2016 SFR Freestone Bread Run 200k

The start of this year’s Bread Run had to contend with the San Francisco Marathon and Off the Grid, so we didn’t get to assemble at the Toll Plaza, but we did get to negotiate across a stream of runners and take a slightly different approach to the bridge. I chatted a bit with Tom – seems like I haven’t seen him on a ride in a while, but he has been on the bike, in fact he was one of the large SFR contingent that recently completed the Seattle Randonneurs Cascades 1200k!

Patrick had sped off on his shiny new Ellis, but somehow took the roundabout way to the Bridge and popped up from the east. We rode over the Bridge together – this would be the Ellis’ longest outing to date, by quite a bit, which Patrick was pretty excited about. The deck was slick from the fog, which got us on a discussion of tires, he was just running what had come on the bike. EricW had gone ahead, but joined us after taking some pictures, the two of them started discussing tire pressure. Somewhere on the descent to Sausalito Eric developed a flat, which I blamed on Patrick asking what pressure he runs.

The spot Eric stopped to fix the flat was right next to the Sausalito Sea Lion sculpture, which, in all the bajillion times I’ve been along that road, I’ve never seen. Actually, now that I’m writing this I’m realizing it is down by the water, so not so visible from the street. And, when we’re on that side we’re usually going pretty good from the downhill. Anyway, it’s pretty cool. As I was waiting I saw a DOLPHIN! OOOO! then a second(!) surface several times, and then a seal swam by. Wow!

The group had gotten spread out from the crossing the marathon route – we were to only go across when there was a break, and there weren’t many, and they weren’t very big. Any riders that weren’t already ahead went past during the repair and sea life watching, leaving the two of us well positioned for lanterne rouge. Well, we won’t have to worry about keeping up with anyone!

Bike path, Tam Valley, Highway One. Still foggy. Well at least it’s not dark. Muir Beach info control and another climb. Still foggy. Moist. Someone is gonna have to talk to Max about that. A few cars went by, and there was actually a short line at the one-lane stoplight controlled section, but it was generally nice and quiet on the road.

Rollered along and then plunged down to Stinson Beach. It was still overcast, but the pavement was dry, making for a much funner descent. Eric pulled us along Bolinas Lagoon and up the Coast. We passed one rider who looked to be headed to Freestone. What about lanterne rouge? Eric waved to Randall Trail as we went by. Not today. The sun started to break through as we got toward Olema.

I was already thinking ahead to the turn around at Wild Flour, and was figuring on just a fluids rearrangement break in Pt. Reyes Station, but Eric said he was going to the coffee barn and asked if I wanted anything. Well… hmn. I wasn’t sure what they had so decided to just go along to see for myself. They didn’t have the savory thing he’d had on other occasions, but we found several lovely sweet things, and coffee, and took them up to the table in the playground at the park. We did see a few other riders come by for the facilities, but they all continued on in short order.

The overcast broke up as we headed north and then inland at Tomales. The fuzzy cows were out before town, and later the sheeps. Eric wondered about sheep’s milk. I’ve heard of sheep’s milk cheeses, but never seen just the milk. Despite the climbing, the diversion from Highway 1 to Middle Road is starting to grow on me. It probably helped that we stopped along the way to eat blackberries.

We stopped at the store in Valley Ford for accompaniments for the forthcoming bread, WOW they have quite the assortment of tastiness going on, and WHOA!!! plate o’ shrimp… sheep milk ice cream. Another day. Stuck with the bare essentials of cheese and champagne, with the impulse buy of some of the house made spendy but ohsoworthit beef jerky.

Then, why have bread and cheese when you can have bread and cheese and veggies of awesome?! Worker Bee Farm is one of Those Places that I’ve been by a bazillion times but always on my way somewhere else notimetostop. Today was the day to change that! They had all sorts of amazing looking produce – we managed to limit our haul to basil, tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, carrots and plums. Add “giant bunch of basil” to list of things that will fit in a Revelate bag. We had a nice chat about our ride with the farmer, and there was a woman picking onions – they looked big, but I was surprised when they put one on the scale and it was a POUND!

Next stop, WILD FLOUR! surprisingly there were a few randos about, including the tandem – spacing on their names – but I’d worked the Cloverdale finish last year, or maybe two years ago now, on the double brevet weekend with the woman, and they had been just starting with it. The tandeming thing, that is. Great to see that they are still together and still at it.

The line was kinda crazy, but I waited patiently and secured a loaf for now and a scone for later. Eric filled bottles while I was in line, and then we went back into the garden – that I now know about from last year’s Unbirthday Ride – to have our picnic. It seemed a little different. More sun. Did there used to be a tree? Ah yes. After we sat down we noticed a stump and stack of rounds.

Everything was SO YUMMY! I don’t like to eat too much all at once on a ride since then all my blood goes to digesting and not so much my legs, but it was all so good I couldn’t help myself. And, it didn’t seem like a day where we were worried about pace.

By the time we got back to our bikes all the other randos were gone. The climbing started off pretty much straight away – ooof what did I say about eating so much?! – up the Bs – Bodega Highway, Barnett Valley and DON’TMISSTHETURN onto Burnside. Ah, the Burnside Burn. Sweet views at the top though, and the possible to overthink and make ambiguous (whome?) info question.

Swooped down to Bloomfield and again with the plate o’ shrimp – pretty sure we passed the place where the sheep’s milk ice cream was from. Hmn. Brevet idea? Over and up Carmody where at least there’s a headwind! Sure… bonus for the uphill. Past the shooting range, and over to Chileno Valley and Wilson Hill. Yaymoreclimbing.

Stopped at the Cheese Factory for fluid redistribution. Ohhey! Another rando! He left before we did, preserving our lanterne rouge, but then we caught up to and passed him after Nicasio. Oh well. After the turn onto Sir Francis Drake I noticed an apple tree loaded with fruit. It was right on the side of the road but somehow I’d never seen it before. Of course we stopped and picked a few. Tasty!

Over White’s Hill and in to Fairfax – at this point the ride always starts to feel done, except that it isn’t. There’s still the Wiggle, and Camino Alto and the bike path – at least on this particular route the outbound is different, so there’s that. The Sausalito, the last climb up to the bridge and jousting the Blazing Saddlers with their selfie sticks on The Bridge. Well, bonus from all the lollygagging, we were into turon feeding time, so they were mercifully less numerous.

I was suprised to see Brad and a couple other fellows on the Bridge – I figured everyone but the rider we’d seen by Nicasio was in. It turned out that the other two – the not-Brads – were on their first 200K, and for both quite an increase for longest distance in a day. They had enjoyed it though, at least they were still talking to Brad (it had been his idea), and were stoked about the snacks at the finish.

Which, yes! As usual, there were tasty snacks and nice people waiting to sign our cards. Another great SFR brevet!

Ride date: July 31, 2016

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