Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 0 - Drive to Fort Bragg

Two years ago I rode my bicycle down the California coast, solo. My friend John Anderson was kind enough to drive my car, and my stuff, from hotel to hotel and join me for dinner as well. We had a great time.

It was the first long distance (650 miles), multi-day (6 days) cycling trip I ever did. Last year I was fortunate to ride my bicycle from the Canadian border, to El Paso, Texas, on the Mexican border (2000 miles/19 days). It was something I always wanted to do and I'm very proud of that accomplishment.

This year I had no set plan or goal, but thought it would be nice to repeat the Cali Coast ride with a friend. Enter, Bernd Straehle. When I was researching various California rides I came across Bernds' website and sent him an email. [Bernd has one of the best sites on long distance California cycling -] Since then we've ridden together a few times and found that we're compatible riders. When I mentioned this ride, I was very happy to hear that Bernd was interested.

Bernds' wife, Sandra, is a runner and a cyclist, but seems to be running more. Specifically marathons, like the Boston Marathon (for instance). Sandra, graciously agreed to drive support for us and brought along 2 of her marathon friends from Mexico - Guillermo y Sergio. Guillermo just completed the London marathon (in 2:50!!!) and Sergio has won (as in First Place) the San Francisco Marathon (in 1992) amongst others.

Bernd et al, picked me up at 7am. We drove through a very smokey San Fernando valley and proceeded on to the 5 North. Passed San Francisco and stopped for lunch. We were making good time, so we decided to take the scenic route over to the coast via route 128 and the Navarro Forest of Redwoods. We had a great time horsing around in these amazingly tall trees. The ground was covered in ferns and clovers. Really beautiful.

Tomorrow is our first day on the bike. Weather is cold up here (50's and 60's) and damp, lot's of marine layer. I'll try to update this blog after each days ride. Click on the pics to see larger versions. If you want to read about my last Cali Coast trip, or my cross country ride from last summer, it's all available on this blog.

Cheers :)