Where to even begin?! We haven’t had much cell service for the last week, so haven’t had a chance for any updates. But so much has happened! We did the biggest climbs of the trip, started riding Route 1, met another biker who we wound up riding with all week, and then today - crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco! It’s been a week that feels like it was a month long.
Last Friday we did the Leggett climb, which is the notorious long climb that everyone talks about on this trip. We all psyched ourselves up for it and then....it wasn’t that bad! It was definitely a long climb, but we got an early start, and it was followed by a 10-mile descent that was unbelievable.
I don’t know if words or pictures can do it justice. At one point, after descending a couple miles, we came into a misty section in dense forest, along a creek, and suddenly two elk with huge antlers were right there in the forest staring at us. We didn’t get a picture, but rode past silently while they watched us. I’ll remember that moment for a long time to come.
In Mendocino, we met another biker, in his sixties, who’s doing the same route as us. He kindly made a fire for everyone at the hiker/biker site that night, and we had a nice evening around the fire together. That helped me forget my anxiety over the mountain lion warning the park ranger had given us—one had been seen at that park the last week.
On Sunday, we rode from Gualala to Bodega Bay. This was the toughest stretch of Route 1 we’ve done so far. Tons of climbing, no shoulder, narrow roads on the edge of a cliff, and tons of traffic. The views were amazing, but we were definitely on edge all day.
We decided to take a rest day in Bodega Bay at Bodega Dunes State Park on Monday. Our legs were pretty worn out after the week of climbing.
Yesterday, Tuesday, we rode from Bodega Bay to north of Lagunitas. It was a shorter ride, less climbing, and the sun finally came out!
And today was the big day - we rode across the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco!
We’re taking tomorrow off in Oakland/San Francisco and planning to spend the day eating and not riding our bikes!