Wednesday, June 15, 2011

San Francisco Part 1 (The Journey)

Holy Stink... San Francisco was a whirlwind.  So I guess now that the "Road was mine," I decided that I had the stones to throw down some serious riding.  So instead of dilly-dallying around I shot straight from Manresa State Beach, Santa Cruz to San Francisco.  Traveling a grand total of ... 98.6 miles! ( Forget the fact that it took me nearly eleven hours.)  Honestly there weren't any good reasons to stop anywhere anyway.  It was a super foggy day which made nothing seem interesting so I ended up just pushing through most of it.  I suppose my only notable stop was at this really cool organic fruit stand called Swanton Berry Farm.  The reason that this pace was so flippen' cool is not only were the strawberries (chocolate covered the ones of the non-chocolate variety) amazing, it was a pay-by-honor system.  Instead of a cashier there was just an open cash box in the middle of the store surrounded by delicious fruit, and it worked.  Everyone paid the proper amount and nobody took advantage of the situation.  Everyone except me of course... Swanton you fool.

     So I was slammin' and jammin' toward San Fran, pretty happy with my progress when I forgot one crucial thing to prepare for before heading into the big city.  I forgot that San Francisco has the most brutal hills on the planet.  It wasn't all my fault seeing as how I had only heard of these legendary hills second hand, but man... I shouldn't have saved those hills for the end of my 100 mile ride.  Nothing can turn a grown man into a sniveling child like a San Francisco hill.  So yea... it was terrible, but in the back of my mind I had the knowledge of the amazing reward that was set in front of me, a night on a deliciously warm, comfy couch supplied by three gracious hosts, that I had yet to meet, waiting for me in the heart of the city.  So I stuggeled and climbed and pushed and cried and got lost but eventually I reached the front gate of Mick and Russel and Kaylee.

     Mick and Russel are life parters that co-own a high end hair salon called Carmichael Salon.  Russel is the talented and creative stylist and Mick is the business savvy thinker.  And don't forget Kaylee.  She brings the whole picture together.  The reason that I was able to get in contact with Mick in the first place was because of his connection to my mom through Guide Dogs For the Blind, an organization that supplies blind people with seeing eye dogs.  So not only is the organization giving the blind a new life, it is unwittingly connecting it's members and their families to each other's couches.  The night I arrived they took me out to dinner (after a good shower of course because I was looking pretty haggard) and I had for my first time chicken and waffles at the Creole Kitchen.  An interesting combination but tasty none-the-less.

      After a solid night of sleep I took a day to adventure the city.  What a place.  There's nothing quite like it.  I'll try and describe it in the part 2 in my San Francisco blogs.  It was amazing to see how the people got around the city.  I even attempted to ride my bike through the crowded streets.  After almost getting hit a couple times I figured it out as best I could, but I mostly stuck to the cross walks.

Tiny Car
     That night I tried to make my hosts a dinner that represented what I had been eating mostly on the road.  It was an interesting mix of mango, quiona, avocado and peanut butter. I thought it came out decent enough and they seemed to like it, or were just polite and tolerated it.  Afterward we ended that night with a journey to a bumpin' ice cream store called Bi Ryte where I had my first "salted caramel" ice cream.  Amazing.

     The next morning I thanked my hosts for their incredible hospitality  and started out on another big day.  After 78 miles to Bodaga Bay I found a tiny corner with some WiFi where I managed to quickly write down some thoughts.  This blog is getting long so I'm going to try and get some more San Francisco stuff in a Part 2.


  1. Hey Beau,
    Great Blog! Keep it up!
    I used to work at the same company as your dad in Riverside. Now I live in Humboldt County. If you make it up here by Saturday you can catch the Arcata Oyster Festival, which is a pretty big deal around here. Either way, I'd like to buy you a cup of coffee on your way through.

  2. So glad you're doing well, what a cool experience, you're in my prayers for safety and good amazing times.