Day 1, Sunday, June5, 2005 San Francisco, CA to Fairfield, CA
83.3 miles 12.1 mph, 6h 5s 10m
Up at 4:45, 5:45 continental breakfast at hotel, 6:30 load luggage, 7:30 on the road.
Early weather was cold and head winds of 25 - 30 mph. Everyone dressed for the cold but the headwinds made it very difficult. We had an early 1 mile climb at 6% to 8% grade. A good portion of it was into the wind. Today was the beginning of the California Aids Ride from San Francisco to LA. We were traveling north and there were about 4,000 cyclists traveling south. It was impressive to see so many taking part.
We had a 17 mile ride to get to Ocean Beach where the traditional wheel dipping ceremony happens. It envolves dipping your rear tire in to the Pacific Ocean. When we get to Portsmouth NH, we dip our front tire into the Atlantic Ocean. Everyone enjoys this and we take lots of photos.
We then rode another 5 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge. There were lots of photo opps along the way.
Seeing the bridge was a special experience. It is about 1 mile long and has 3 lanes going each way. There are no breakdown lanes but one side has a 10 foot wide lane for cycles and the other side has a 10 foot wide walking lane. Bicycles are everywhere, which seems odd considering the hillyness of San Francisco. Also, many people walk out here and use the bridge (over and back) as their route. Our SAG 1 was in a parking area on the north side of the bridge. I arrived there at 11 AM. It was very crowded with cars and people.
The ride from the bridge to Fairfield was uneventful with few photo opps. Many of the ones I did see were at a place where cars and trucks were passing us very fast and there was a very narrow breakdown lane - very dangerous, so I didn't stop. I arrived at our hotel at 5 PM - quite late.
We had route rap at 6:45, went to dinner at Denny's at 7:00 and back to hotel room at 8:00... I hope to finish my journal and send to Ed by 11:30.
Tomorrow is a short 57 mile ride to Sacramento. It is mostly quite flat, through farm country.