My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ride The West - Day 10 - Fort Bragg, CA

Climbing and then some more climbing ... today was the most challenging day so far.  We climbed over 5,000 feet including a 4 mile (at 6-8%) and a 2 mile (at 8-10%) climb.  Today's map and data - bigger climbs were in the middle of the day.  We had plenty of chances to warm up including a quick little pop right after leaving the hotel.  That was followed by a nice descent along the river.  We got off 101 and had several one mile climbs as we continued to meander among more redwood trees in Richardson Grove State Park.

Early Morning Views

We passed some tourist spots ... The Legend of Big Foot, Confusion Hill, and Grandfather Tree.  Most had a tree you could drive through for a charge.  Fun to look at and see all the cars and buses full of people.

Schmaltzy Road Side Fun

One of the Bigger and Older Redwoods
Joe, Jeff, and I cruised into the first SAG across from the Standish Hickey campground. Several others followed and we all hung out for awhile and shed some clothes as the weather had warmed to perfect riding temperatures (60's and 70's). Not far from the SAG the big climb up Leggett Hill started.  Joe and Jeff passed me, but I had strong legs and crested the top among the next group of riders,  We reached over 1,800 feet in altitude over the 4 mile trek.  Next up was an amazing 9 mile descent.  It was very technical with lots of tight switchbacks.  I powered down it, but was extremely cautious in the corners.  No sooner had that ended, when the terrain turned upward again.  The second climb was shorter, but steeper with several 10% spots.  My legs remained strong and Mose, Don, Russ and I popped over the top and after the descent and one quick burst hill we found the ocean.

After All That Climbing It Was Nice To See The Pacific Again
Next 15 Miles Looked Like This

Looking South
Our second SAG stop was just a few miles away at a nice vista overlook.  Left over pizza and fresh peaches really hit the spot.  The stooges headed out with Gary and found more great views, but a bit of a headwind and steep ups and downs along the rocky coast.  We passed some nice homes, a few little towns, an ocean side KOA, and even a cemetery overlooking the water.

Our SAG View

Jeff Snapped This One of Me Climbing One of the Short Burst Hills

Look Carefully and You Can See Me
The wind and the hills started to take their toll on me.  I tired a bit and fell back a little from the guys.  I got a second burst of energy as the roads pushed away from the coast toward Fort Bragg.  I pulled into town shortly after Joe and Jeff and joined them for a foot long hot dog with all the fixings.  Dinner was at a pizza buffet across from the hotel.  We jumped on our bikes and headed downtown for an ice cream that Jeff was craving.  Met a a nice woman and her son ... she grew up in Massachusetts and her Dad lives in Maine ... small world.

Inmates Practicing Fire Fighting Skills As We Headed in Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg's Glass Sandy Beach
If you loved today, you'll love tomorrow!  Over 6,600 feet of climbing into Cloverdale. Pig would be proud.  Jeff has already gone to bed and it is just 9PM ... perhaps that is the secret to great climbing.

Tomorrow May Be This Steep
Good Night Moon ... Good Night Leggett Hill ... Good Night Head Wind ... Good Night Stooges ... Good Night Girls (Mine That Is) ... Good Night Mike

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