Saturday, July 9, 2011

day twenty nine

July 8th
1600 Larkin St, San Francisco to Half Moon Bay State Park
33 miles

Up at 6:30AM.  Looked up specific directions to get back on map route.  Also looked up good breakfast place, Red Door Cafe.  Packed up stuff and waited for Lisa to leave for work.  She walked me out and I walked with her on her way to work.  Cool to be able to walk to to work.

She pointed me in the right direction once we got the Bush St, said bye and headed to the Red Door Cafe.  Couldn't find it and got lost in the process.  Found a small breakfast place, Pita's, and had coffee, cookie, and croissant with bacon and egg.  Relaxed for a bit, not looking forward to a ride across the city.

Got lost again right away.  Feeling stupid.  Eventually found Geary, which I rode for what seemed like forever.  Busy street but drivers here seem to be used to bikes.

Eventually got back on route, onto Great Highway.  Fogged in again.  Very windy, coming out of the south.  Shouldn't be headwind here, telling myself it must just be the wind swirling around the bay.

Forced to ride on HWY 35, another major freeway.  Little bit of a climb to Daly City, but not too bad.  Still foggy, VERY windy.  Still headwind out of the south.  PISSED, prevailing wind is out of the north!  Hoping this doesn't bring rain.  Hard to make good progress.

Got off freeway at Skyline Rd, found a Shucks and got stove fuel.  Stopped at a Safeway and got restocked on groceries, supplies.  Walgreens for travel size soap.

Headed out again, back onto HWY 1.  Passed through Pacifica, started climbing.  Steep, winding, no shoulder, with tons of traffic.  Asshole in diesel Dodge Ram slowed down to "smoke" me.  Partly missed me because it was so windy.  One of the few times in my life where I actually wanted to physically hurt someone.  Shouldn't have gotten so pissed, because that's what he/she was trying to do.  Tried to forget about it, but kept bothering me.

Kept climbing to top, very sketchy.  Had to actually ride on the road because of no shoulder, lots of construction, road barriers, very narrow.  Passed "Devils Slide" -  remembered being warned about this stretch by red panniers guy.  He said its by far the worst part on the whole coast.

Made it to the top, wind HOWLING up hill.  Started down, taking breaks on the side of the road to let big trucks past.  Hard to keep bike going straight.  At one point gust of wind almost knocked me over, panniers literally acting like sails.  Hard to hold bike upright while stopped.  Thought about what I was going to do if I got stuck up here on this road.  Legitimately scared for the first time of this trip.  After a few seconds the big gust stopped.  Kept heading down, 100 feet or so at a time, watching traffic closely.  Wind would whip around guardrails, sending unexpected blasts at random moments.  Truly a white-knuckle ride.  Thankfully, cars where actually slowing down because of the wind, or maybe just because of me.

Made it to the bottom in one piece, shoulder back to normal now.  It looks like they are building a tunnel to bypass that area of Devil's Slide - which is definitely a fitting name.

Stopped in Montara for a break.  With this headwind and my late start, I may not make it the 60 or so more miles to Santa Cruz.  Decided to ride to Half Moon Bay, then weigh my options.  Approached by a guy in a parking lot and asked where I started and where I was headed.  I told him and he said, "wait here".  He ran to his car and brought back a big thing of juice and a full packet of string cheese, both cold.  Sweet!  He tells me he has done the Pacific Coast twice in the past.  Immediately pounded the juice, really good - some organic brand I've never heard of.  (Yes, it was sealed)

Ate some string cheese and headed out.  Fought the stiff headwind the whole way to Half Moon Bay.  Around 2PM now, 40+ more miles to Santa Cruz.  Averaging about 8 mph w/ wind and hills, which would put me in Santa Cruz around 8PM, at best.  No campground between here and SC.  PISSED!  Decided to play it safe and stay here at the state park.  Very frustrated, really wanted to go further.  End is in sight.

Rode to the state park, checked in.  Crappy campground.  Not happy, one of the worst campgrounds I've been too.  Windy, foggy, cold.  Bad mood.  Set up camp, showered - forgot soap so 'rinsed' instead.

Another couple in camp, new faces.  From Chicago.  Miss seeing familiar faces.  Rode into town to get some dinner, forgot to get it at Safeway - still used to riding with Mark and Chip, Mark usually picks out dinner.  Found Subway and had $5 footlong.  Better mood now.  Bookshop next door, looked around for a while.  Rode back to camp, another biker in - on a recumbent.  Didn't say hi. 

Skittles and banana for dessert.  In bed early.  Still incredibly angry at the guy in the truck.  Decided to let it go and let karma sort things out.  Caught up on postcards, maps, etc.  Planning on New Brighton State Park tomorrow, south of Santa Cruz - around 55 miles.  Hoping the wind switches back to normal tomorrow - out of the north.  Tired and wanting to get out of this place, and California in general.  Really itchy to get 60+ miles in again, but probably can't do that until after Big Sur.  Parks are spaced weird on this section of the coast.

after breakfast downtown

unfamiliar sight

endless traffic lights, heading west on Geary

starting to cloud over, getting cold.

from Great Highway

Windy, cold, clouds rolling in

headed towards Daly City

view from Daly City

more suburbs, windy

headed towards Pacifica

looking back towards Devils Slide

trying to capture south wind on camera, facing south

Half Moon Bay

bike trail in Half Moon Bay


  1. Your photos are SO beautiful. Everything you're doing sounds so unbelievable and amazing!

  2. Keep on Truckin' Pat. I love reading your journey and the awesome pics. You're heading into territory I know and love well but yeah when it's cold and foggy and windy it's pretty brutal.

    And I want to pop that guy in the truck too, but karma will get him as you say.