Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ride the West Day 13 - Petaluma to San Francisco

Daily Statistics
Mileage:  51.28
Vertical Gain:  3312 feet
Calories Burned:  3589 (1847)

Link to Garmin Route Data

Today was a fitting end to another adventure on the bike.  Ending a terrific two weeks by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco was terrific.  I again spent the day riding with Gary Weinstein.  He does a great job of navigating, as well as being a terrific friend, and with many, many more turns to negotiate than normal, having him on the job kept us from ever making a bad turn.

We left Petaluma under typical cool conditions.  There is not a lot to say about the first 40 miles of the day.  It was more rolling brown California hills, with a number of stiff little climbs followed by very sweat descents.  Here I am following I believe Jeff Douglas as we are about to top one hill.  The scene is very typical of what the first miles were about.

Cresting a typical hill
One of the interesting things during the day was encountering many, many runners and vans doing a Ragnar relay out of San Francisco.  I didn't take any pictures of them, but they were spread out over miles and miles.  There were also a ton of support vans along as well.  Our SAG stop for the day was set up where we had runners coming through steadily, even though we had passed most of them well up the way.  We even found more after leaving the SAG.

We took a nice bike path for 3 or 4 miles to the outskirts of Sausalito, where Gary and I stopped at a great restaurant where we sat on the deck overlooking the harbor.  This shot pretty well captures the scene.

With Gary Weinstein at lunch in Sausalito
After lunch, we stopped across the street to where they had wooden bikes on display.  The store wasn't open, but they had some of the pieces in the window.  They use terrific craftsmanship, and the finished products were beautiful to behold.  I would love to get the chance to try one.

We then headed for the bridge.  The route sheet took us down to the water through Fort Mason for a different perspective on the bridge.  This is how it looked from down below.

Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Mason
From this shot, we made our way under the bridge to a very steep road up to traffic level.  From there, we had to take a path under the bridge to get to the bike/pedestrian way across the bridge.  We rode across the bridge, but with all the pedestrians and other cyclists, you have to take it slow and easy.  We made out way down to the waterfront, visited a terrific sports store, and made our way to the hotel.  Here is a closing photo for the ride.

Me ready to tackle the Golden Gate Bridge
Once the luggage truck got in, I quickly showered and changed, and got back on the bike for a 3 mile ride to the ferry building to catch the bus to Emeryville and the Capitol Corridor train to Sacramento.  This is a very nice ride of almost 2 hours.  I got off the train and rode another 4 miles to my brothers for the night. 

To conclude this saga, it has been a great two weeks of riding.  The routes have not often been easy, but the scenery has been fabulous, and the opportunity to join so many of my friends from the 2010 Across America North ride made it much more special.  I will see you for my next adventure, which is as yet undetermined.

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