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A Day Late and a Bra Short

By | June 12, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012
San Francisco to Half Moon Bay
33 miles

I spent the morning having a great time talking with Lori, at her place outside of Berkley. We have alot of ex related things in common, among other things. Sometimes it’s validating just to talk those things out. Just as she was explaining how her ex was consistently inconsiderate of other people’s time, I realized I had completely lost track of time and needed to leave for REI right away to meet Sadie and pick up my bike. Happily, Lori drove me to the BART station. Back on the San Francisco side, I decided to wait for the next bus rather than walk a mile, even though it would make me a little late. I just had too much gear to carry comfortably without putting it on the bike.

It was almost 1:00 by the time I arrived. My bike was there, and they agreed to let me put it back together myself. I had to put one wheel back on, the seat, the handlebars, and the pedals. It was all pretty straightforward, but I was just glad to have done it myself.

I brought new tires with me from Chicago, but I decided to wait and change them out at camp. I knew that would be very time consuming for me. I’m a very slow flat fixer, which is similar to replacing tires. Even so, we were still there for almost two hours. I also bought a new pack towel, and returned a disappointing sports bra. Unfortunately they didn’t have a new one in my size to replace it, which slightly throws off my three sets of clothes packing plan. But I think it will work out.

We left REI after 3, which is a very late start for a bike trip. It took a few tries to actually ride away. I was putting my gloves on when I realized they were both literally about to fall apart. So I ran back in and bought a new pair. We had about five hours of daylight to ride almost 35 miles to the campground in Half Moon Bay, and we weren’t sure we could make it.

After a mile or so, we stopped at the Rainbow Grocery, which is amazing! There is going to be so much better food down the west coast than across the South!

Even our bikes are happy to be at the Rainbow Grocery!

While I was waiting for Sadie, I checked out my odometer, which was on, but not recording distance or speed. I was excited to find I still had the instruction booklet in my handlebar bag. Maybe I could fix it! After about 10 minutes, however, I realized it was the instructions from two odometers ago. Looks like I need to replace my odometer again. This will be the fourth one in a year.

Unsurprisingly, there were a few very steep but relatively short hills as we left the city.

Hipsters in San Fran have gears.

We made it through these and wound through Golden Gate Park to the coast. We decided to take the meandering way rather than the more direct busier street. We hoped we wouldn’t regret it later.

A concerned citizen in rural Florida warned me about this!

So far, Sadie and I have realized we both stop a lot and like to take pictures. My friend Charlie thought stopping once in ten miles would be onerous. We may well have stopped eight times in the first three miles. It’s nice to have that in common.

As we left the city, past the box houses on the hills, the climbs got longer.


On the first hill, I felt great. On the second one, my legs felt tired. The third one was curvy with little to no shoulder. It reminded me a lot of my first day climbing out of San Diego last spring. But it wasn’t raining and there were no semis or Border Patrol. And it really wasn’t that steep. I didn’t cry and I only walked once. I sincerely hoped there wouldn’t be a fourth.

There were numerous spectacular views, at least.

About 7 miles out we decided we were really done and started seriously looking for a place to stay. But the hostel a mile down the road only had one bed, and wouldn’t let one ofus sleep on the floor. And the RV park four miles away did not allow tents under any circumstances. There were some expensive looking inns.

A woman pulled over to make sure we were okay we were looking on our map and the Internet. She thought we looked lost. I find that funny because it’s hard to get lost on Highway 1. But we were looking for information. She said the last seven miles we were trying to avoid were quite flat. She’d ridden that way many times. That was good to hear, because drivers and cyclists don’t always have the same conception of flat. And our map’s elevation profile confirmed it. We decided to go for it, after all. Besides, we didn’t have much choice.

We sped off, averaging 16 miles an hour for at least the first two miles. That’s twice as fast as I usually ride while touring! I couldn’t quite keep up that pace the whole way, and we got on an oceanside path where that speed wasn’t practical anyway. It was too windy (long i) and there were a number of kids and dogs. But we still arrived in the campground before the sun dropped out of sight.

Just barely before, but before. See the sun back there? It’s not down yet!

There was another cyclist in the hike and bike area who had also left San Francisco today, though much earlier than us. He was an older man named Jesse, and this was his 28th trip down the coast. He chatted happily while we faded as we set up camp. Sadie has been riding since Portland, so she had an extra day to rest. I just took an extra day to get started. But here we are! I’m so happy to join her for this adventure, and to see where the road takes us!

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