Friday, September 14, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

Friday Sept 15, 2012  Petaluma to San Francisco California

I'm happy to report that I was back on the bike today (with 2 pairs of shorts) and had a fantastic day.  We started off in Petaluma and a mere 50 miles later, we arrived in the beautiful city of San Francisco.  I was able to ride the whole way in relative comfort.  You know you have bonded with your fellow riders when they all ride past you and ask how your bum feels...true war buddies!!!

What a day we had.  We rode through about 20 miles of farm country until we reached Marin County.  We travelled through several quaint and rather affluent towns until we reached Sausalito.  We were riding in a pretty big group (about 10 of us) for most of the route after the first SAG.  We caught our first glimpse of San Francisco Bay as the fog dissipated and the sun came out.  There were many twists and turns and we took a few wrong ones, but managed to make our way to Sausalito in time for lunch.  After lunch it was time to get to the Golden Gate Bridge.  We approached the bridge from underneath, rode a steep climb up to the bridge entrance and then crossed the bridge.

It's hard to describe the feeling of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on your own bike...there are lots of people riding comfort rental bikes, but that wasn't us.  We had pedalled for 12 days (in my case 10) to get here and we were all doing this on our own set of wheels and proudly wearing our America by Bicycle jerseys. I stood on that bridge for a while today and I watched hundreds of commuters in their cars zooming over that bridge, as they probably do every weekday of the year. I am sure they didn't notice how drop-dead gorgeous the view of their spectacular city is. It was downright breathtaking (sorry, I have to use that word again). The emotions you can experience on a trip like this are unlike anything else I have felt before in my life. The only thing I am certain of is that I wouldn't have felt this way (at various points in this trip) if we had driven a car everywhere. As for the rest of it, I guess that's the way things are. You take things for granted when you are exposed to them every day. I wonder if there is a lesson for us all in that thought...hmmmmmm...

After crossing the bridge we made our way to the hotel.  Tonight we met up with Mark's former Media Director, Ira and her husband Jagdish and had a delicious meal at a restaurant in our area.  It was great to see Ira and to get to know Jagdish.  Ira has been living in the Bay area for about 2 1/2 years now and she looks great and seems very happy in her new life.  It took them over 90 minutes to drive in to meet us and Mark and I really appreciated the effort.

Now, we are doing laundry. Oh the glamour of a cross-country cycling trip. We're looking forward to a great day off (our saddles) tomorrow. Check in to see where we are going next.

Here are the Garmin stats for today (only 50 miles and 3300 feet of climbing).

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