got worse and ended fantastically and with probably my best ride of the
We left the base camp before breakfast, since it was a formal campsite I
grabbed a pastry and coffee at 6.00am from the shop on the site.
We headed out to the sea(see picture-1) and off route. Before long Jim, Ray
and I made a left onto Coleman Valley RD, while most of the group headed to
the restrooms and then back to Coleman Valley RD. It was a very hard climb,
yet another and possibly the 2nd hardest of the tour.
Given I was in a small group of 3, but even so, surprised that I was 2nd up
and close to Jim. Interestingly, by the time we got to the top from the
west, some of the early riders on the tour were on their way down coming
from the east and after breakfast. The climb from the east was just as
high, but the easier one. The views of the coastline from the top were
Shortly afterwards Peggy, Donny, Phil, Michael and Guy came up, we
regrouped and headed to Occidental for breakfast Howards. Although most of
the tour had left by the time we got their the service was slowwww. Worth
the wait though I had French toast and veggie scramble.
We headed off generally downhill for about 22-miles into Valley Ford and a
rest stop. I'd barely got warmed up today, first no breakfast, not dressed
in warm clothing, then a stop for breakfast, mostly down hill and then what
seemed like an eternity at Rest stop 2 that Jim and I sat and moaned about.
When we eventually restarted it was more downhills and little chance to
warm-up, when I got to the front and decided to push-on, I only just
avoided causing a collision with Michael on a right turn into a fierce
wind, I was caught by Roc-n-Ray who said the group were going to start a
pace line. I slowed up to let them catch-up and then a disorganised group
came by and in the wind didn't have a hope in hell of forming an effective
I was still cold from the wind and my own tiredness when we turned right
onto US1 and stopped(AGAIN!) at the deli in Tomales. Cold and tired I was
getting more fed-up, I pulled up next to Phil, checked for directions and
distances and said I was going on my own. Both Phil and Ray said they'd
come along but when I pulled out neither did.
After every corner I'd look back and see if they were there and they
weren't. This became motivation, to push on and stay out in front, for the
first time this week I was on a great road surface with the wind to my
back, and I started to feel stronger and stronger. I gulped down a PowerBar
gel and saw a couple of riders about half the distance between me and the
next corner/uphill, down on the tri bars I was doing 25MPH+ consistently
and sometimes as much as 30MPH with the wind. I flew past them just before
the short gradient, over the top and on.
Freed from the discipline of the group ride this was fanatstic. I blew
along US1 beside the 12-miles of Tomales Bay and at least 8-10 other tour
riders. Before I knew it I was slowing down coming into Point Reyes
Station. Just as I got into the traffic in the town center I pulled
alongside George in the Peggggy mobile, a quick question through the window
on how far it was to the base camp and I decided to blow through town and
straight to camp, grab my running shoes and run back for lunch.
Before I knew it I was on the 2.5 mile jog back into town. My legs felt
good, I was warm and surprisingly I felt good about the ride. I arrived in
town passing a few of the tour riders I'd previously passed on the bike,
checked out the stores and decided on a smoothy from the ice cream store
right on the right turn out of main st. I grabbed a lawn chair and settled
down to get ready for Phil, Ray and the others....
I finished the smoothy and dozed off in the sun. When I awoke I just caught
a glimpse of Michelle heading towards camp. Michelle was part rest stop
volunteer, part cyclist and serious long distance runner. Today she was
running the 15 or so miles from Tomalles. After another 10 or so mins Phil
apeared, then Stephen and June, Jim and all the others. They'd apparently
all stopped at least once more for beer and oysters... As much as I enjoyed
everyones company this week, I'm really glad I did this part on my own!
I actually felt easy running back to base camp. Later that evening everyone
went to the local bar for a last night celebration. I paid for my early
exhuberance(sp?) by falling to sleep in a chair(for the 2nd time that day)
and went to bed early.
Stats for the day:
Ride Time: 3:59:24
Max speed: 41
AVG speed: 16.1
Max HR: 151
Avg HR: 102
Elavation gain: 4375ft
NEXT UP -OLEMA TO SAN FRANCISCO - AND EASY WARM DOWN OF 36 MILES