Our journey began today as we met at awesome eco-conscious Sports Basement for registration near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. I greeted many returning riders who I’ve met on my past two NYC-DC rides and made tons of new friends (some of which I “knew” from Facebook!). Hi to my teammate, Abe!
We meandered up the coast, with most riders in two charter buses. A couple of us rode with volunteers in vehicles due to space constraints. It was a fun afternoon filled with awesome conversation getting to know Andrew better (CR Ride Manager and Excel Wizard) and meeting a new ride leader volunteer, Michelle, who has had some amazing life experiences leading rides and training staff at Backroads. She just graduated grad school and had some down time and decided to volunteer for CR three days ago and here she is!
Our lunch stop was at the incredible Solar Living Institute which had hands-on displays of solar technologies, bicycle powered blenders, water conservation systems, and composting toilets. And this being wine country and all, there was an organic vineyard providing free wine tasting for climate riders!
Once we arrived at camp, my mountainman of a brother and my sister-in-law arrived to spend some much-wanted family time together! It’s been 25 months since I’ve seen them!!!! We set up camp and then made our way to dinner at the first organic brewery in the US, The Eel River Brewing Company. All of the volunteer staff were introduced and cheered for the amazing support they will provide to us to keep us safe and our bikes functioning, and the two teams who raised the most were awarded CR pint glasses filled to the brim with organic brew. After a delicious meal, we made our way back to camp, Justin, Trish and I giggled in the tent about silly movies we enjoyed (Napoleon Dynamite being a Hunt family favorite) and now we are all snuggled up in our sleeping bags. I am so grateful to my siblings for making the looong trip down to see me off!
It’s time to catch some Z’s before the totally epic portion of our ride begins tomorrow! As I lay here listening to the quiet night of Northern California, I’m thinking of the 75+ people who have made this 3rd Climate Ride possible for me. You know who you are, you generous donors! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me the honor of representing you on this ride. I am grateful for your support of the vital work of Citizens Climate Lobby and Renewable Energy Long Island. And if you’ve been meaning to donate, it’s not too late! http://bike.climateride.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=1992
Checklists are my friend. I would not be able to function without them. I’ve checked of quite a few things from my Climate Ride California to-do list, but I’ve still got a ways to go!
Bike is apart and packed.
Flight is confirmed.
Hotels are lined up.
Tent and air mattress have been tested (and the mattress *just barely* fits into my very small tent, whew!).
Plans are made to see my brother and sister-in-law the evening before the ride (woohoo!).
But I still have to pack all of my clothes, belongings, and camping gear. That’s going to happen soon. But first, I wanted to pump myself up by looking at Climate Ride California’s itinerary again. You could call it the checklist of FUN that I will be having in a few short days! How exciting is this?!
Climate Ride’s Pacific adventure begins in the heart of Northern California’s Redwood Empire. We pedal south from ‘The Friendly City’ Fortuna and turn our tires toward the towering redwoods along the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Once in the park, we ride past the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world, and eat a picnic lunch in their massive shadows. After lunch, we pass through several small northern California towns that once boomed in the heyday of the northwest’s logging era. Tonight we camp nestled under a soaring canopy of hundred-foot tall redwoods.
This morning brings more redwoods and stunning vistas of the surrounding Northern California countryside before we tackle the famous Leggett Hill, with a stout climb of 1400 feet. Once at the top, we catch the views before descending through manzanitas and moss-covered oaks to the spectacular coastline, dotted with sea stacks and sparkling azure lagoons. We continue along the rugged ribbon of Highway 1 to the coastal town of Ft. Bragg, where an afternoon beverage and tasty treats await. A few more quick miles and we arrive at our campsite for the evening, still within earshot of crashing waves.
65 OR 100 MILES
All day today, we wind along one of the most remote stretches of seaside highway in California. Small twists and turns in the road give way to dramatic vistas of the seemingly endless Pacific, with windswept beaches and twisted Cypress trees. We pedal past the scenic lighthouse at Point Arena and historic Fort Ross, through tiny seacoast villages, before turning inland at the mouth of the mighty Russian River where our camp for the night awaits.
If 65 miles is enough for you, you can hop in our shuttle at Stewarts Point, and get a lift to camp. Or if 100 miles is more your style, this is your day to go for a century!
After two days along the coast, we head east to enjoy a taste of California’s world renowned wine country. We depart Duncans Mills and ride inland as the redwoods thin out and wineries become more plentiful. Stop in for a tasting, or visit the charming, quaint town of Guerneville and with its boutiques and cafes. In the afternoon, we head back toward the coast over rolling hills to Tomales Bay, where quiet roads wind along the idyllic bay past oyster beds and seafood shacks. Our day ends at our campground home for the night, near Point Reyes Station.
We begin our last day with a hearty camp breakfast before making our way back to civilization. We pedal along the coast through the seaside town of Stinson Beach, before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. Here we will celebrate our successful ride, and our contribution in helping our beneficiaries work toward sustainability, green innovation, and renewable energy.
Overall, I had a pretty great weekend! On Friday, as part of my volunteer work with Citizens Climate Lobby (which is one of my beneficiary organizations!), I had a letter to the editor of the NY Times published! Read the original article I am responding to here and my LTE here.
I was so surprised and excited I went to Starbucks and bought a print copy!
On Saturday I did a sixty mile ride with the SBRA Century newbies who I had been helping to train before the car accident. It was so great seeing their progress! Many of them are now faster than me! Oh, how the teacher becomes the student! We stopped at Iron Pier beach and then the famous Brieremere for pie.
On Sunday I volunteered for the Cops Who Care charity ride as an SBRA Ride Marshal. It was only 25 miles so I wanted to get in additional training so I rode from home to Port Jeff to the ride start and then rode home afterwards. It was a fun and gorgeous day and ended up being about 44 miles round trip.
I still have some training and logistical work (figuring out how to take apart and reassemble my bike for travel!) to do in preparation for Climate Ride. I’m totally on that. Can you help with the fundraising bit? I am $556 away from my goal of $3,000. Here’s my link: http://bike.climateride.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=1992