Vancouver to Lodi: Day 10

Ten days into our fourteen day adventure.

We started the day waiting for the bike shop to open in Arcata, Monday morning and all…some minor repairs were needed and it is always nice to use a floor pump and pressure gauge rather than guessing with our small frame pumps.

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As small of a world as it is, I met James at the shop, a cyclocross racer who actually hauls down to Acampo to race our annual Sacramento Cyclocross race each year. How cool is that? James is definitely an Active Team contender.

Again today, headwinds. We were fighting them on the flats and the descents…brutally demoralizing. I think the only time we were out of the headwinds were on the climbs – spinning it out on the north faces of these hills blocked us from the blowing winds but of course that meant hurting legs. And that, in turn, means tons of complaining…from both of us. I think the bitterness and cursing the next hill helps freshen up the legs. (Jens?)

One thing about this trip has been to see this part of the country slowed down, from 60mph to around 16mph. Things look different when you’re moving slower, and it definitely feels different doing it all human powered.  We’ve seen elk running up the forested mountains, a bald eagle perched on his favorite river-hunting boulder, and we fully expected to spot the elusive Big Foot in these parts. No sightings yet, but we’re diligently searching.

We were peddling through the redwoods today, the Avenue of the Giants. Very cool scenery and hard to keep your eyes on the horizon and not straight up these massive tree trunks.

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Speaking of 60mph, I have to say that we have experienced more drivers blowing past us on our solid white line in California than both Washington and Oregon combined. Even with two lanes, and no traffic in the fast lane, cars, trucks, RV’s, semi’s, all have gotten a little too close for comfort for little reason. We definitely have work to do on educating drivers to share the road with cyclists.

Rio Dell was lunch today, before we started riding the rest of our 40 miles to Garberville. We stopped at a small coffee shop and feasted on a fantastic breakfast burrito and massive mug of strong coffee.

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Most of the day we escaped the rain, and we were grateful for it! But, as much as we knocked on wood about escaping it, we knew it would rejoin the festivities. Around 20 miles out, the slow drizzles started and then the rain came. Luckily, it was warm and humid outside, so a little rain didn’t bother us too much.

Rolling into Garberville early this afternoon, it was a great day. Despite the weather, climbs, rough roads, and wild cars and trucks, when we sit back with a beer and recovery snacks at the end of a hard day, we get to enjoy the sights of small towns like this one. If we were blowing past on the freeway, we might not have stopped in Garberville, but for us today, it was well worth the hard day out there!

82 miles, around 2,900 ft

Thanks for keeping up with us, we appreciate it!