Day 6 – Bodega Bay to San Francisco – 09/26/2013

The dawn of the last day of my ride finally came. I was fully awake and ready to take on the day. Slowly and carefully I made it trough my morning routine. Ate my breakfast. Made the pre-ride routine checks on the bike. Packed the panniers and trunk. Filled up my camelback. Double-checked the room for any forgotten items. Went across the street for a nice latte from a local coffee shop run by an old cyclist guy.

And just like that I started my last day ride. The day started as a cold crisp clear morning. What a beautiful way of starting a day. My initial route would take me away from the coast for 12 or so miles. I would be rejoining the coast by Tomales Bay.

My mind and body were in harmony with the ride. I guess I became accustomed to riding long distances for the past 5 days. Going uphill had become second nature to me.

I rode trough some rural settings with rolling hills. Passed by a couple of small towns. On Tomales I saw a couple of touring bikes by a breakfast place. But I decided against stopping and chatting.

Tomales Bay as viewed from Miller Park.
Tomales Bay as viewed from Miller Park.

The road slowly rejoined the coast by way of Walker Creek. This was a very scenic way. I was so happy to be right there, right then. Soon, I would have to leave the coastal views and venture into a more urban setting.

Nice view of Tomales Bay
Nice view of Tomales Bay

 

Nice views of Tomales Bay
Nice views of Tomales Bay

I left Highway 1 and took Pt. Reyes Petaluma Road. It is funny but for the past 50 miles or so every road seemed to go to Petaluma. Maybe I should have headed there and retire? Who knows?

In any case. I soon left the road to Petaluma to ride on a bike path all the way Lagunitas. I did not see a single soul while there. It was my last few miles of solitude. Solitude that I learned to appreciate in the past 5 days. During those quiet hours I, sometimes, felt compelled to utter some words or sounds – as if I was proving myself I could still make sounds or something.

Soon, I would venture into the urban landscape. Lots of houses, commerce everywhere, traffic, ugh! I thought I missed all that. But, as it turns out I didn’t.  Not to mention that the last 18 miles were full of turns that weren’t very well depicted on my map. So I slowed down and made my way thru the urban maze. Don’t get me wrong, some of the places look like nice places. But it did not live up to my last 500 miles thru the Coast.

When I finally made to Sausalito I was greeted with a view of the Oracle Team Catamaran speeding west on the San Francisco Bay. Man! That boat was going fast. I also hooked up with a local cyclist that escorted me all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. He was impressed with my ride, and congratulated me on my accomplishment. We parted ways when I decide to stop and take some pictures of the bridge and the bay.

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Entering the Golden Gate Bridge.
Golden Gat viewed from San Francisco
Golden Gat viewed from San Francisco
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Me and San Francisco!

Wow! I had made it to the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge! And I was about to cross into my destination for the day. Super cool! I was very happy, excited, proud and hungry! I got myself across the bridge felling like a winner of a race with no competitors.

I made my way to my company’s head office where a shower awaited me. I was also excited to meet some of the people that I work with over the phone but never met in person. I took me about half an hour to make there due to all the people leaving from watching the boat race.

All and all I was very happy to be there and only late by 31 minutes of when I expected to be there.  I arrived, took a shower and made my best effort to make myself look like a civilized human being once again. One of my coworkers had saved me some food that I promptly consumed.

Oddly as it may sound, I had fun meeting all my work colleagues in the head office while on vacation. When the time came, I said goodbye, and one of the guys walked me all the way to the Ferry terminal. From there I took the ferry from downtown to Oakland. During the ride I enjoyed great views from San Francisco and the sun setting.

Goodbye San Francisco!
Goodbye San Francisco!

When I arrived in Oakland, I cycled all the way to the Amtrak station in Emeryville. Checked in my bike and panniers. With 3 hours left before I had to board the train towards Eugene, I figured I could use some food. After all I was starving.

From the station I saw a place across the track that look promising. It was some sort of public market. So I headed there and found a lot of small eateries. But due to the time most were in the process of closing for the night.

I then found this place that had a bicycle for a logo. Right on! I will eat there, no matter what they serve. It turns out they had a quick-ass pizza and I ordered what seemed to be the “BEST PIZZA IN THE WHOLE WORLD!”. All kidding aside, it was really good pizza. And I sealed the deal off with a Nutella ice cream. Fantastic! I could have not asked for a better place to eat.

Great pizza restaurant right across from the train station in Emeryville.
Great pizza restaurant right across from the train station in Emeryville.

After I satiated my hunger, I made my way back to the station, boarded the train and started the long process of re-entry – if you know what I mean.

I had an absolutely fabulous time. Even when I factor the rain, the uninteresting towns, the sometimes badly littered shoulders, I can safely say – it was “f*ck!ng” great and I wish that all of you that took the time to read these posts were there with me.

I had done 77 miles and climbed 6,729 feet. My moving time was 6 hours and 22 minutes and my total travel time was 7 hours. I felt like I had accomplished something big in my life!

Total distance: 72.94 mi
Max elevation: 669 ft
Min elevation: -23 ft
Total climbing: 7356 ft
Total descent: -7434 ft
Total Time: 07:00:20

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