I rode around Marin to blow off some major steam from a crazy couple of weeks of work. I rode 105 miles, climbed 7,588', had two flats, went through 4 bottles of water, a bag of GU Chomps, 4 granola bars, some energy gels. It wasn't as much of a suffer fest considering that the weather was amazing, and that I was going at my own pace.
I was expecting a crazy amount of people on the bridge and roads, all scoping for a perfect spot for one of the many events happening in the city over the weekend. The morning fog burned off by late afternoon, but I couldn't really tell because I was heading north. Way north, up into Lucas Valley and Nicasio.
Not halfway into Mill Valley I get challenged by a crew of roadies and cross riders, showing off how strong they were. Not cool, especially if you jump in front of me and immediately slow me down for a runner you nearly plowed over. It was rude. I passed him, and he continued to sprint alongside me, but eventually gave up. Jerks.
I made up to San Rafael and rode around China Camp. I did this ride with my wife a couple of weekends ago, and really enjoyed it. It overlooks the bay. I saw this lone dingy and thought how nice it must be to be isolated and surrounded by beautiful water. I have yet to go mountain biking in China Camp. Looks like fun terrain.
From there I made my through Lucas Valley and up into Nicasio, cutting through Redwoods, farmland, and your typical NorCal terrain. I ran into a gaggle of groups in both directions. I guess it's a really popular route amongst the locals. I can see why. It's gorgeous and open up here.
I turn south and head towards Point Reyes. A few miles in a white redneck truck flies by me, nearly running me down. I give them the finger, and it's funny how Karma works. A half mile down the road I hear a pop, and my rear tire goes flat. I'm halfway through fixing my puncture and realize my patch glue has gone dry. Shit. I didn't bring an extra tube or glue-less patches. A few minutes roll by and one of the groups rolls by. I immediately flag them down and they hook me up with some glue. Thank you guys from the Velo Paradiso Meetup group.
I'm on my way once again, rolling through the quaint Point Reyes, where I pass the Meetup group once again, having a quick bit to eat as I continue to spin down the road. At this point my legs are beginning to feel it. I brought just enough food with me, but I'm worried about getting stranded, knowing I don't have a way of fixing another flat.
I near the coastline, cutting through Stinson Beach before turning upwards into Mt. Tam. The long series of switchbacks and seemingly never-ending climb finally ends where I stop to refill my bottles. However, I'm not finished. I turn up the road and continue to the top of Mt. Tam.
This is one of my favorite photo spots. It overlooks the ocean to the left while the road cuts into the hills. It's only 3 more miles to the top, but it's all uphill. I'm at mile 75 at this point and feel like my legs have a bit more gas. I roll to the top rather slowly, but enjoy the amazingly clear view of the bay area below. I can see my neighborhood clearly, some 25 miles away.
I turn around and begin my flying descent into Mill Valley. Towards the bottom, after getting stuck behind a lot of traffic I hear the all-to-familiar pop sound. My rear tire goes flat again! This time I have no choice but to walk. I know there's a bike shop just around the corner. I get a tube, some glue-less patches and I'm off once again.
I ride through Sausilito and notice the crazy amount of cars and people all getting excited over something way out in the distance. It's the Blue Angels for Fleet Week and they're up in the air doing their thing. I get to the Golden Gate bridge and at this point the jets of banking corners in unison just over my head! It's so loud and the bridge is super crowded. No worries, I'm going as slow as a Blazing Saddles tourist at this point. I just want to get home and take a shower.
What a ride. The last time I logged in over a hundred miles was Leadville. It felt really good to know I still have the legs for it. I ran out of gas with about seven miles to go. I feel satiated, but will probably do an easy recovery spin tomorrow, but if the weather is fantastic I may hop on my mountain bike for a little Marin Headlands action. There's nothing like riding a bike to help clear my mind and feed my soul. Ride on.