Yesterday was one heck of a ride! I traveled over 75 miles
mostly uphill. The
first climb was 1789 ft. at 7% and the second was 2145 at 6%; the third was 1679 at 6%. On top of that the temps were near 100 degrees. If this was a test I think I passed. When I arrived in Ukiah (u-key-a) I had two immediate chores find a motel–cheapest yet at $38; and do laundry. The motel lacked charm, but the owner did finally agree to give me some ice. He also told me where a laundromat could be found.
The laundromat seemed like the center of the community. It was full of younger people not only doing laundry; they were on computers, phones and socializing too. Several folks were Latino–lots of Spanish could be heard, some attendees were from Africa and others looked like hippies from the 60’s. All in all it was pretty darn interesting.
This morning I was up by 6:20 am. I was on the road before 8 am.
Early enough to avoid traffic and to enjoy cooler temps. And more importantly the next 50 or so miles were almost all downhill. I completed the fastest stretch at a speed of 42 MPH. Not bad since I am riding the Mack truck of bikes. As I inched closer to Santa Rosa, in fact I was only 5 miles away, I had my first CHIPS encounter. Truthfully I had seen several CHIP cars since entering California. Each time the interaction was a simple wave. This time proved to be quite different. As I was “flying” down US 101 I heard a funny sound behind me. Glancing back I saw the CHIP on a motorcycle so I pulled over and then proceeded to have a delightful conversation. I believe my first comment was “Was I going too fast?”. He smiled and asked me if I had seen a sign saying bicycles are not allowed on the freeway? I had not seen the sign I replied. The officer politely guided me to the next exit and he explained how I could continue my journey using an alternative route. Naturally I accepted his advice thinking all along that I had met a real CHIP–way cool!
I went into Santa Rosa and began a search for a DQ–I needed root beer float. Where are all the DQ’s? I have not seen one since Oregon!
Soon I did stumble onto a real ice cream store and had my float. The gal who prepared my dessert was working on her first job; she was all of fourteen. She advised me to go to the tourist center across the parking lot for help with maps. While at the center I noticed a brochure for the Charles M. Schulz Museum–the creator of “Peanuts” who by the way is from St. Paul, MN. The museum includes an indoor ice rink and the museum. Funny, you would think this would have resided in Minnesota–some day I will have to come back here for a real visit.
Meanwhile I still felt pretty strong so I continued on to Petaluma.
Tomorrow I will reach SF. Whew! So far so good.
I am getting some sun no matter I do to avoid it!!!