Problems in San Francisco? The Golden Gate – Ep 21 Pacific Coast Bicycle Tour
Hey, welcome. Deeg Quest here. In this episode, the story continues of my tour of Southern California, Oregon and the Pacific Coast route. On the previous episode, Big waves, Santa Cruz, Stand up boards, Wilder Ranch, Lighthouse and Off road to Half Moon. Sunday, June 5th, I discovered a couple of things. One, I must've left a recorder running for....
I don't know how long, because the battery was dead. The other thing is, I learned my tent isn't waterproof anymore. I knew it was kind of questionable. The seam sealers were all coming off.
I tried to seal them up again. Because it's raining and I’m getting wet inside my tent. My original plan was to kind of hold out on the rain a little bit. I checked the forecast to see if there’s going to be a stop period, before taking down my tent. Probably look at booking a hotel and riding in the rain and then getting everything dried out. So that will change a little bit in that there's no need to wait since I'm getting wet in my tent, right now. So, I'll get stuff
packed up and probably still book a hotel. Name for this ride is already, “It's all fun and games until the rain starts” A wet morning starts the day as I leave Half Moon Bay. Near Moss Beach, I take time for breakfast trying to wait out the hard rain. Devil’s Slide Trail allows a tunnel bypass on Highway one.
The rain stops by Pacifica and then steep climbing at Daly City keeps me warm. I pass through the Golden Gate Park and the hills of San Francisco before making it across the Golden Gate Bridge. After Sausalito, I reach my hotel at Mill Valley Here’s what I’m dealing with today. It's going to be a soaking wet one.
I already have a hotel booked. All my tent is wet. All my gear is going to be soaked. Hopefully not the electronics.
But everything will be wet and my tent leaks. Pretty bad actually. I'm not sure what I’m going to do about that. So long wet camp. Not too many pictures today. I don't think.
This is going to be a wet one. My bike’s going to get totally gunked, It wasn’t great before, now it's going to be horrible. An unexpected bridge closure forces me to take a detour to the main highway.
Bridge closed.... Bridge closed. I must detour. Me: Morning At first I think a small club ride passing by. When I have trouble crossing the path, I realize this is no small group. Cyclist: Good job. Me: Thanks
As it turns out, a major bike event is taking place. After the detour, I'm back to my original route along the ocean. The surfers even.... “No stinking rain’s going to stop ‘em” Rain or shine, surfers are always out. I'm still passing bike riders. I found out later.
It's a seven day, 2400 rider event. It must be fully supported as I don't see anyone carrying gear. That must be nice. as the rain picks up.
I just happened to come across the grill that is open for breakfast with an outside covered deck. It's perfect to wait out the rain. I eat my breakfast while watching the rain and wondering when or if it will stop. I figure since I'm waiting, I might as well have a second breakfast. Finally, with my stomach fill, my patience low and the rain only lightly falling, I venture out. Even though it's still raining,
it's not coming down too hard. I'm happy I decided to keep moving. It seems to be the tail end of the biking event. There are only a few intermittent riders left. Devil's Slide trail. Apparently you can skirt the tunnels. Which is good. Almost went through them.
Then I said, I better pull up my map. Sure enough, there's a bike path over here. I suspect the views are spectacular, but today I cannot confirm that With no traffic, this section is quiet and relaxing.
However, the short but steep climb requires significant efforts. At this point, I'm resolved to endure the drizzling rain for the rest of the ride. Fortunately for me, on the descent from Devil's Slide, it unexpectedly improves. Just like that, no rain and even some sun breaking through. Lady: Would you like me to get your photo on your bike? Me: Oh, sure. Thank you.
Lady: What a great background. Where you biking from? Me: Southern California for a while, then went down to the border of Mexico. Me: and now I'm going up to Washington State. Lady: Incredible. Lady: That's awesome, I saw your pack covers.
Lady: I was like, You're, you're on more than a day. Me: Yeah, Yeah. A few days. Me: Yeah. This is day 21. Lady: Incredible. Well enjoy.
Me: Thank you. Lady: Have a great day. Me: you too. A tricky and crowded switchback path test my slow, heavy loaded bike turning abilities. Me: Thank you. This day might turn out okay. The weather is already improving greatly. Very greatly. A series of memorial gardens border this path.
