…and the Wind Gods smiled at us!

Wow what a first day! Was up at 4a because I was so excited about a day I’ve thought about for 20 years finally arriving. After some family and friends (thanks for coming out) watched us dip our wheels in the Pacific Ocean we headed over the Golden Gate Bridge and were on our way. Of course to get to the bridge we had to climb a few of San Francisco’s famous hills. The ride over the bridge was wonderful as there were only a handful of people on the bridge. We then stopped in Sausalito for coffee with Matt’s family. Then it was off for the day. FYI, riding from SF to Novato includes making something like one thousand turns. It was incredible how slow we went with all the turns and stoplights (also the fact that we were so amped up and had to make 4 restroom stops in the first 1.5 hours). Normally when Matt and I ride we easily average 18-19 mph. The first 30 miles today we averaged 12.5 mph and couldn’t wait to get to a stretch were we could “just ride”. Boy were ever rewarded! When we turned onto Hwy 37 we had a fairly strong wind at our back and were suddenly averaging 25 mph! As the title of today’s blog says “the wind gods smiled at us” as for the next 70 miles we had a strong wind at our back. It was an incredible riding experience as for much of it we were riding over 30 mph without much effort. At one point we were going 43 mph and hardily pedaling. Partly as a result of our good fortune with the wind and partly because the US Cycling Hall of Fame is in Davis, CA we decide to ride an extra 20 miles and end our ride at the Hall of Fame in Davis, which seemed an appropriate place to end day 1. However, before doing so we had a date to keep! When Matt’s Dad rode across America 18 years ago one of his favorite treats was a milkshake everyday. Matt and I loved having our first milkshake of our trip with his Dad, Dick Swinnerton at Fenton’s in Vacaville. A special memory for all of us! After finishing in Davis we toured the Cycling Hall of Fame (very cool place a and must stop for any cycling fans). We then headed back to Danville for one last night in our beds before we drive back to Davis tomorrow for day 2. BIG THANKS to Cindy and Katie Swinnerton for being incredible SAG drivers today. Here’s a few stats for today: 102.2 miles, 3408, feet of climbing and 6:02 hours riding time. A few photos from day 1:

Categories: Uncategorized | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “…and the Wind Gods smiled at us!

  1. Paul Hurdlow

    Chris and Matt, can you write a bit about accomodations? Have you booked hotels/motels ahead of time, or are you just playing it by ear when you arrive? This is just great stuff – I’m so excited for you two.

    • Paul, we’ve booked a condo in Jackson Hole for 5 days and the hotel in Nevada City tonight ahead of time. The rest of the hotels we’re planning to book 2-4 days ahead of time when we see if we’re staying on schedule or if we’ve had to make adjustments for weather or fatigue. Thanks for the kind words, wish you could have joined us for a few days.

    • mswinnerton


      Chris told me about your crash. Sorry you can’t join us for part of the trip. We’ll be thinking of you. I think Chris handled your question on accommodations. I’m sure we’ll have some stories about places we’ll stay as the trip unfolds.

  2. Maggie Murdock

    Oh my gosh, so excited for you two and can’t wait to join the fun!!

  3. Mima

    You go guys! So exciting!

  4. Carl Canaparo

    You both look great in your kits! Curious to see if they are baggy at the end of the trip.

    Stay hydrated.

    • mswinnerton

      Thanks Carl,

      After a day in the desert and 155 miles, I do think the Jerseys will get baggy as the trip goes on. However, we are eating a drinking a lot so you never know. Ciao!

  5. Jill

    I’ll be following your adventures from my computer. Envious of you, and excited for you!

  6. Wayne Butman

    Chris, it’s great to see the beginning of your dream. I look forward to seeing it unfold. Have a great ride and be safe.

  7. Maren Smith

    Sounds like a great first day! Hope you have CA 37 by Train on your playlist–could be your theme song! Not sure what your Clif Bar tie-in is, but suggest you get dialed in on the wine from Vino Velo stat (compliments the Clif bars nicely, I think). 🙂 See you in Iowa!

  8. Egan Family

    Keep the wind at your back….safe travels.

  9. Danica

    Stay safe in the mountains! I’m DONE with work and can’t wait to see you guys on Monday…with pie in hand!

  10. joanne and jeff

    Hey Matt and Chris, We hope day two was as fun as day one. The bicycle built for six looks like something Cindy, Brenda, the two of you, and Jeff and I should experience Tour de Tahoe on. Enjoy a good nights sleep and know we’ll be thinking of you. Jo and Jeff

    • You and Joanne should take a day and go visit the Hall of Fame in Davis and then go ride the American River bike trail our of Old Sacramento.

    • mswinnerton


      I agree with Chris, 32 miles on the American River Bike trail would be a blast on the tandem. Start and finish in old Sacramento. It’s a great ride!

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