112 Miles, Santa Rosa to San Francisco (the Ride back)
Yesterday was truly exhausting, we had started the day at 5am and finished it at 1:30am, needless to say no one was getting up early the next day. I was on the road by 10:30am and even that felt too early, but I had another long day ahead, I wasn't driving back home, but riding.
I started from the hotel the team stayed at in Windsor and headed out towards the coast. I hadn't really planned out the route, I had just had a sense of where to go from the yesterday's ride. I knew once I hit Highway 1 all I would need to do was follow it south until I reached San Francisco. The weather was great, a little cooler than yesterday making for idea conditions.
I weaved my way down the coast past Bodega Bay at which point the route I was following took me inland, but all I need was to keep my eye out for the signs. As I was on my own with no support close at had I came out with a Camelbak to keep me hydrated. With yestersday flat fresh in my mind I not only was carrying a spare tube, but a spare tire for extra measure.
The journey was by no means flat, as I headed back out to towards the coast a few hills were in my path. Over the hill the sky was overcast and it appeared I had reached a different climate. It was fitting that I was aproaching the town of Inverness. The scenary is diffinately reminisant of Scottish Loch I know well.
I took a lunch break at Point Reyes Station and quickily inhaled a sandwich there. Back the road there were a few more hills between me and the coast. The route continued parallel to the coast though I was in valley with no site of it on my left.
Now at mile 83 I had reached Stinson beach and with a blue sky back again I was crusing. The biggest challenge lay ahead, Mount Tamalpais.
As I continued on Highway One, I started the grind up the side of the mountain, I was on twisting roads with a sheer drop on my near side. To add to the fun, people were returning home from the beach adding to the cards on the road. Not too fast and not to slow was the game, make sure I'm seen and safe. Despite the very literall downside to the road, the view were breath taking! It was not long before I was safely into the hills heading towards Sausalito.
Remember I said I didn't have the entire route planned out? Well here is where the adventerous part comes in navigating through the city the to reach the Golden Gate bridge. It wasn't too bad, I followed the coast line and with some directions from another cyclist found my way to the bridge's bike path. I hadn't been across on bike before and certainly wasn't prepared for the evening breeze, but it is a spectacular crossing and highly recommended.
Once on the other side the sun was starting to set, so I cycled across town to the train station. I don't envy the bike messengers of the city, the roads seemed a little more dangerous than fun, I can't image what it whould be like midweek at rush hour. At the train station I concluded my journey, perhaps the next time I'll start earlier enough to make it all the way back before dark :-)
Ride Details (Click here to view on Google Earth):