It was too cold to sit and eat breakfast in the forest, so after breaking down our tent, Dallas and I rode about 3.5 miles before we found a space where the sun penetrated through the trees. We sat in the warm sun and shared an apple, banana, pear, and an energy bar. We only had to ride another mile before coming to a coffee shop in the town of Myers Flat. Three shots of espresso and two cookies later, we were back on the road.
This was one of those rare days where I was ahead of Dallas for most of the day. I was able to keep a fairly good pace once I got going, but would stop and wait for Dallas every few miles. The stopping and going was draining though, and overall we progressed at a slow pace. We stopped again outside of Garberville to eat our tuna and crackers with some pistachios, a grapefruit and dark chocolate. Even though we were on the road before 10am, we had only gone just over 20 miles by 2pm. As the day went on, the terrain grew hillier, and the second half of our ride involved a LOT of climbing. Dallas was feeling undernourished and sluggish, and I was feeling frustrated for having to stop and wait.
As we crested a hill just a mile or two before Leggett, I saw signs for food across the street. I suggested we fuel up over there (The Peg Room) while deciding our next move. The burgers we ordered there were incredible, and they had outdoor picnic tables where we could sit with our bikes. It was starting to get dark, and we had completed just under 50 miles since morning. A couple that showed up while we were eating told us they had biked the coast two years ago and that there is a pretty tough hill coming up to Leggett. It didn’t look like there were any other campground options for another 27 miles, so we ultimately ended up camping across the street from the Peg Room. Maybe we can get breakfast there too!
Getting started this morning was a struggle. Dallas and I didn’t roll out until almost 11am, then stopped less than a mile down the road at the grocery store for another 20-30 minutes before we really hit the road. I think the long days and miles without much rest in between has been wearing on us, and it has been tough to motivate ourselves out and onto our bikes for another long ride. Personally, I have been dealing with some knee pain and saddle sores, while Dallas has struggled with an ingrown toenail and mental challenges. Miles have been going by painstakingly slowly lately.
Fortunately, it was another beautiful day, and it’s hard not to be happy out in the sunshine. The traffic and hills were not too bad today, and after lunch we got to experience riding down the Avenue of Giants, through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. We stopped about halfway through our ride in the quaint town of Rio Dell, where we had amazing Mexican food at Tonetta’s. The Avenue of the Giants took us off the highway and into the forest, where it grew darker and cooler under the super tall redwood trees.
The Avenue also took us through a small town called Redcrest, where we made one last stop for hydration and a bathroom break. The lady working at the shop where I bought some lemonade asked in a hoarse voice if I thought it would be a good idea for people who use bicycles for transportation to be required to have registration and insurance. I’m curious to know what other people think of this, but I like that bicycling is accessible to people of all ages and income levels, and I’m afraid requiring registration and insurance would only be an obstacle to discourage cycling. I do think that it’s a good idea to teach cycling to kids in schools like they do in other countries, such as the Netherlands and Denmark. Maybe having them pass a course in school so they can earn a license to ride will make cycling more popular as a transportation method. As for insurance, I all insurance is generally a rip-off.
We continued through the forest until Burlington Campground, after having gone just about 50 miles. Dallas and I had just enough time to pitch our tent before needing our headlamps to see. Now, under these giant trees, it is really quite dark. Our campsite is pretty close to the road, but hopefully traffic will be light enough for us to get a good sleep. I think we’re both so tired that it probably wouldn’t matter anyway.