Days 0 and 1: The adventure begins…
Day 0: Flying to San Francisco
Dave, Bruce, and I flew from Denver to San Francisco on Friday, May 20. Escaping a late-May freeze in Colorado and arriving in a warm and sunny San Francisco. Lucky us.
We picked up our bikes at the San Francisco Trek store and they looked to be in good shape. The front disc brake rotor on my bike got bent in transport, but they fixed it and all is well.
Day 1: Wheel Dip, Ferry, and Easy Start
Day 1a: 10.4 miles, 725 feet elev
Day 1b (post-ferry): 16.8 miles,1070 feet elev
Stories and pictures
We started our ride today — Saturday, May 21. After checking out of our hotel, we rode down to the Baker Beach on the Pacific Ocean for the ceremonial “wheel dip.” We performed this tradition, putting your rear wheel in the sea at the beginning of the ride at Baker Beach. We plan to put our front wheels in the water Atlantic Ocean in a couple of months or so. It was a bonus to have a clear day and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
Following the ACA Western Express Route, we rode across the City to catch a ferry from San Francisco to Vallejo. One of the joys of doing a ride like this is the people you meet along the way. On the boat we met Nestor, a delightful young man and fellow cyclist who was ferrying and then riding to Napa to visit his girlfriend. We enjoyed a great chat with him on the hour-long ride to Vallejo.
From there, we took off on a hilly 17 mile (or so) ride to Fairfield, California. It was just enough to get our legs loosened up for the longer rides coming up in a couple of days. As I have come to expect, Dave took those hills with ease—the man is a beast on the bike, especially on climbs. Bruce followed and I lagged behind. But we all made it the short trip to Fairfield and our hotels.
Tomorrow is another relatively easy day as we ride about 40 miles to Davis, before Day 3 picks up the mileage on the road to Plymouth (75 miles). Plymouth is ESE of Sacramento and allows us to avoid the busier highway 50 to Tahoe corridor when we climb into the Sierras. That sets the stage for the day I (currently) fear the most; a big climb of 10,000 feet over 76 followed, the next day by a 93 mile ride to Fallon.