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:
Where Are We?
Riding Time: 220:45 (hours:minutes)
Elevation Gain: 117,768 feet