Neil and Mel's Big Adventure

Adventure Tunes

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Home Stretch

Hi again, We are in the home stretch. One day away from San Francisco and we are feeling the love. Yesterday was like a love fest. I couldn't keep the smile off my face. We biked from Placerville in the foothills of the Sierras and began entering an area of California that is mecca for bikers. Davis is the biking capital of California, but biking is really big as far east as Folsom. It was in Folsom where Neil and I stopped to look at a flock of wild turkeys on the lawn of their city hall. Three bike guys heading the other way whipped around on a busy street to hear our story and give us the commendable pats on the back. That was the start of the same treatment by bikers all day long. None of the bikers had ever done what we are doing, but they knew what an accomplishment we have done (almost) and just wanted to talk to us for inspiration to maybe do it, too, and to congratulate us. You can't imagine how we felt. Neil and I stopped at a quiet place along the American River bike trail to reflect and to let it all sink in. He said he doesn't want it to end. He just wants time to slow down so we can lengthen out this whole thing. I'm ready for it to end, but it's winding down in such a wonderful way. You can't imagine the thoughts about this whole journey that go through my head. I woke up about 4 AM this morning and replayed so many memories. But as each day is different, so was today. I hoped it would be more of the same going through Davis on their bike trail, but we had some really stiff winds battering us without letup from the north for most of the day. It was a battle to just keep moving ahead with such a strong side wind. We have all that luggage with our panniers and bob trailer that other bikers don't have to contend with. We really have to lean into the wind to keep our bikes upright and that takes a big toll on us for thirty miles. But then we started heading south through some very pretty coastal hills and the winds weren't a factor from our lunch stop in Winters to Vacaville where we are bedded down tonight. Our wives are in Reno tonight and will drive to San Francisco tomorrow. Plans are for them to drive to the Nob Hill Hotel near Fisherman's Warf where we will stay for two nights. They will then take the ferry across the bay to meet us tomorrow afternoon to cross the bay with us on that ferry from Vallejo. Vallejo is only a thirty mile ride from here so we should be there by early afternoon if we have favorable winds. We will then finish the ride on the next day by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and back (for fun) and then dipping our wheels over in the Pacific Ocean. But that is the future and I have a bit of catching up to do from when I last wrote. We have been out of civilization quite a bit with no computer access. I think I last wrote when we were in Fallon, Nevada. At Fallon, we had an interesting thing happen. We were eating dinner in a Mexican restaurant that a lady crossing the street told Neil was pretty good in response to a question from him. He was pedaling his bike and just asked her if it would be a good place to eat. He noticed she was eating in the back with her family. On their way out about fifteen minutes before we finished, she asked him if he enjoyed the meal. He said he did. When the waitress came over to us after our meal, she said that couple had paid for our meals. I've seen that in movies, but have never been the recipient. We got their last name from the waitress and I hope to locate them and thank them for their kindness. We have a warm spot in our hearts now for Fallon. I also fell down again in Fallon. I skinned up my knee a little and strained my old broken wrist. I've been wearing an ace bandage on it and that give it a pretty good cushion while riding. Neil said, "Now no more." He's been giving me point scores on each fall (two official falls and two half falls so far). A half fall is where I fall and land on him or his bob. So we don't give that any points. But my other fall was somewhere in Utah (I think) and I got a 9 on that because there was no ill effects, but the one in Fallon I only got an 8 because I got roughed up a bit. But I still love my clip in pedals. They are just more of a hazard to one whose mind isn't always apparently on the task at hand. Just got to keep thinking, unclip, unclip, unclip. I'll have to send this now or lose it, so I'll finish this in a second e-mail.Mel

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