Leggett to San Francisco / by Lisa

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.  

 

 The descent after the long climb at Leggett.

The descent after the long climb at Leggett.

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.

 After the Leggett descent (behind Jacob), breaking out onto Route 1 on the ocean.

After the Leggett descent (behind Jacob), breaking out onto Route 1 on the ocean.

 We ended that day in Mendocino with pie and coffee and nothing has ever tasted that good.

We ended that day in Mendocino with pie and coffee and nothing has ever tasted that good.

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. 

 Riding the next day (Saturday) from Mendocino to Gualala. It was a long, hilly, cold day, and we ended at a county park where we couldn’t take showers. General misery and not many pictures from that day. 

Riding the next day (Saturday) from Mendocino to Gualala. It was a long, hilly, cold day, and we ended at a county park where we couldn’t take showers. General misery and not many pictures from that day. 

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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.

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 We stopped at Fort Ross, a Russian colonial fort and the furthest south the Russians came from Alaska.

We stopped at Fort Ross, a Russian colonial fort and the furthest south the Russians came from Alaska.

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 Not gonna lie, the climb and descent after Fort Ross was terrifying (Jacob says it was fun). A crazy series of switchbacks along a cliff edge. But the view was pretty spectacular.

Not gonna lie, the climb and descent after Fort Ross was terrifying (Jacob says it was fun). A crazy series of switchbacks along a cliff edge. But the view was pretty spectacular.

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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.

 

 Breakfast in Bodega Bay. One great thing about bike touring = eating ice cream sandwiches for breakfast with no shame!

Breakfast in Bodega Bay. One great thing about bike touring = eating ice cream sandwiches for breakfast with no shame!

 Our campsite in Bodega Bay, along with our riding buddy this last week, Harrison. We met him on the road right before Leggett (and had also run into him in Oregon at one point). We kept the same pace, so wound up riding together all the way to San Francisco. Also, guess what? Trying to dry your clothes outside on northern California beaches NEVER WORKS. They never dry.

Our campsite in Bodega Bay, along with our riding buddy this last week, Harrison. We met him on the road right before Leggett (and had also run into him in Oregon at one point). We kept the same pace, so wound up riding together all the way to San Francisco. Also, guess what? Trying to dry your clothes outside on northern California beaches NEVER WORKS. They never dry.

 The beach at Bodega Dunes State Park. 

The beach at Bodega Dunes State Park. 

Yesterday, Tuesday, we rode from Bodega Bay to north of Lagunitas. It was a shorter ride, less climbing, and the sun finally came out!

 Heading south of Lagunitas.

Heading south of Lagunitas.

 Stopping for lunch (PB&J forever and ever!) on Tomales Bay.

Stopping for lunch (PB&J forever and ever!) on Tomales Bay.

And today was the big day - we rode across the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco!

 Riding through the suburbs north of San Francisco. 

Riding through the suburbs north of San Francisco. 

 Rolling up to the bridge!

Rolling up to the bridge!

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 Stopping for lunch in San Francisco and attempting to lock our bikes together.

Stopping for lunch in San Francisco and attempting to lock our bikes together.

 Taking the ferry over to Oakland and saying farewell to Harrison - today was his last day!

Taking the ferry over to Oakland and saying farewell to Harrison - today was his last day!

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We’re taking tomorrow off in Oakland/San Francisco and planning to spend the day eating and not riding our bikes!