Vancouver to San Francisco Tour 2016 – A Cycle Tour by someone who’s never cycle toured before – Day 22 – Bodega Bay, CA to Samuel P. Taylor State Park, CA

The penultimate date. Tomorrow I will be riding over that bridge to downtown San Francisco. Sigh –  this will soon be over. However another great day lay ahead

Bodega Bay, I found out, is where Hitchcock’s The Birds was filmed. There was even a cute looking cafe called The Birds. A lot cuter than the film for sure. I had now partnered up with Scott and Andy. After having cycled 21 days already, this was the first time that I would ride with them for PROPER. These two met 25 years ago doing the same trip, so I hope I wasn’t interrupting their bromance but they were going to Mexico so they could deal with me for one and a half days.

Not so many birds in Bodega Bay these days

It was actually a pretty tough ride to start the day. I think I had regressed in my mental strength as I started to think about ‘tomorrow’ again. This didn’t place me a good position to nail these rolling hills. The sky was blue, the hills golden and there was hardly a cloud in sight. Riding here I felt that I as stuck in a Microsfot Computer, I was this is where THE Windows background picture was taken.

THAT Microsoft picture

The temperature was just like yesterday. However as we were slightly further inland I did not have the wind to keep me cool. I was wilting like a flower. I always say to people I’m rubbish in the heat, and today proved that.

Scott and Andy were stronger than me on this day and after a while they were quite far ahead. Still in sight but far enough for them to need to wait for me. I made up my ground on some long down hill parts whilst they stopped at a cross roads. There was an old guy (reminded me a bit of Leeroy Brown) hitch hiking on the side of the road. No chance mate. Sorry. It was at this point that the story from 1991 came about. It was this turning 25 years ago that Andy had said to Scott “we carry on straight here. This is my area man, we go straight”. Going straight at this crossroad took them to Petaluma adding miles onto their ride that day. He had never lived that one down.

It was really nice riding with Scott and Andy. Scott was hilarious. He could certainly talk for Australia. It’s a very dry sense of humour. I could tell that Gerald didn’t have a clue how to respond to some things Scott said. He just looked offended. Not to pick on Gerald of course – he wasn’t the only one. To which I could see Scott think “I wonder what’s got your goat”. I loved it though. There was always a story that they both had to tell so I was happy riding and listening.

By now I was totally flagging. The heat! I struggled the get up that long slow hill after the turning. But it was OK. I had Andy there with a camera taking a photo. Thanks Andy

Just about made it to the top
You can see the grimace right?

We wouldn’t have to wait too much longer before we were back on the water next to Tomales Bay. We went past one set of restaurants. Both Andy and I could hear Scott shouting “guys . . . GUYS, lunch?” We continued but luckily enough we got to Marshall not too much longer. We found The Marshall Store. Man, this is exactly what we needed. This was a SWEET spot. We sat outside, overlooking the ocean with our sandwiches, oysters and root beer. It’s these kinds of moments you really have to take the time to let sink in and appreciate. I cannot recommend enough to anyone who is in the area.

Andy at the Marshall Store


We reluctantly had to make a move. Like Mendocino, I vouched to come back here one day. Whether or not I will that’s another story but I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up again to take a look at the west coast again.

The heat and lunch prepared me more for a nap than an afternoon ride. This being said the second half seemed to be a bit more of a manageable ride. Soon enough we got to Point Reyes. Unfortunately we didn’t stay too long, as it was a cute place which deserved much more of our time. We stocked up at a nice super market. Got ourselves some produce and then marched on. It wasn’t too much farther too camp which is why it felt right for us to just continue one. There was one last hill to get up. It was here that Scott and Andy got back on track after their Petaluma detour 25 years ago. Scott wouldn’t let it rest. After a slog up there it was down hill from this point onward. At the bridge we got off the road and head onto a cycle track which weaves its way through the woods and into camp.

Impossible to ont stop here.

Notorious with Raccoons, we were warned to keep an eye on everything. Scott mentioned that the last time he was here, a fellow cyclist had gone to the bathroom to find his whole tent hand been ransacked in about 3 minutes. The tent was zipped up but they made their way in. I did not want the same to happen to me. So I packed away my stuff straight away.

Andy lives in San Francisco. He was asking around about my driving experience “Have you driven much on this side of the road?”.

I said “no, I actually only passed my test about 6 weeks ago”. Andy then went on to say he was going to offer me his car if I needed it. However on this information he said ‘forget it!’. I don’t blame him.  Man I’m going to miss these guys. Although this is the first day of riding together they have been a very big part of this trip. We’ve shared more of the camp sites than not, and of course seen them at nearly every lunch spot as well. It was a quiet evening of contemplation about finishing my ride. There was a mix of both excitement and apprehension. Excited for a bed, a rest, coffee and a newspaper. Apprehensive of missing the road, the country, the people, comradery and to no longer be on a journey (despite the fact I am on a bigger picture).

  • Route can be found HERE

Cheers, Scott

Live in the Trees Logo

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