Woke up this morning stoked for a short 7-mile day to the historic Fort Ross. We arrived at the fort around late morning and my father and I met our relative there, who is a local to Sonoma County.
Fort Ross was established by Commerce Counselor Ivan Kuskov of the Russian-American Company. The land the fort was settled on was home to the Kashaya Pomo Indian Tribe. The fort was an agriculture base while also functioning as a hub for the marine mammal fur trade. The fort mostly ran as a financial loss and eventually, the local fur hunting dropped dramatically due to overhunting, leaving the fort not worth the cost.
After strolling through the fort and having lunch, we loaded the bikes into our relative’s car and set off for the home an hour inland. It was nice to enjoy the comforts of a home again, especially the kitchen. I love cooking my own meal even if it’s just something simple like eggs. Hanging out with family was nice, we were able to swap stories and meet some of his neighbors.
One of his neighbors is a former bike guide and used to run trips around Sonoma County, touring the wineries. So, despite tomorrow being a rest day, we will be cycling a 30-mile loop and getting a glimpse of Sonoma County wine country.
Tonight will be the first night I sleep in a bed for almost four weeks!
This morning we joined my relative’s neighbor on a wine-country tour. I couldn’t believe the difference biking without panniers made, I felt like I could do 200 miles with no problem at this rate. The scenery was beautiful, and we made a few stops along the way.
We stopped at a bike shop to have my front wheel looked at since my bearings could potentially be shot. They couldn’t do much since the mechanic said it’d take a week to really look it over and potentially replace things. I didn’t have that time so I decided to keep riding on it and monitor the wheel as I keep heading south. I’ve been amazed at how well this bike from the 80s has held up.
Although we rode 30 miles, I did feel like it was about equivalent to a rest day so I plan to make my push into San Francisco tomorrow.
My father decided to do one last day with me and catch the train back at the end of the day. To make sure we had enough time to explore San Francisco, we took a train for about 20 miles to give us a little boost and skip over some traffic. A large chunk of our riding into the city was on a trail so I’m glad we were able to hop on that.
Approaching the Golden Gate Bridge was a major highlight. This really put my journey from Seattle to San Francisco into perspective and made me feel like I actually covered some ground. I was all smiles cruising over the massive bridge. I truly didn’t think I would make it this far.
San Francisco is best visited on bike, we biked all over, checking out the different parks and making the must-do stop for a sourdough sandwich. After we finished our meal, my father set back to Windsor to stay with our relative.
I was now back on the road solo for the first time since I crossed into California. I was excited to be by myself again as I had grown close to myself and enjoyed the solitude, something I never thought I would say.
I had a couple of hours before I met up with my Warmshowers host for the night. I killed time by checking out Chinatown, which was so cool to see all the wild imports. I bought a couple of boxes of tea, making sure to get boxes with no English on them so I can be reminded of where they came from.
I met my Warmshowers host who was extremely kind down near the ferry building. Tonight happened to be a monthly bike ride called the “butter lap.” Agreeing to join him and his friends on this bike ride, we made a quick stop for some beer before the ride started around 7 pm. There were around 30 people in the group, and we took off riding around the peninsula. Every five miles or so we would stop at a park or an overlook and enjoy a drink or two.
We made it up to the Golden Gate Bridge around sunset, and it might have been the most surreal sunset I have ever witnessed. I had so much fun meeting people and checking out everyone’s fun bike builds. We eventually ended the ride at the Legion of Honor Building around 10:30 pm. From there we took the “fun” way home, sending it down hiking trails (really pushing the limits of this bike). We eventually made it to my host’s place and a few of us stayed up eating pizza and sharing stories.
Tonight was a perfect end to a great day, it was an experience that fell my way by the kindness of strangers, so I am thankful for Warmshowers and everyone involved!
Stats from today:
- 60-70 miles biked
- 2,000ish vertical feet climbed
- 30+ new friends
- 1 great butter lap