touring bicycle Acosta the two coastal American icons...2013 the George Washington Bridge into New York City; 2016 the Bay Bridge into the west coast "City."
Updated Sausilito
San Francisco Bay Bridge
Blackie gets in
It's windy...Blackie gets under laundry
Bridge finale
Making an impression
Daughter Molly has arranged my San Francisco accommodations...two nights in the Mission, directly across the BART station that is a key heroin trade zone, a collective house, past mail sorting upper floors, situated in heavily Hispanic neighborhood undergoing pressures of wealthy young tech residences moving ever so closer...I sleep on the collective couch; four nights in a Hispanic neighborhood in Oakland in the collective house of four...I sleep on the extra bed in the basement that comes with a pool table that likely will see little use. San Francisco is a great city to ride a bike in, walk, see sites, eat, work up a sweat climbing those many extremely steep hills.  



COAST 740 miles @ 13 ride days @ 57 miles avg per day @ 62 saddle hours @ 11.9 avg mph @ 42,500' elevation climb

FINAL 4664 miles @ 76 ride days @ 61.4 miles avg per day @ 380 saddle hours @ 12.2 avg mph @208,160' accumulative climb




Rain events that I actually wore my rain jacket...2


Indoor sleeping...45; 13 that were pay-for motels, the others were WarmShowers, churches, free hostels