posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stinson Beach

A day full of adventure today! I knew it would be a long ride so I left Cloverdale early and headed straight on highway 101. With wind pushing me and all the traffic speeding I cruised really fast on the emergency lane! The morning was fresh and sunny with just a few spots of fog around that made it possible to take some interesting pictures! Huge extensions of vineyards and neat wineries were scattered all around. At a certain point I saw the name Coppola, by the entrance gate of one of them and looking closer it was really Francis Ford Coppola; I remembered reading an article about his passion for wine and how he got into producing his own. Soon after, I had my first puncture on the rough and dusty lane I was riding on so had to pull off and fix that wondering if I would ever get a bike tyre flat on a motorway again! The excitement was not meant to stop there...I got back to speed for a few miles when a police car slowed down traffic and eventually pulled right in front of me. The officer got out of the car asking how long I had been on it, to which I said naively that I came all the way from Portland! He said it was illegal and dangerous and that he would have to escort me off to Old Redwood Highway, still heading the right way but in a much more biker friendly sort of way. So there I was, being paraded by a patrol car, around traffic junctions until the policeman was happy I was heading the right direction and not try to get on the highway again! Despite this breaks in less than three hours I had covered at least sixty km and would soon reach Santa Rosa and one hour later Petaluma. These, like Cloverdale before, seemed really nice towns to be living in, lots of neat green spaces, great weather, wine, everything clean and tidy and probably awfully expensive too! In Penngrove, right outside Petaluma, I got the best heart attack inducing burger I could ever wish for at Super Burger. In Petaluma I confirmed about D street, the road I wanted to take to get to Point Reyes. The two women in the tourist office, on a low season, boring office day, seemed very excited to get someone to chat with and I ended up being their information office regarding places in Italy. One of them, after telling her I had come down the Pacific Coast, even came off the desk eager as she said to check out my legs! D Street turned out to be a surprisingly quiet and stunning road to cycle, I passed prairies, some reservoirs and stopped at the Cheese Factory whom had been recommended to me for a cheese sandwich. I then eventually reached Point Reyes, was told there was a campsite soon after but couldn't find any hiker biker site and as they were charging hotel rates for a tent I decided to continue until, near Stinson Beach, it got a bit  too dark and I pitched my tent by the ocean in a grass patch where at night I was able to see some curious deer checking who was this guest for the night.