Our only hot day of the trip as we leave the coastal route and head into the town of Petaluma and eventually into San Rafael for a warm showers host who happened to be a friend I met through Adventure Cycling Association’s LTC training. It was a long day of grinding through hills, enjoying tailwinds, grimacing against headwinds, and cooling off on the front porch while enjoying our huge steak dinner.
Leaving Camp At Last
We woke up later than usual and took our time to break-down camp today. We didn’t leave camp until 10 AM by the time we were ready to face our last full day of riding to San Rafael. The destination was to my friend’s place in San Rafael who is on the Pacific Coast path according to the ACA maps. She is also a warm shower host which we later found out but I digress.
We did not realize that Darcy’s house was on the way as she had not mentioned to us so we decided to use the Garmin GPS and our iPhones. That was a bad idea. The first turn out of camp, we had to make another immediate turn up a very steep climb over the Bodega Bay area. This detour had about 2 miles of steep climbing but the saving grace was it took us out of the traffic which helped tremendously in providing some calm nerves.
Once we got back on highway 1, we continued riding through the Valley Ford area where markets and restaurants was grabbing our attention as we rolled past town. We eventually made it to the intersection where if we turned right, we would continue on highway 1 or just go straight and continue into Petaluma. Our Google Maps directed us to continue straight to find a Smith Road. We didn’t find Smith Road. Instead we rode right into the heart of Petaluma where we sat down at a restaurant and enjoyed lunch in the shade with plenty of ice water. The temperature was about 91 degrees at this time.
After lunch, I wanted to visit a place that has been on my mind since I saw the city of Petaluma on the map a few days ago. I wanted to visit Leo Laporte’s TWiT brick house which is the location where the podcast This Week in Tech and other shows are recorded on a weekly basis. We got to the front of the building with tinted out windows so instead of barging into the office, I decided to just get my selfie with the sign!
Hot and Long Afternoon
We pointed our wheels south as we navigated through town and onto D Street. D Street had a nice bike lane as the buildings started to fade passed us and we entered into golden hills of dried grass / weed. The multi-lane roads disappeared into 2 lane roads and the bike lane became a narrow inch of buffer between traffic and the gravel on the road. We cautiously tight-roped our way as head winds blasted us from the West as the road swung South and West as we made our way into Fairfax. We had a couple of very steep and tough climbs especially with the hot weather and was past by roadies who kept on asking if we were okay. Probably was shocked to see us riding this road loaded up the way we were.
By the time we got out onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd., we were thoroughly exhausted and running on fumes so right before the longest hill into Fairfax, we took a break to snack. Guess who we see riding right behind us? None other than Portlan who reported that his chain bent again but he was able to remedy the situation in 45 minutes which was why he was behind us. We all left together but when we got into town after a screaming descent, our path diverged as we traced the bike blvds of Fairfax and San Anselmo while Portlan took him past our destination.
Roof Above Our Heads
We were mesmerized by the amount of bicycles on the road and the friendly infrastructure both Fairfax and San Anselmo had. Our pace slowed as we just took it all in while we locate Darcy’s place. We found her house and unloaded our stuff while rolling both our bikes in the back of the house. We took a much-needed shower before walking to the nearest supermarket to buy a meal to cook. This was a case of our eyes were bigger than our stomachs as each of us purchased 2 slabs of steaks which were almost 2 lbs each… What were we thinking? Darcy and her boyfriend Matt made salads and grilled some corn while we slowly consumed our meat. We were left with about three-quarters pound left before we threw in the towel. We stayed up until close to midnight before we all called it a night as Sang Hyun slept on the couch outside on their porch and I took residence on the living room floor. It is sure nice not to set up and break down tents again.