Day 29: Blown In (Mackericher State Park to Manchester KOA)

California coast

Our group of 2 became a group of 4 today as said good-bye to Yves and Linda (the French Canadian couple) and rolled into town for a big breakfast at Dennys. Portlan and Roberto left the both of us after breakfast a few minutes earlier but we later reconvened. The ride turned out to be a fast one as tailwinds literally blew us into Manchester.

Errands in Fort Bragg

Sang, Johnny, Yves, Portlan, & Roberto

Sang, Johnny, Yves, Portlan, & Roberto

As the 4 of us rolled into Fort Bragg, I knew we would still be reunited after we had our breakfast at Denny’s. To top it off we had 2 more companions showed up later, Dave and Lee. Dave we met in Oregon and Lee rolled into camp the night before. He’s been biking for 11 weeks across the country and was on his way to San Francisco and maybe even to Los Angeles before flying back home to Korea.

Sang Hyun and I lingered behind in Fort Bragg to buy a blinky light and withdraw some spending cash at one of the first Bank of America ATMs we’ve seen for awhile. We continued on and stayed on highway 1 passing beautiful Mendocino. We got pass the town of Van Damme and then through Albion which has one of the coolest looking bridge before we caught up with the dynamic duo of Portlan and Roberto. They were huffing and puffing it up an incline when we all continued our ride down to the town of Elk. That’s were we saw Lee as we all bought snacks and took a 30 minute break to enjoy them.

Final Push to Camp

Scenic view before Elk, California

Scenic view before Elk, California

We were surprised by one of those horse shoe turn in Elk Creek where we faced our steepest ascent of the trip. It was short but very strenuous. Roberto and Lee somehow flipped the switch and took off down the road. I gave chase as tailwinds pushed us forward. Even exerting 90%, I could not catch up to Robert and Lee who finally revealed they were pushing 25 to 28 mph down highway 1 when they waited for us at the turn out into our camp in Manchester State Park.

We all waited for Sang Hyun and Portlan and said our good-bye to Lee as he rode another 40 miles south. We turned right into the state campsite. We dropped our stuff and survey our possible home for the night while Portlan and Roberto road a mile down to the local market. I decided that since the camp site did not have adequate shower facilities and may not have potable water so the decision was made to pay for the KOA hiker / biker site next door. This was better than the state park but not by much. Other KOAs offered free WiFi, but this one did not. They did have free shower. That was pretty much the only thing going for them.

Change of Plans


We were reunited with the 2 guys we saw at Burlington Campgrounds in the Avenue of the Giants, Chris and Kyle. Dave from the night before went to the state park and camped out there. By the time I got his text message, he was already settled in. With a 60 mile day tomorrow, we all decided to go to bed early and leave early the next morning as we make our way down to the Bodega Bay Dunes State Park.

About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.