Distance: 35 miles
San Francisco –> Samuel P. Taylor Campground
(I’m now writing this on morning of day 2.) Yesterday was a long day that began with us re-assembling the bikes in the hotel room and packing our panniers with all our possessions. Unsurprisingly, it took longer than we expected so it was something of a mad rush to beat the noon check-out time.
From the hotel we had to make a quick stop at the local REI store to pick up a few items we’d forgotten. Cycling through the lunchtime traffic on a laden bike was a little nerve-racking. The handling takes some getting used to – with only rear panniers, the front of the bike feels very light and “squirrelly”. After REI, we made a stop at the Rapha store on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a superb space and delivered a dose of road cycling inspiration for the start of the tour (quotes adorned the walls “glory through suffering”, along with a collection of iconic photos of the peleton).
By 3pm we were properly on our way, dodging the crowds as we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge was completely clear of fog so we could really appreciate the vastness of it, and enjoy fantastic views back to San Francisco. Sausalito for a lunch stop (first of what I assume will be many cheese and salami rolls) and then onwards, away from suburbia towards the campground in the state park.
The hills were hard, I’m not going to lie. We were riding into a stiff headwind which as I keep joking with Pete, will keep us honest (there’s no hiding a lack of fitness then, ha!). We reached camp around 6.30pm, amongst the redwoods (albeit small ones). Several other cycle tourers were here so we already feel like a little community, sharing knowledge of the routes.