Monday, August 13, 2007

Day 9. We woke to a beautiful clear morning in Garberville. After breakfast, Mike and I began today's ride over the hills back to the California coast. My first adventure began about 10 miles into the ride when I took a right on Hwy 101 instead of a left and ended up riding 2 - 3 miles backwards before I realized it. When I saw an offramp sign for a place we had come from the terrible truth set in! I guess my tear-filled, weepy Gleevec eyes caused me to misread the route directions... Anyway I had to turn around and backtrack, adding roughly 5 miles and several 100 feet of climbing to today's mileage.

The next adventure came when we were riding on a narrow, heavily trafficked section of 101, being passed by logging trucks and RV's. Minimal shoulder to ride on and pretty scary! My heart was racing more from adrenaline than from exertion. But once we turned onto Hwy 1 the traffic thinned out considerably.

Outside of Leggett we climbed the first of 2 major hills in today's route. 1200 feetof elevation gain in 3.5 miles - a fairly serious climb. Both Mike and I handled it well and then reaped the reward of an excellent 10 mile descent. At this point Jim and I switched so that he rode the rest of the day while I drove SAG.

Jim and Mike then climbed the second serious hill - 800 feet in 1.7 miles; a bit shorter than the first but significantly steeper, again followed by an superb descent that terminated right at the Pacific. The rest of the ride down to Fort Bragg involved steep rollers along the coast, spectacular views, (the weather was perfect-65 degrees, sunny and clear,) interupted only by a nice lunch in the tiny village of Westport. This evening we went to our favorite Ft. Bragg restaurant, the North Coast Brewery, for some tasty food and brews. Well earned!

Tomorrow is our longest, toughest day - 107 miles and 7000 feet of climbing, the most of any day. Should be interesting!