Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017_07_11 Puyallup/Tacoma to Santa Barbara Trip (Leon Matz & Mike Smith) (Day 11)

Author:  Leon Matz

Forest Knolls to Pescadero lighthouse day 11 planned to be easy turned hard

We switched from a hostel that was way out of the way to a Warmshowers stay and that had some blessings and some downfalls! They were terrific people and we greatly enjoyed visiting with them but we didn't get our laundry done, and we didn't leave until almost 8:30. We didn't think it was a big deal since our ride was to be rather short! After about 5 miles, the traffic started getting heavy and lots of lights!  We even used the sidewalks in some places. When we hit 101, cyclists were not allowed and the alternates were not very clear!  After talking with a bus worker, he gave us a route which included a 15% hill!  Yuk!  We wandered around probably asking 10-15 people to help us find the route! It took a long time and was not very direct.

When we got close to Sosolitto we found a bike shop near the route. It didn't open for a 1/2 hour, but we thought it was worth the wait! We grabbed a snack and sat in the sun waiting! The shop did have all the parts that I needed, spent over $250 for new cleats , chain, rear cassette and small chain ring! About 11:30, we hit the road and wound our way through town towards the famous Golden Gate Bridge. During the day, the east side walkway is open. 8 feet wide 4 1/2 for walkers and 4 1/2 ft for bikers! Doesn't seem bad until you realize people are going both directions in both lanes.  It appeared that the new thing to do was to bike across the bridge, so tons of novices on rented bikes are riding across the bridge and then taking the ferry back.

Sun coming up at our Warmshowers residence
Looking across the bay to San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge from north
The Rock
Looking at San Francisco Bay
Looking at Golden Gate after crossing it!
After the bridge, we turned on Mike's mapping; and it guided us through Golden Gate Park and down to the beach!  We were immediately greeted with a horrible 20-30 mph wind!  The city actually closed some of the lanes because of the blowing sand! Head down, working hard, and going on the flat at 6-7 mph for 10 miles and then it switched to a wind at our right shoulder for another 30 miles and climb after climb!  Mike road well, but I was weak as weak an be!  He would climb to the top of the ridge, wait for me, and then I would pass him on the descent.  Before I was very far up the climb, he was past me!  This cycle would continue mile after mile!  It was pretty lonely riding, since we were hardly ever riding next to each other! The miles went by slowly as I was tired and discouraged!  Mike climbed those hills with what appeared great ease!  Gradually, we started to hit flatter roads; and the wind lessened, and I road a little better!  Since Pescadero was only 150 residents, we decided to have an early dinner. Mike's and I for the second time on the trip stopped at a fruit stand and bought some bing 🍒 - very sweet and fairly large!  Not as good as the cherries from my own yard but good!  As we approached Pescadero, I got excited to get to the hostel and relax!  We made it to Pescadero, but no Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.  We tried calling but busy.  Kept riding and hoping over every little hill we would see the lighthouse. One mile then two and even three and nothing!  We even doubted ourselves thinking perhaps we missed it. Tried once then twice and even three times always busy! Debated what to do and finally kept riding! At almost 8 miles, we finally saw it!  Yeah!!!  Checked in, but had to negotiate a place to put the bikes!
Showers didn't happen until 6:30!  No place to wash and dry our clothes! They will have to wait until tomorrow and wash both sets of clothes!  By 8:30, I was exhausted and went to sleep!!!  What was supposed to be an easy day became a hard day because of the late start, the bridge and most importantly the wind!  The sunset was great and a group of musicians were going to play a few songs, but I had no energy left!
Mike and I approaching our over night stay.
Sunset at the Hostel
Morning light

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