Wow… it seemed like the big and little sabbaticals started out right about the same… I left packing to the last minute, got out way later than I wanted to, and rode 101 all the way up to the final point for the night. It’s not the most scenic of routes, but it does have it’s pleasures once you’re beyond Cloverdale.
Once or twice a year I like to take a trip on the bike with just me myself and it to reconnect back with me. One of the things I really take from sabbatical was the ability to let go of the concept of days of the week. Monday did not exist. Each day was much like the last one. The circadian rhythm of the workweek was not there anymore. Since I can’t take 8 weeks off and ride around, I’m taking 5 this year as the two from last year didn’t seem like enough.
Like all adventures, this one was not with out it’s challenges. In California in the fall it rains. When it rains, it gets cold. Both of those elements… not so good on two wheels. I’ll happily deal with one, but not both. We had a cold front that moved in that put record low temps in the Sierra Nevada range to the east and lots of wind out near the coast. I’d been checking the weather to see which day was going to be best to depart. Friday looked to have a bit of rain in the AM but I was hoping that it would not come to fruition.
Friday came and well, no rain. I’d hung out with the brew crew the night before and didn’t pack, so that took longer than expected (as usual). You’d think packing a list of things (I use the same list trip after trip) would get quicker. For me it always takes the same amount of time. I hit the road at 11:30. Pretty uneventful to San Francisco. I stopped at a new view of the Golden Gate, so that was neat to spend some time taking a few new shots.
The next hour or so of riding was full of aggressive traffic all the way to Santa Rosa. You know the kind that doesn’t stay in lane so you can’t split and slams on the brakes constantly.. that’s them. At Cloverdale was the turn off to the coast and I had been thinking to go that way but with the temperature dropping, wind picking up, and clouds forming, I’ll skip it this time. 128 is one you can do in a weekend. 96 and 3 are the ones I’m after this trip.
I never got rained on, had a bit of wind, and a bit chilled, but all in all a good ride. At 6pm I kicked on the heated gear just to take the chill out. I forgot how well that stuff works yet how odd it is to have warm parts and cold parts on you body at the same time. Soon after I saw a guy riding his Harley in my rear view. We surfed for 40 or so miles along into town. We both were going at a reasonable clip, but had a ton of fun doing it. Had a bit of a round about to get to the hotel….
The hotel (Eureka Clarion) worked out really well. They fed me dinner and the room is comfortable. What more can one ask for?