It was a bittersweet morning. This was our last day of our trip and although we were ecstatic to make it to San Francisco, we were sad the trip was ending. Especially since Dad and I finally felt like our bodies were in ‘touring’ shape, haha! It’s true that you can continually push your body to extremes and it will adapt…eventually.
We got on the road around 8am , continuing on our trusted Route 1. About an hour into our ride, we ran into brothers Alastair and Andrew, who we had first met six days ago in Newport, OR. We’ve crossed paths since we met them — staying at the same campgrounds some nights, seeing each other on the road — and we were happy to catch up to them again. They went ahead and we made plans to meet in Pt. Reyes Station for lunch.
It was a hilly en route to Pt. Reyes, but we were rewarded with farmland views and some of the best downhill biking I’ve ever experienced. I know I said two days ago we had an awesome downhill after the Leggett Hill but today the road conditions were perfect. Hardly any cars, gentle turns (at least not 90-180 degree turns), smooth pavement — it was so much fun! The scent of the eucalyptus trees that lined the roads may have heightened our senses, but it was pure euphoria. I think I may have been laughing aloud all the way down haha!!
At the bottom, we went through the town of Tomales, which is known for their oyster bays. We passed by many oyster distributors I’ve heard of from my SF friends — Hog Island, Tomales Bay Oyster Company. It was a bit early in the day (10am) for oysters (for me at least!), but a beautiful place to enjoy fresh, local oysters.
We made it to Pt. Reyes Station and met up with Alastair and Andrew. We all had lunch at Bovine Bakery, a spot that was recommended from a fellow camper two nights ago and was very popular with SF cyclists on day trips. It’s about 80 miles roundtrip from SF.
Looking at our maps, the route had us diverge off of Rt. 1 and go inland through towns like Lagunitas, Fairfax, Corte Madera, but Alastair and Andrew said the trip on Rt. 1 would be terrifically scenic, but hilly. We like the sound of ‘scenic’ and took our chances with ‘hilly’ and continued to truck along Rt. 1. It was a terribly hilly ride, especially since we didn’t expect too many hills today, but the views were once again breathtaking. Here’s a view of Bolinas Bay/Stinson Beach (and the first time we saw people actually swimming in the ocean!):
After some more steep climbs near Mr. Tamalpsis State Park, we descended into the Marin City and about 10 miles later, had our first view of the city of San Francsico!!! When we finally got to the bridge, we couldn’t help but take some pictures!
The Golden Gate Bridge is really a stunning piece of work and we were able to enjoy the views since there wasn’t even a trace of fog.
However, it was astonishingly windy on the bridge. I should submit this picture of Dad to Michelin for consideration of the next Michelin Man!
There was lots of activity in the SF Bay. Sailboats, windsurfers, kitesurfers, large container ships…we even saw dolphins! After dodging the tourists, we made it to the end of the Golden Gate, only to be completely confused on where to go. The only bicycle signage we saw was where not to go. Thankfully, other cyclists helped us fund our way into the city and we biked straight to Free Wheel on Hayes Street. They were able to pack up and ship our bikes to CT for a flat rate of $200. They were very helpful and had a great shop. Thank you Monica and Andy for the recommendation!
We met up with Monica at her apartment and enjoyed a real shower, real towels, a wonderful home cooked meal, laundry and clean clothes. It was an awesome way to end our 11 day adventure. Looking back, it’s hard to believe it went by so fast. That being said, Dad and I are already planning our next trip: SF to San Diego!!
Total Trip Miles: 1033 miles
Riding Conditions: Overall, good! The road from Bolinas Bay to Marin City was narrow and had more traffic than we were used to. And finding our way off the Golden Gate bridge into the city was confusing. And those hills in SF are no joke!
Campground: Monica and Jeremy’s beautiful apartment in NoPa. Grade: A+