Sunday, June 30, 2019

Day 29 - Lagunitas to San Francisco

Distance - 1250 miles! WE DID IT!!!
(Today was 29 miles to SF, then another 10 touring around)

This morning we woke up and packed our tent just like we've done each day this month. We loaded our bikes, and snuck in a few more laughs with our friends before departing.
As we climb on to our bikes for the start of the final day we have mixed feelings.  We want to stay in the forest forever, but we are so close to our final destination!
As we exit the campground we are treated yet again to a winding road through a redwood forest with a river running through it. Then we head up the first of several climbs today. California isn't finished with us yet!

As we get closer to the city, we see more and more cyclists. Dropping down into Fairfax, the cyclists come in droves. Most of the towns we've been through this month have had a population of 100-400 people - Fairfax has 8000!

We find a cafe along the bike route in San Anselmo and are assured by the many cyclists out front that it's the place to be! We are slightly overwhelmed by the number of people around, though we are only 20 miles away from the city! We go to grab a table, and a man butts in with his order number in hand,  puts it down on the table, says 'have you ordered yet?' and proceeds to sit down. How rude! Thankfully, we then meet a handful of other cyclists and locals who are very kind, and we share a table and some stories with them.
It's nice and sunny outside, and the cyclists who started in the city say the fog hasn't cleared yet and to stay in the sunshine a little more. We take their advice and go for a tour of the nearby Donut Alley in Larkspur! The smell of the donut shop is amazing, and the donuts are pretty good too.

We head out of Larkspur along Cape Madiera. We should know by now that cape is a four letter word for hill! These towns lulled us into thinking we would have a nice flat ride to the city! We happily enjoy a little more wilderness and the break from all the people. Best to be eased back into reality.

From there we take an awesome shared path  along the water into Sausalito, where we get our first view of the Bay Bridge! We are almost there! Of course we are riding right on the water.. so we aren't about to get to the Golden Gate without at least one more hill.

We reach the Golden Gate bridge and join the throngs of tourists taking photos. It is unreal. For the last month we have been telling people we are going to San Fransisco, but it doesn't really mean anything up until this point. We just biked 1200 miles to get here, and it's the coolest thing I have ever done. Get out of your car and on your bike! Now!

After a few touristy mistakes we find our way to the staircase we didn't know we were looking for. We have to carry our fully loaded bikes down a staircase, under the bridge, and up another one to get to the proper side of the bridge for riding!

Once we are on the proper side, we roll onto the bridge. There is a hilarious mix of road cyclists, tourists on rented bikes, touring cyclists and construction as we go. We are very used to the crosswinds on bridges now, but the tourists are not! At least there aren't pedestrians in the mix too!

Once across the bridge we escape the tourist insanity as fast as possible - there are WAYY too many people around for our liking. San Francisco has a population of over 800,000, and it feels like they all at this end of the bridge!

We head out along the coast and ride out to Land's End, Seal Rock, and past the Cliff House. We tour down the beach and through Golden Gate Park. The park is wonderful, there are loads of people out enjoying their Saturday having a picnic, playing games, and sailing toy boats across the ponds!

We exit the park and take the wiggle, a bike route that wiggles through several blocks of the city. We're never without other cyclists here and it's a really fun ride! We stop for a quick bite along the wiggle, and then head straight down Market Street through downtown to meet our friends and take the ferry over to Oakland. Riding Market Street through downtown is awesome. It's pride weekend and the street is alive with people! There's music playing everywhere, trolleys that run through the middle of the road, and a full lane for bikes where we happily cruise with many other cyclists. We arrive at the ferry terminal and meet up with our friends David and Tyler.
We made it!!!

We head for dinner at the brewery that's dangerously close to their place. The pizza is delicious, even the one with alligator tail (it tastes kind of like chicken?)!
We proceed to cover their apartment in our laundry (don't worry, it's clean now), and tell them we may never leave. Friends are amazing, thanks guys!!

Tomorrow we will take in the city and the pride parade, and Monday we will reluctantly get on a plane as our adventure comes to an end.

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