Trip report and pictures from the bicycle trip from Sonoma to Monterey, June-July 2001. Click on any picture to see a full sized version.
Start: San Diego
End: Santa Rosa
Automobile, Airplane, Bus
A friendly passenger on the flight had a stack of free-drink coupons that were expiring the next day, and he was trying to get rid of them all. We did our best to help him out, and the flight went surprisingly quickly.
Once in Oakland, we muscled our bags and boxes to the pick up spot for the shuttle to Santa Rosa where we sould start our ride. Despite arriving with a Greyhound-sized bus, the driver seemed to think all our stuff wouldn't fit in the cargo hatches. "Not on *my* coach" he said, and then discovered a completely empty compartment that held all three bikes and bags with no fuss.
A two hour drive brought us to our hotel in Santa Rosa. We walked down the block for some dinner and then returned to sleep.
Start: Santa Rosa
Time: 9:40 a.m.
End: Duncans Mill
Time: 6:15 p.m.
Cycling Time: 3 hrs 59 min
Avg Speed Cycling: 12.3 mph
Avg Speed Incl Rests: 5.7 mph
|The travelers 1/4 mile into the trip|
The wineries we stopped at, and their notable wines (in my opinion) were: Foppiano (1998 Pinot Noir), Seghesio (1998 "Ommaggio"), Everett Ridge (1998 Zinfandel), Belvedere (1999 Russian River Valley Chardonay), Rochioli (none), Davis Bynum (1999 Bynum/Moshin Pinot Noir), and Korbel (Le Premier).
We rode past about as many wineries as we stopped at, but we *did* want to remember the events of the day -- and stay out of the hospital.
|Bill and LeAnne at the first winery|
Start: Duncans Mill
Time: 9:25 a.m.
End: Point Reyes
Time: 5:45 p.m.
Cycling Time: 4 hrs 37 min
Avg Speed Cycling: 11.9 mph
Avg Speed Incl Rests: 6.6 mph
|Our first view of the coast, north of Bodega Bay|
From there we rode inland for a while, stopping briefly in the town of Tomales. The sides of the road were thickly lined with wild blackberry bushes. They were filled with thorns, but sadly, no fruit yet. We were careful to keep our tires off the thorns. When we got back to the "coast", it was across Tomales Bay from Point Reyes. We rode along the perimeter of the bay for the afternoon, up and down some modest hills, keeping the nice view of the bay on our right.
In Point Reyes Station, we stopped at the Pine Cone Diner -- again the first place we saw. This time we were rewarded as the food was terrific. The potato sald that came with my sandwich tasted remarkably like my Aunt Gale's, and hers is the best.
Leaving the diner, I had a minor mishap as I tried to navigate around a stopped car. I couldn't get my foot out of my pedal in time to stop, so I had an extremely low speed crash into the ground. Nothing was damaged except my ego. In fact, I only mention it so I won't be accused of selective memory loss.
From there we climbed a long steep hill inland and descended the other side into Samuel P. Taylor State Park. The hill was slightly off our route, but saved us a few miles. A tree-lined bike path along a river took us the few miles further to the campground. We spent an hour doing our chores (pitch tent, unpack, shower, wash clothes in sink, hang clothes) and then ate a quick dinner/snack before turning in.
Start: Point Reyes
Time: 9:20 a.m.
End: Half Moon Bay
Time: 7:25 p.m.
Cycling Time: 5 hrs 54 min
Avg Speed Cycling: 10.5 mph
Avg Speed Incl Rests: 6.1 mph
By the time we hit Sausalito, it was hot enough that we agreed to stop for ice cream as soon as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. The Bubba's bicyclist gave us a tip on a better way to get into San Francisco than the route we were planning to follow. Another bicyclist we saw gave us a different tip. We ended up taking a different way from all of those, due to missing a turn, but the Golden Gate Bridge is hard to miss and we wound up in the right place anyway, without really going out of our way at all.
|Bill crossing the Golden Gate Bridge|
Unlike the morning, the afternoon was cold, and had we not been hungry, we probably would have forgotten all about ice cream. Also unlike the morning, we didn't miss any turns in the afternoon, even the one in Daly City that both Bill and I missed two years ago and Ricky and I missed a few years before that. I guess it was lucky that the easily missed turn and the ice cream store were at the same intersection.
We climbed a big hill out of Pacifica and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the coast below. Despite the ice cream, we needed refueling; it had been a long day. After passing through a few little towns with no good dinner prospects, we finally found El Gran Amigo, a cheap but really good burrito stand right on the coast highway. It really hit the spot, and was just a few miles short of our campground in Half Moon Bay.
We arrived just in time for hot showers, which had been installed for the first time at that campground only one week earlier. Bill and I stayed there two years too soon on our last trip. As we made camp, we were slightly humbled by a Dutch couple on their very last day of a nine-week bicycle trip from Virgina.
Start: Half Moon Bay
Time: 9:00 a.m.
End: Sunset Beach
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Cycling Time: 5 hrs 30 min
Avg Speed Cycling: 12.8 mph
Avg Speed Incl Rests: 7.2 mph
|Our camp at Sunset Beach was right next to a strawberry farm|
Start: Sunset Beach
Time: 9:05 a.m.
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Cycling Time: 2 hrs 55 min
Avg Speed Cycling: 11.7 mph
Avg Speed Incl Rests: 6.3 mph
|Bill and LeAnne riding through an artichoke field|
Thursday & Friday
End: San Diego
We spent the day in a rental car seeing the sights of Carmel and Big Sur and had a terrific dinner in San Luis Obispo, our final destination.
|View from a scenic overlook in Big Sur|
All things considered, it wasn't a bad vacation. The cycling, weather, scenery, food, wine, and company were all good, and it was a lot better than working. LeAnne might feel otherwise.