Biking Dude Blog
2019 - May
And in the End, I Traveled
By bike is cleaned up and boxed up and will soon be shipped back to Minnesota, and I am sitting on a train heading to the San Francisco airport. It is strange to be traveling so quickly after months of traveling at such a naturally human pace. I am excited about going back to camp for a couple of weeks once I get back to MN and looking forward to working on some of the ideas that I've had in the last few months, but I imagine that it will take a bit of getting used to normalcy again. I find myself with quite a mix of emotions at the end of my journey, but my heart is filed with happiness and gratitude when I think on all of the wonderful people that I met on this trip. I remember my wonder at seeing the beauty of the land, and the accomplished feeling after battling through a difficult day. Nathaniel and I had discussed at length the differences between having an idea and executing it, between thinking and doing. Is one more important? Without the thought, there is nothing to be done, but an idea has no existence without execution. Until I got on that plane to Boston, until I actually put my feet on the pedals and started riding through my first day of gusty winds and blinding pollen, this adventure was just an idea, something a friend had done that sounded like a good idea. However, I'm not sure that I would have even thought of doing this if my friend David hadn't done a similar trip last year. I met many people that thought my journey was really cool, and said that they would like to be able to do something similar someday, but only a few actually grabbed their bikes to ride with me, even if it was only for a mile. The thought is important, extremely important, but it is ephemeral until it is realized. My point? I'm glad that I did this trip, that I realized what started as a vague idea, because I met people and saw things that I never would have even thought of if I hadn't gotten on my bike and started peddling. My continued thanks to everyone who helped me on this trip. Minnesota, here I come!
Wheels in the Water!
I traveled about 76 miles today.
0 I finally made it. After biking nearly five thousand miles in two and a half months (and 760 of that in the last week) I crossed the golden gate bridge, rode to the beach, and at 4:18 pm (Pacific time) ended my trip when I dipped my wheels in the Pacific ocean. I'll update more later, but that's it, I'm done. Thanks again to everyone who helped me along the way.
Done Biking Today
I finished biking for today. You can check out my current location on the map and I'll post about my day when I am in coverage.
One Day More
I traveled about 94.5 miles today.
This was the sign about eight miles from camp. One more day and I'm in San Francisco! Today seemed to take a long time. Likely a combination of fatigue, a very hilly road, and the warmth sapping fog along the coast. Just 75 miles tomorrow, and I'm in San Francisco. The coast was beautiful today, and the abundant eucalyptus tree had a wonderful smell when I biked by. As I approach the end of this journey, I am very thankful for all of the people, most of then strangers, who helped me along my way. It's been an incredible and in many ways indescribable adventure (and still will be, for another day). I am, however, ready to be done, and very excited to see my friends in SF. Went to a Mexican restaurant a quarter mile from camp for dinner. Got a burrito, but they accidentally brought me a vegetarian one, so I got that one for free in addition to the one I actually ordered. Yes! Sufficed to say, I was absolutely stuffed by the time I finished eating, but I put both burritos away without too much trouble. That's all for now, time to rest up for the home stretch.
I traveled about 103.7 miles today.
Changed my plans again today (it's kind of great to have that kind if flexibility, thanks to the relative abundance of state parks with hiker biker sites). When I arrived at MacKerricher state park, my original destination, the rangers were able to confirm that Van Damme state park (about 18 miles further) also has showers and hiker biker camping. They also have me recommendations for restaurants in fort Bragg. Onwards I went, stopping at Jenny's giant burger for dinner (the perfect burger for a hungry cyclist, they loaded on the veggies) and a quick stop at a grocery store for some trail mix. Made it to the park with plenty of time to shower and eat before night fell. Pressing onwards means that it will be much easier to hit my stretch goal of Sonoma coast the next day, which means I have the option of reaching SF on Wednesday night instead of Thursday morning, assuming that I can convince a friend to pick me up. I met three cyclists (Pierre, Adrian, and Ludvic) from Montreal in westport, who started in Vancouver. Gave them my email, they should reach SF in time for us to grab a beer before I leave. Met Sam and Nate at camp, a father son team biking down the coast. Also meet Ramsey, who has been traveling from new York in a horse shoe path around the south of the US. He will have been going for a year on Tuesday. Crazy. His plan is to end at crater lake. Really interesting guy, fashioned panniers out of tidy cat bins. Rode about 17 more miles down ave of giants this morning. Big hill climbs and descents right after Leggett once I got on 1. Really fun ride, if you like climbs and sharp turns (I enjoyed it). The temperature really dropped as I approached the coast, and the on again off again coastal fog returned. Strange to think I'll be done so soon. It will be especially strange to stop after going so hard the last several days.
