I’m not sure what my excuse was last year for not doing this ride, this year I was thinking it might be a bit much to ask the bod to do this the weekend before the Terrible Two, but then I had the brilliant idea to volunteer for the event and do the Workers’ Ride. (Yes, I have my moments.) As you may also have noticed, doing the ride again finally got me to do a write-up on the last go ’round. Oh hey let me refresh my memory as to what this is all about … oh I never actually wrote it up. Nothing like that external motivation.
Turned out to be just El Duque – Carlos, the creator of the ride – and myself. Besides knowing the route, he’s a very congenial riding companion – great attitude, strong, steady and even-keeled. There was some other sporting event going on which restricted access to Crissy Field, fortunately he’d scoped that out earlier in the week and saved me the frustration of finding it out the morning of the ride.
High overcast and just about perfect riding temperature as we rolled over the bridge and into the headlands. Soon on to dirt and bunnies everywhere! OK, not literally everywhere, but quite a few scampering around in the trailside vegetation.
First info control. Oh, we have different questions. I’ll have to pay attention.
Down the hill to the stables. whump whump whump why the expletive deleted did they redo the trail with all these peeler cores? I bet Carlos is enjoying this more on his mountain bike.
uuuuuuuuuuP Coastal. Oh no, this is not the corner with the trail down to Muir Beach. More climbing. OK, here’s the exit. whee!
Bit of pavement over to the next dirt climb. I don’t see the Patrick-eating pothole. Maybe they filled it in.
Up through the redwoods. They’ve collected enough moisture to make the trail damp, almost like it’s rained. There’s a runner ahead, I briefly pass him on a short downhill, but he gets past me again on the uphill. Carlos has the breath to chat with him a bit and finds out he’s doing a 30 mile loop.
Oh that must be the Dipsea trail. I might not have noticed it over on the hillside, but there’s a group of runners on it. I’ve never been on that trail, whenever I’m down this way I’m on my bike. I’ll have to come hike down here sometime. So many places to check out.
The sky is clearing now, stop at Pantoll to adjust layers and use the facilities. Someone notices and asks about my Viaje. Yep, it’s great!
Little more pavement, and over into the MMWD watershed. Oh yeah, this (couple of short steep dirt climbs). My brakes yowl a bit on the downhill to Lake Lagunitas. So much for a nice quiet ride in the woods.
Wend our way over to Bolinas-Fairfax Road and down to Alpine Dam. Wow, there are lots of cyclists out! Up to Bolinas Ridge.
It’s surprisingly swampy on the ridge. Puddles! So beautiful though.
Down off the ridge to Highway 1 and to Pt. Reyes Station. Traffic control, what’s going on? Oh, a parade! Apparently it’s Mariachi Day. One of the Latino fellows watching in front of the deli where we stop wants to be sure we see the horse dancing. Yes, I see it.
I’ve been thinking about ice cream, but then get a little distracted with oh maybe I should have something else but refocus when I see the freezer case. End up with a Ben and Jerry’s bar. (As we’re leaving I notice they have Double Rainbow, I coulda gotten a cone. doh!)
An older gentleman asks how far we’ve ridden. About 50 miles. He’s impressed. Then he wants to know how much further we have. About 75. His eyes get very wide. Good luck.
We finish up our food and get ready to head out. Carlos gets out his bag of white powder to refresh his mix. Appropriately he’s wearing his Columbia jersey today.
Speaking of white, we’re now into the filling part of the Oreo cookie of the ride. The long pavement section, that is. Good for making up some time. Oh hey, someone practicing the violin on the side of platform bridge road. Then the Cross Marin Trail, which is pleasantly quiet.
Past Woodacre on Sir Francis Drake we both start to lose interest in this whole pavement thing. Then going up the east side of White’s Hill all of a sudden – it seems like anyway, now that I think of it the combination of climbing, no shade and no breeze – dang it’s HOT!
Into the wiggle, I’m starting to think about cold drinks, and Carlos suggests we stop. Yes! Somewhat refreshed, and head off to Paradise. Which has a headwind. What kind of Paradise is that?!
Eventually we do make it to Cafe Acri. Carlos gets his ice cream here – two scoops, which, for some reason, they put in two separate cups. A croissant and cup of coffee really hit the spot for me.
This time get the right turns to get out of Tiburon. Gah! Giant chicken mailbox! Great view of Tam. Oh yeah, gotta go up that again.
Stop light in Mill Valley – we could just go back. Ugh, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. Back on to dirt and climbing climbing climbing.
Fern Canyon. Railroad Grade. There’s a Search and Rescue truck coming down. I ask if they’ve brought the beer, but they have the windows up and don’t hear me.
West Point Inn. Whew. We can see the fog rolling over the headlands. I know we have to get over to Miwok trail, but am having a hard time connecting the dots. We just go down Panoramic Highway. Oh, right. Yeah, I knew that.
Yay for some downhill. Serpentine! Where’s the quail singing Oh, California? Stop at the pavement to add a layer. There’s a woman hiker who holds up a little sign saying 9/11 was an inside job as she walks by. don’t make eye contact, don’t engage, I don’t have time for a debate right now.
Back into the headlands and it’s blowing fog. Headwinds to boot. Really? Info control. Oh yeah, these little steep sections. (I ride them this time! Woohoo! Different tires with some tread very helpful.) Carlos makes a rueful comment about the steepness. I resist making a snarky one about well who made this route???
Counting down the climbs now. At the top of Marincello another rider is coming down from the spur. He says oh it’s really pretty up there (we’re well into magic light, and I’m sure it’s a great view), it’s worth going up. Thanks, but not today, we’re on a mission to get back to San Francisco.
Drop down Bobcat, and finally, the last climb. And where did the time go?! go go go. No, this is not the top. Argh, neither is this. Channel Potis. It’s just a bike ride. There’s plenty of time.
YES! Downhill to the bridge. Get out of my way, tourii. Fog. Wind. Ugh, the deck is slick. don’tcrashdon’tcrashdon’tcrash crash is not fast. this is stupid I’m time trialing across the bridge after all day on the bike. why? where was this energy earlier, huh? this is ridiculous racing daylight and the clock. no it would be stupid to have ridden all day and NOT make the cutoff shut up and ride who the F made the bridge so long? there’s two towers, right? right? I’ve only gone by one, right? where is the second tower???? did I? no, I couldn’t have gone past it already. just f-ing ride. FINALLY, there’s the other g*d* tower. and off the bridge and thank goodness there’s hardly anyone out with the weather and it’s almost dark what kind of dumbasses are out in this anyway yeah right and it’s overall downhillish and I roll in with four minutes to spare.
OUT OF THIRTEEN AND A HALF HOURS. FOUR. MINUTES.
Whatever. I’m DONE. That was totally silly/stupid awesome. There should be a word for that – the mixture of relief that I did make the cutoff, the incredulity of wtf was I thinking cutting it that close?, and also the feeling of accomplishment of completing a challenging ride. Totally got my money’s worth on that one!