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Published: June 16th 2009
Big rocks and rock-yer-socks curves.
Shaking body, rattled nerves but, rolling wheels. Oh, and a bit of exhaustion and near hypothermia. All in a day's work for a maniac.
Given that I was camped on the sly (aka illegally) in Cape Blanca, I was up and on the road by 6 am. I also wanted an early start to make up for the fact that I was not yet half way to San Francisco after a full day´s riding. Still, as the previous day, I dottled, bought a coffee, took some pictures. I couldn´t help it. The southern Oregon coast was just too spectacular. By the time I reached California and Flint Rock, where I was planning on camping, I had gone about 140 miles in about three and a half hours. I stopped at a rest stop because it had begun to drizzle and I checked the weather. Rain from there to SF, no sign of it stopping. So my options were to either camp in the rain - which, if you´ve never experienced it, sucks - or stick it out and ride the remaining 380 miles to SF. I didn´t like either but I had another consideration. that was friday. I could have
California at last!
This was taken in the stretch of redwood between the Oregon border and Eureka Ca.
the weekend to chill with my childhood buddy Miki, not to mention a roof over my head.
I hit the road again and was really pushing speed, figuring to get in around 7-8. I neglected to don my rain gear because it was only a light sprinkle at that point. Turn after turn I was keeping my speed up, really like i´d never done before. Thinking back on it now, I only became a rider that day. Somewhere in the redwoods something just clicked and I really learned to love it, despite the hardships. I remember the wind gusting and the cold rain finding it´s way to my neck.
Eurika was a milestone I´d been looking forward to but only really passed through. I knew from driving long distances, you just need to keep in the alpha state as long as you can stand. Shortly afterward the rain got harder, but I kept on, stupidly, not wanting to stop until I needed gas. The miles were flying by but by the time I pulled off at Redway, Ca. I was freezing. maybe that´s why I hated it so much. But also because to get to the overpriced gas
There was something in the Water...
Something big. It might be hard to see, but it's that little splotch toward the middle of the frame. At first I was sure it was a whale but it might have just been a sea lion or something of the sort. Or maybe it was a giant rock lobster...
station you have to go like 8 miles up the mountain, away from the highway and when you get there there´s nothing open. I could still get gas but I fucking hate Redway.
The next leg of the trip shit got serious. The wind and the rain kicked up, worse than I´d delt with before that, but I was still trying to make time (partly because I didn´t resis the urge to take a picture of baby under a redwood). Then the 101 started passing through small towns, some of which school was being let out so I got stuck in traffic. If theres one thign worse than riding in the rain it´s being in the rain, on a bike and not riding.
Longvale, Arnold, Willits, Ca. I also dislike those towns, but not so much as god damn Redway. After Willits, I began to think of the whole thing as a video game. Every level I passed, the Programmer finds something else to throw at you. Now the wind was gusting across the road unexpectedly, puddles forming on the pavement and the traffic picked up. When I started seeing signs for Ukiah I realized that I haden´t
IN the redwoods.
Gimmicky, I know but this was taken around the time I began to be totally soaked with rain - this was the only shelter I could find!
eaten in 300 miles, my waterproof boots were full to the ankles with water and I was probably close to hypothermia. I pulled into Norma´s Burritos, peeled myself off of the bike and slopped in - not before dumping the water out of my boots. I stripped down what I could to let it drip off while I ate the most delcious plain bean and rice burrito I´ve ever had. four cups of coffee and one full episode of some telenovela later and I was still shivering. I talked to Miki and as it turned out we had a birthday party at some bar to go to so I had to hurry if i wanted to have time to shower. Back on the road, traffic worse than ever I just headed to Santa Rosa, gassed up and chugged another coffee. I put on Bloc Party and raged on. That last leg was where it got rediculous, wind blowing me across lanes, hydroplaneing and traffic blasting past. I could barely see through the rain but with every passing minute I was sure that the Golden Gate was just around the next bend, over the next hill. That was one of the longest hours of my life. I´d never been in such an emotional flux for so long. One second I´d resolve to take the next exit, take a brake or try to wait it out. the next i´d be tuckign in and speeding up, sure that I was almost there. I began to fear the worst though. That wind just kept slapping me across the helmet, shocking my nerves. When I first spotted the fog-dimmed lights of that beautiful bridge, a warm feeling washed over, despite the fact that I was shivering uncontrollably. As I coasted down the last hill and onto the bridge I heard ¨just give me moments, not hours or days¨ coming in through the motor and the wind. It really was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Then I got to the toll booth and didn´t have money to pay the dude. I tried getting him to let me by for free but he obviously didn´t appreciate that he was totally killing my buzz. Finally I pulled out my credit card and gave it to the son of a bitch.
A couple hours later I was at a swanky bar in SF surrounded by beautiful girls and people that have probably never been that cold before in thier lives.
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