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Pacific Coast Bike Route – Day 20 : Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area > Van Damme State Park

It seems it’s getting more and more difficult to find things to write about the further south I go. Or perhaps it’s harder the further I go period. Hard to say but here goes.

The day started around 6:00. Didn’t sleep the greatest last night. I was pretty close to the bathroom/shower area and it had exterior lights. They were bright enough to illuminate my tent. Kept tossing and turning and had to get up to use the bathroom once in order to fall back to sleep.

Once I was up I got started on breaking camp. No rain or moisture last night so things went together smoothly. I also took the time to top up my tires and throw some lube on the chain. I should have done bike maintenance on my last rest day, but when you go for a ride you kinda forget.

Hit the road at 8:00 which is just about perfect. The skies were overcast and smooth gray and have been that way all day. Briefly thought of getting my rain jacket out just to keep warm but decided against it.

About 2.5 miles into the ride I started the first major climb. 1,100 feet over 3.6 miles. Pretty much granny gear all the way to the top. Just kept spinning nice and steady. I looked out in front of me and could see I was slowly but surely climbing into the clouds. You could see them passing through the trees just off the highway. It was really cool. Being so early there was very little traffic.

At some point the driver of a pickup coming down gave me a huge thumbs up with a huge smile. I returned the smile and when I saw the two mountain bikes in the rear I started laughing out loud.

One great thing about doing this route north to south is the descent after this climb. You drop nearly 1,900 feet during 9.5 miles. It was a blast.

You come down into a river valley and then the road pitches back up again. Had another 700 feet over two miles to climb. Thankfully after that climb the major climbing was done for the day. Any climbing after that was small pitches along the coast. You wind down into a creek valley and then pitch up on the other side. Does get tiring after a while, but you just keep spinning and eventually you knock them all out.

I rolled into Fort Bragg 1:00 and I was on the hunt for some lunch. I ate a larger than usual breakfast, but I couldn’t find a coffee joint to save my life! I stopped at one of the first cafes I spotted named Cafe One. I opted for breakfast for lunch so I could get some coffee with my meal. I kept it simple with 2 eggs, bacon, sausage patties, and pancakes. It was pretty dang good!

I made one other stop at The Outdoor Store to check for more camp food. I ate my last breakfast this morning and looking at the map there isn’t really a breakfast joint too close to camp. They did have one brand I’m familiar with in store so I picked up three meals, stuffed them in my pannier, and left.

I’d been chatting with Ray some and he said he was stopping at Russian Gulch State Park for the night on some advice he received the night before. I thought I would at least check the place out, visit with Ray, and then decide if I wanted to camp there or continue on the five miles to my scheduled camp. The ride down to the campground was a big descent but the view of the bridge spanning Russian Gulch was worth it. I went by the hike/bike sites and there was no sign of Ray! I figured he had already stayed and gone so I left and continued onto Van Damme State Park.

I got to camp earlyish and after checking in I jumped onto the park’s WiFi to let the wife know I was at camp for the night. Well I get a text message from Ray that he was out cruising around Mendocino before heading to camp! I told him that I thought he’d rolled out already.

Instead of waiting for a response I rode into the hike/bike area, picked a spot, and parked Shadow. I quickly washed today’s kit and hung it to dry. Then I setup the tent and walked out to the visitor center to mooch some WiFi to do my updates.

While I’m sitting here I got a message from Ray apologizing for psyching me out and letting me know where he’s stopping next. He’s stopping a few miles short of where I’m planning on going tomorrow. Not sure if we’ll cross paths again before we make it to San Francisco. At that point his trip will be done and I’ll be continuing on to San Diego and eventually home.

That about wraps up today. I have to say the section of CA-1 from Leggett to the coast was pretty dang special. Not sure if I got lucky and traffic was light, but I really enjoyed it. Anyway, wrapping things up here then heading back to camp for dinner and more reading. Have a good one all!

New bike fund: $5.80 (+$0.02)
59.82 new miles
🏘 Completed 25% of MacKerricher State Park
— From
Mostly cloudy-Mostly cloudy, 50°F-61°F, Feels like 55°F-71°F, Humidity 93%-86%, Wind W 2mph-W 4mph – by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 6.3%
Headwind: 81% @ 2.2-2.2mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 42m 51s
Air Speed: 12.3mph
Temp: 49.2-79.2°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 61.38 mi
Max elevation: 1959 ft
Min elevation: 30 ft
Total climbing: 4496 ft
Total descent: -5392 ft
Total time: 07:08:33
Published inCycling

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