Afterfour days of big hills and big miles, I think I can finally put theappendicitis and appendectomy behind me. I rode ahead of my bike posse to tryand catch up with another (faster) cyclist I'd met and ride with him and hisbrother into San Francisco.
Istopped just before Jenner Hill and talked with some fishermen who recommendedstaying the night in Stillwater instead of going for Bodega Bay. They warned offive miles of climbing with 1,000 feet elevation gain. I shrugged them off andsaid, "I'm doing it. No stopping." The hills weren't bad, the viewswere a little foggy but still great, and I did choose to stop halfway ratherthan wet my pants.
Werode from Bodega Bay to Sausalito via Petaluma. The Petaluma part was amistake, but it yielded a tour of some great cycling routes, different scenery(rolling hills of wheat grasses), and a lot of sweat. Sadly, the first timegetting lost did not coincide with a mid-day swim. It did inspire a lot moremap-checking.
Ridingthrough San Anselmo and the little towns near Sausalito was sweet relief. I ama sucker for tree-lined streets, especially when they provide shade on a95-degree afternoon. After one last big hill, we reached Sausalito with justenough time for ice cream before the ferry. I went all out on my first ever hotfudge sundae, a "cookie" sundae. The ingredients: Hana dream icecream (chocolate with nuts), hot fudge, caramel sauce, a chocolate chip cookie,all in a giant cone. It was every bit as wonderful as it sounds.
I'vevisited San Francisco many times before, but had never taken the ferry into thecity. I know that most cyclists love riding across the bridge, but I've drivenacross it so many times, so for me the ferry was the perfect way to cross.
Itwas exciting to see the city and its iconic bridge - and it feels great to havecycled all the way to San Francisco. Yet the cityscape also signaled the end oftime spent meeting cool new friends. The band of cycling buddies I hadaccumulated over the past days and weeks would start to unravel here as peoplereturned home or as our touring cadence fell out of sync. I know that partingways can open the possibility for new friendships, but that is little comfort asyou hold on just a little bit longer for that last hug goodbye.