Day 3 miles 108-156
Experimenting with the 101. Joey courageously led me and ru through. The morning section of the 101 was alright, a couple of places with disappearing shoulders that made my heart rate spike a little. Then we meandered through some towns, sketched around a Safeway in Ukiah and bought some chamois cream down the street. Thank god for that, my thighs clearly read “baby’s first bike tour.”
The afternoon tested me in a big way. We did another 15 miles on the 101 and climbed to 1900 feet. We camped at 200 ft in Cloverdale last night. We climbed casually all day but the last 8 miles were some of the most torturous climbing I have been put to in my life and now I am thankful there are a lot of miles between me and the Klamath mountains. By the time we reach them, the first of our mountain crossings we will have had much more practice. I had some cathartic screaming to get through the rough patches. I highly recommend it. Now we are making dinner (Annie’s and veggies, feels like freshman trips but with wine) and waiting to fall asleep. Our efforts have brought us a mere 30 miles from Laytonville so we’ll do a half day tomorrow.
Day 4 miles 156-189
Those mere 30 miles were not so easy as I thought. We descended rapidly at first from our campsite just past the ridge summit we crested last night. I set a new top speed and tested my nerves bombing down the hills crossing rumbles strips as the shoulder wove in and out of existence beneath my wheels. The rig gets easier to handle every day and I can feel myself getting stronger. The strength is building underneath the soreness though so I dreamt of the upcoming rest days with gusto while climbing in the afternoon.
After the descent we entered the town of Willets. We stopped at a Shell station and I bought some kind of gas station pastries for us for breakfast. The woman behind the counter had dyed fire engine red hair and a drawn look about her face. But she endearingly complained to her coworker that “corporate needs us to photo copy the coupons, but why???” And called me sweetheart as she rang me up. From there we climbed up another couple hundred feet. I knew we were starting and ending at roughly the same elevation so all that we lost must be regained.
Joey is definitely proficient at reading topo maps but his optimism was showing in the assessment of some of the climbs. We rolled into Laytonville around noon and bee lined for “Sho nuff dem biscuits” to see ru and our mutual acquaintance. The owners of this fine biscuit based establishment have one of Ru’s litter mates, an all white male, comparable in size and aptly named biscuit. We ate some biscuits, chatted with our dog-parents-in-laws and let the boys play for a good half hour. Then we made the last climb, the final six miles to the farm. Our friends who live here are out of town running errands for the farm (returning tonight) so we said hi to their boss Ivan and I retired to the best nap of my life. Joey finally told me I needed to get up after about 4 hours and so here I sit, recording our day and willing myself into consciousness. I deserved that nap.
Day 5 REST DAY
hell yeah. Resting commenced. Updates to come 😁