[people talking] The recent rains make the trail slick and muddy, but with the rocky base, it's still okay to ride on. [people talking] This is one of those memorable, short but steep climbs. Now we’re talking. Now we’re talking climbing. 10 plus, baby.
This part exceeds a grueling 11% grade. This is going to be a rest’r for sure. Even a guy driving by in a convertible seems impressed Man: I’m impressed you made it this far. Keep going. Me: [Laughing] Overall, this was a two and a half mile climb with a one mile section averaging over 8%.
The traffic and building density increases as I reach the outskirts of San Francisco. Since it's the weekend, the upper Great Highway along the ocean is open to car free travel. The rain returns, but only lightly and for a short bit.
A ride through Golden Gate Park reveals a bison paddock. That's not something I expected to see. I navigate some of the classic San Francisco hilly residential roads, Still getting a few raindrops too. Based on the look of these houses, it seems I found an ultra expensive area.
There's plenty of hills of other cyclists here. I have the Golden Gate Bridge within my sights Transitioning to a trail, I worked my way to the bridge. I have to pay attention because bikes have to cross on a specific side of the bridge, depending on the time of day. I'm not sure if I'm going the right way until I spot this sign.
The crossing is both windy and noisy. The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. The outer cables are huge and constructed with over 27,000 individual wires inside. That's one serious road barrier.
After crossing, I take the road which drops down under the bridge to get to the east side. I get a new perspective of the bridge, along with views of Alcatraz Island and downtown San Francisco. Still by the bridge, I explore Fort Baker Park and take a quick walk around Battery Yates. I hope so. I notice a back way trail on the map which looks to connect up to my route.
I figure why not? And I go for it. Looks like a tick trail. Oh no, stairs! Dang it. How unexpected. I really don’t want to carry it up that. I don't feel like carrying my heavy load up the stairs. I opt to go back around the way I came Man: Looking good. Me [laughing] You too.
Lady: Where are you from? Me: Oh, well, I'm heading back home. Me: Washington State. Lady: Oh wow. Me: I’ve been touring, California.
Me: Went down to the border now I'm going up the coast. Lady: Oh cool. Have you had a great trip? Me: Oh yeah. Lady: Right on. Me: This is the first day I've had rain. Lady: Oh, yeah, I know. We’re like so grateful for it. Me: Yeah, I'm sure it's good, but I’m like No! Lady: Oh yeah.
Me: But it was short. Lady: So where are you staying tonight? Me: At some motel over here. Lady: Oh, you're like, kind of. Me: I've been camping most of the time, but after the rain, I was like, Me: Okay, I'm getting a hotel. Lady: Yeah right, well enjoy that time. Me: Yeah. Thank you. Lady Well, have a safe trip back. Me: Yeah, thank you. Lday: Ba-bye Me: Bye Alright, I made it to the Muir Woods Inn.
Trying to get everything out, to dry out. I think first priority is to get stuff out See what clean clothes I have. Take a shower, charge my electronics, probably... get something to eat, and then worry about the wash later.
A nice ground room floor with plenty of space to spread out my wet gear is exactly what I needed. After getting situated, and a shower, I ride my bicycle into town. I'm able to get a dinner of general cells chicken and find an open laundromat to clean all my clothes. The weather today ended up being very nice, especially considering how wet it was this morning.
The forecast looks good for tomorrow, but I'll have to find a solution for my leaking tent. My wife suggests getting a tarp. I think if I have the opportunity, I might just do that. Tomorrow. I plan to head northwest and back into the countryside, away from the city. On the next episode, City paths, dirt trails, mountain roads, country climbs and Bayview rides.
[rain] Earwig climbed up into my saddle cover. It got squished. Woo, Almost ran over a snail. Man: Well, It is what it is. [laughing] thank you. [clicking] Me: Thank you Server: No no problem. [clicking] [rain and fog horn] [rain and car horn] [dog bark] Me: Hi Lady: Hi Man: That is an impressive amount of gear. Me: Yeah, [laughing] it's a lot.
[car horn] uff, I got the heat going now. [passing and distant sirens]