Day Six

Mileage: 69.1 miles
Total: 364.4 miles

Another day just pedaling down the road. After sleeping off and on last night, due to some raccoons trying to get into my gear, followed by a bad dream where Shasta was missing, I was glad it was morning so I could get back on the road. However, the first twenty miles today were rough. The fog was thick and there was a headwind. I decided that after twenty miles of riding I would stop in the town of Gualala and treat myself to second breakfast in a restaurant. And I am glad I did. As I pulled into the restaurant I noticed another bike, and recognized it to be Herman (the German) who I had met several days before. He invited me to join him at his table and we then road together the rest of the day.

Now I would like to say that having company was nice to swap pulls in the headwind. And I’m also not saying I’m proud, but I enjoyed drafting off Herman, who is 62, far more than he drafted off me. During a rare break in the fog today we toured Fort Ross before heading on a beautiful stretch of road that climbed over 500 feet above the ocean, hugging the cliffside. The views were great, but pullouts for stopping and taking photos were few.

I know I promised to talk about pavement types, but I will put that post off for another day to instead talk about wind. Now while biking and touring there are a few types of wind. Here they are:

No wind: What a peaceful day, just spinning along at a comfortable pace.

Headwind: These are the demoralizings ones, forcing you to pedal hard only to get minimal speed. Even worse when they force you to pedal to move on the downhills, or when you feel you are stopped in your tracks trying to head uphill.

Tailwind: Now these are the days you are flying, feeling strong, thinking maybe I am in shape and can tow this load. Chances are its not you, its a tailwind.

Of course there are crossbreezes as well, and those just aren’t helping anyone out. As much as I have whined the wind this morning wasn’t as bad as it can get, but provided a rough start to the day.

Tomorrow I will be finishing the first leg of my journey as I pedal into San Francisco for Kelly’s birthday. I will spend Saturday resting and doing laundry. Then Sunday will be pedaling off with Kelly for the San Francisco to Santa Barbara leg of the journey. Solo biking has had its ups and downs, and I have enjoyed the people I’ve met and the sites I’ve seen, but I am excited to have someone to share the next section with.

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