Well today was the big day. Crossing the Golden Gate bridge and clearing San Francisco. Let’s get into it.
Was up at 5:30 this morning after a restless night. I kept waking up and having to turn over for some unknown reason. Lay on my left, fall asleep. Few hours later, flip to my right, fall back to sleep. Rinse and repeat a few times throughout the night. Then toss in some weird dreams to boot and I’m surprised I crawled out of the tent at all.
With the hike/bike area full, relatively speaking, I set about packing up as quietly as possible. Still made pretty good time and left around 7:30. Jason was the only one up and on his feet by the time I left. I did leave a note for the others that if they’re ever in Las Vegas and want to do a road ride to let me know and left my phone number. Maybe I’ll hear from them, maybe I won’t only time will tell.
I rolled out of camp and was able to continue on the Cross Marin Trail. Not long after leaving camp the trail changed from asphalt to hard packed gravel. It was a beautiful little stretch and a great way to start the day.
Last night I’d done some scouting for a place to grab some breakfast and picked Half Day Cafe in Kentfield. It would be a few blocks off my planned route and looked right up my alley.
When I first came up to the place I thought for sure it had shut down. I went to the door and there was a man inside who waved me to come in. It looked like a service counter and that is certainly not what I was looking for this morning. I step inside anyway and see an entire dining room behind the guy and another entrance off the back. I say, “Oh!” and go around back to park Shadow and go inside.
I went with a made up french toast combo. I guess they normally don’t offer one so I had to hodge podge one together myself. In my haste I chowed down on the bacon before taking a picture of it!
After breakfast it was all eyes on the Golden Gate and San Francisco. I worked my way down through some of the little cities and towns on some decent back roads. It was nice to be away from traffic for a change.
Didn’t take long before I made it to Sausalito and caught my first glimpse of San Francisco. I pulled over to grab a shot of it and Alcatraz island. It was crazy to easily see the difference in weather. Up until this point I had been enjoying relatively bright sunny skies, but across the bay everything was socked in and it looked like it was raining. While I was stopped I took the opportunity to get out my rain jacket and put away my drying bibs just to be safe.
I continued around downtown Sausalito and it was kinda eye opening. I’d never been in this area before. When I’ve been through this area I was always up on the freeway US-101. To see this completely new side of the area was quite a treat.
As I continued riding I started to descend East Road and finally the Golden Gate appeared from between the trees. I was so excited. As I got to the bottom I left my route in search of photo opportunities. I got a decent picture along Horseshoe Bay, but got an even better one at Moore Road Pier.
I returned to my route which took me along a trail only accessible by bike or foot. It took me under the bridge and back up on the west side. When I reached the top I thought I was all ready to cross. Then I noticed pedestrian traffic was on the east side of the bridge. I looked around and found there was another crossover I had to take. This was a lot trickier though. To start I had to take Shadow down a flight of steps. Thankfully there was a ramp for bikes. I put the booties on my cleats and took the stairs one at a time. I then walked under the Golden Gate to come to another larger flight of stairs I needed to take back up! I tried to push Shadow up the ramp but there was no way that was happening with him fully loaded. I took off both panniers, walked them up, set the down, returned for Shadow, walked him up, and then once at the top put the panniers back on. Such a chore but it was so worth it.
After taking a brief moment to take some pictures and catch my breath in the east side I set off to make my crossing. I think I really lucked out because it felt like I was the only cyclist going south today. Another saving grace was that I’m doing this on a weekday morning. I imagine during the weekend it’s a nightmare for all involved, but for me it was smooth sailing.
I have to admit to having been pretty emotional a couple times during all this. When I first came down the hill, the first couple pictures, and during the crossing, were all times that the tears were flowing. It’s still hard to believe that I’ve made it this far.
Safely on the south side, I went about poking around. I knew I wanted to get down to Fort Point to get some pictures before leaving. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the area, but lots of fond memories with my girls in that section of the park.
I finally got all the pictures I wanted and needed to get refocused on the ride at hand. I worked my way over to Golden Gate Park which would get me back over to the coast. The ride through the park was amazing. I think most of the roads were all closed off to vehicles, and there was art work everywhere. I couldn’t stop from stopping and taking more pictures. Once I got there things took a turn.
Once I was on the coast it was cold and windy. I just could not get warm to safe my life. I think making things worse was it was getting late for lunch. I remember leaving Skyline Boulevard for Skyline Drive thinking, “Great we’re leaving an expressway.”. Then as I made the left onto Skyline Drive I saw the climb and just groaned. I ground my way to the top but then couldn’t enjoy the descent because the winds would kick up and I’d have to slow down. Eventually at one of the crests I stopped and threw on my rain jacket because I was just flat out sick and tired of being cold.
As I made my way through Pacifica, I finally found a place to grab some lunch. I pulled in to Breakers Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch and was in luck they were still open for another hour. I ordered a burger, tots, Coke, and a cookie and scarfed it all down. I didn’t realize I was that hungry.
As I left I was feeling so much better. I was certainly hangry before. I timed it perfectly because I needed to get clear of Pedro Point area. The section of CA-1 leading up to Devil’s Slide is busy and narrow. It isn’t really any narrower than what I’ve already ridden on, but I think traffic can be heavier. It also has had its share of cyclist fatalities. I just kept my eyes up and focused on my riding while hoping everyone else would focus on their driving. Everything worked out great and I peeled off to check out Devil’s Slide.
From there on our it was a cruise along CA-1 and eventually a bike path that brought me straight into camp. I was planning on a rest day tomorrow, but this campground only allows single day hike/bike stays. So I’ll be moving on to Sunset State Beach tomorrow which is a very special site for me. Then we’ll turn inland, due to landslides closing CA-1 south of Big Sur, and take a rest day at a hotel in Kings City.
So two more days of riding before a rest day. Reservation is already made just need to get there. Until next time friends.
New bike fund: $6.16 (+$0.35)
63.45 new miles
🏘 Completed 50% of Half Moon Bay State Beach
— From Wandrer.earth
Mostly cloudy-Cloudy, 53°F-62°F, Feels like 54°F-62°F, Humidity 97%-73%, Wind WSW 3mph-W 6mph – by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: -3.1%
Headwind: 21% @ 0.7-6mph
Longest Headwind: 47m 28s
Air Speed: 10.1mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 816 ft
Min elevation: 141 ft
Total climbing: 4095 ft
Total descent: -4093 ft
Average speed: 12.59 mi/h
Average cadence: 72 RPM
Average heart rate: 107 BPM
Average temperature: 62.60 °F
Total time: 10:33:29