Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 13 - Petaluma to San Francisco

Daily Statistics:
Rode 50.2 miles and burned 2890 calories.
Left the motel at 8:40 and arrived at 2:18.

First, I would like to report that I had a very pleasant visit with my second cousin, Larry Olafson, last evening in Petaluma. Larry grew up and spent most of his life in North Dakota, moving to Petaluma about 5 years ago. We had not had contact since we were just kids until a couple of years ago, when we reconnected at the Olafson family reunion in North Dakota.

At any rate, on to todays ride. It was really a very pleasant day all around. Ron and I decided to ride with Tom Wellman, Paul Trent, and Bill Zeeb, which worked out very well. We headed out of Petaluma on typical California brown hill terrain, including Nicasion Valley Road and Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Along the way, we found some of the crew stopped at a little spot with cheese, having coffee and smoothies. The waterfowl were also in the pond enjoying a break.

As we continued on our journey, the road was not always the flat, easy ride I had hoped for on the day before the break. You can see Tom coming up the hill, with Paul and Bill trailing. Some of the road also went through a small stand of redwoods.

We eventually made our way to the day's only SAG at 29 miles along. The route sheet had been fairly straightforward to this point, with a handful of turns to manage. From the SAG onward, we often had several instructions per mile, and you had to stay on top of it. I think it was in Mill Valley where we went up a street called Chapman Avenue, which was a narrow, winding climb through nice residential homes. Rounding a turn, we were surprised to see a couple of deer along the road. They didn't seem very alarmed, and I took the shot below. It is a little dark, but you can see we were quite close.

We eventually arrived in Sausalito, where we had a lovely lunch break. The guys thought we sat next to authentic natives. The girl was tattooed the extent of both arms. Leaving lunch, we made our way up and over the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though it was Friday, there was plenty of foot and bicycle traffic, and we could only go very slowly. When we got a ways up the waterfront, Ron was kind enough to take this shot of me with the bridge in the background. You had to expect this shot today.

We found our way to the motel on Lombard Street. Some of the group went the other way on Lombard to ride the crookedest street in the country, but for me, that is a maybe tomorrow. We finished the day with a nice dinner at Lori's Diner in Ghiradelli Square. Tomorrow is our second and final rest day, so I will be doing laundry and cleaning up the bike before my brother comes to visit in the afternoon. If anything noteworthy happens, I will post, otherwise I will wait until we hit Santa Cruz.

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