I completely forgot to mention this last night, but yesterday morning, just as I was leaving the elk prairie campground, I came across some bikers (the other kind) watching two elks having a kind of standoff/fight. Really cool to see. We eventually rode past. The motorbikes kind of made the elks back off a little, and I able to use a passing car for some cover, but it was still a little nerve wracking passing by. All is well, though. I don't think they were worried about us infringing on their territory.
A Tree Ate My Bike!
I traveled about 98.7 miles today.
Had a decision point in Eureka today, after biking the fifty miles there from camp. Would I push on to the campground eighty miles away and do two more big century days to get to SF a day earlier, or would I reign myself in and start doing eighty/ninety mile days? I decided that I didn't want to push myself to hard, so I headed to the campground that was 'only' another 45 miles from Eureka. First, I planned out places to stay the next few days, and called up the state parks where I was planning to stay, to confirm that they have hiker biker sites. I also stopped at subway for lunch, and possibly my new favorite grocery store, Winco. They have pretty darn good prices, and bulk food (like banana chips and trail mix) that you can get however much or little as you want. The last fifteen miles to camp were along the avenue of the giants, a scenic alternate to 101 that winds through redwood forests. My campground in right in the middle of the forest, it's pretty incredible. Met up with Stewart and Alison at camp, also Mike and Katie who I had passed on the road. Teresa came into camp a while later. Glenn, a camper in a nearby site, brought over some beer for all the bikers. He owns a bike shop in Santa Rosa. What a guy! I've started seeing signs for San Francisco. They went from over three hundred miles to under today. Things are coming to a close very soon, but I still have many miles to travel. The redwoods are fantastic, really happy to be camping here tonight.
I traveled about 113.4 miles today.
I don't know if there is a cycling version of a hat trick, but three century days in a row seems like it should count for something. Saw the rest of the Oregon coast, really great stuff. Entered California, stopped for a bit in crescent city to charge the phone and switch my tires, front to rear. Decided to push on another thirty miles to prairie creek campground. Had an incredible ride through some redwood forest, there are really big trees here. Met Frank and Mika, then David, on my way to camp. They all made it too, which was good. Lots of people here, too many to meet them all. Funny coincidence, David, Frank, and Mika are all from Boston. Need to stop by Eureka tomorrow, get some food, new batteries for the spot. I'll probably continue on to a campground further along afterwards. If I can keep this up, I should be able to get to SF a day earlier than I had planned. I'm super motivated by finishing this trip at this point. It's not that I want it to be over because I'm not enjoying it. It's that extra bit you give when you can see the finish line up ahead. That, and I'm daydreaming about crossing the golden gate bridge and finally dipping my wheels in the Pacific. I'm just really excited for that to happen.
Yesterday, there were a bunch of messages in chalk along seven devils road. They were really funny, and kind of made my day. Saw a big group of bikers ride out of camp this morning a little before I left. Caught up with them within a few miles, they weren't moving very fast, I guess. Turns out, they were the ones who had written those notes. Cool guys, maybe they'll catch up with me if I take a break in crescent city.
I traveled about 124.1 miles today.
Camping at humburg mountain state park tonight, a few miles south of port orford. Had a great day, saw some amazing sights along the coast. Heading to crescent city tomorrow, possibly farther. Met a few people today: biked a little with Evan from Boston who knows some Olin people. We ended up camping in the same place. He bought a bottle of beer in town, and shared it with me and Pavall, another biker Evan had met earlier. We're also joined by Steven, who arrived at camp just as the sun was setting. Very funny guy, lifts the spirits of everyone he's around. I don't want to wear myself down too much, but it feels good making so much progress these past two days. Also talked with Russ, the camp host, when I arrived. Cool guy, very outgoing and interested in other people's stories.
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