Day 14: Mendocino - Jenner
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

85.26 @ 12.3 = 6:52'50, max: 34.7, trip total: 1095.0

cool, sunny with early day fog

pop-tarts, pork and cheese sandwich, potato chips, banana bread, fish and chips, beer

Rivers End Cabins, $35 p/p

It was a long day of riding. Up one hill around the bend and then up another. Not huge mountains but considerable coastal hills. They kept coming one after another and took their toll on our knees as the day progressed. The scenery was amazing - tons of big rocks in the big ocean.

Even though we joked about how easy it might be to get bored of the big rocks in the water they certainly captivated me every time we came upon another awesome view. They were all different and they all seemed special. That, and for some reason, as if it was the first time anyone had seen this. As if you were the first to lay eyes on this. Yet, in the back of your head you know it's a well traveled path- but with the fog and the lack of traffic it's easy to get swayed into thinking it's a remote area of the world.

Anyway, we logged on the miles slowly, taking it all in at a bikers pace. It was relaxing in some ways. Sure there were hills, but there was also the coasting into the hills. It's the winding in and out from the coast like S curves that follow every little bay and creek valley.

Lunch came at 11am- it was gonna be breakfast but the town we were in dictated that for us. Pork sandwiches - real pork. It was about two slices of half inch pork on a sub roll with cheese and about a pound of mayo. It tasted great- not exactly the powerbar diet you would think of for a high energy ride. But that's what there was and we were hungry. Every other place was closed. Too early for lunch too late for breakfast - and since there were only 3 places in town to eat at - that was pretty much the story. And this was a big place, Point Arena, among the rest of the places we were going through.

And then back on the bike. It was hard to warm up but slowly the groove set it. Some tunes and some miles. Then it was all forward to figure out where we were going to camp.

As the day grew longer we were getting closer but not fast enough. Tim and Aaron had already gone ahead and made it to a town 13 miles beyond the end point- in order to find a place to stay. So the last 18 miles or so I played catch up. The van picked up the other riders so I was off with some few choice words of wisdom- "focus" and "it's technical".

Yeah, sure, whatever. Drop into the aero bars, pump the music and make sure you make it before sun down. It was already past 5pm. Oh- and there are "two climbs a huge climb and then two more climbs" before getting there. Good- at least it won't be a gimme. Roight.

Wow- what a ride! The climbs took me up to sea side cliffs with no guardrails. The descents were hairpin sharp with no room for errors. The lines on the road were like rails to follow as I pushed the limits of how much room I has left. But every second kept me attentive to the details of what was to come. Every second I kept looking in amazement out over the cliffs and out to the horizon. It was a jam session. Pushing up the climbs at full speed - maybe 12mph. And rolling down at 30+. It was the highlight of the ride- so far. Well, one of many - but certainly the highlight of the riding aspect. It was a ride to remember- one that surely is in my future again if I can swing it.

Looking at the switch backs from above it looked like a playground. Looking up at them from below was like making you wait for recess.

The high from the roller coaster ride was deep in my soul. Man, was it fun. To finish the day on such a nice section was a perfect cap to the day.

Then after settling in we went to the Blue Heron Restaurant. A wacky place -- top dollar menu with back woods style. A live country band up front with rap music playing in the back. It was a taste of extremes. And soon after it was time to sleep. Time to get ready for our ride into San Francisco.


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