Day 27: Samuel P. Taylor State Park – Half Moon Bay State Beach
Distance: 63.60 miles.
Average Speed: 9.1 mph.
Today was a major transitional one, passing through one of the world’s great cities en route. Having left Highway 1 last night, most of today was on bike tracks and residential streets before I finally returned to ‘The 1’ shortly before the end of the day.
Still accompanying Matt and Joe, we set off shortly after 9, stopping a few miles in for breakfast at Lagunitas. They had been planning on getting a ferry back across San Francisco Bay on their way to Oakland, but opted to continue with me to the bridge, before getting a train, instead. Not only was it great to have the company for the extra 30 miles, but local knowledge was invaluable while navigating through a difficult area.
After breakfast, we enjoyed a few more miles through quiet countryside before passing through a run of towns on cycle tracks and quiet residential streets. There were cyclists everywhere, and not of the touring kind, this was a very popular route for day rides in the San Francisco area.
After 20 miles, Matt broke a spoke. He’d already broken one earlier in the week, so now his wheel was wobbling disconcertingly. Luckily, there was a bike shop 100 yards down the street, and although it didn’t seem like they were eager to help, eventually the owner produced spare spokes and set to work re-building the wheel.
Back on the road, we pedalled through Sausalito, passing a mass of permanent houseboats offshore, then, as we travelled around the headland, stunning views of San Francisco, and eventually the Golden Gate Bridge appeared. We stopped for pictures before joining the mass of other cyclists crossing the bridge.
Unfortunately, It was time to say goodbye to Matt and Joe, it had been a real pleasure riding with them, and Matt joked that they should come along to San Diego too, a route they had done before.
Left to my own devices I got lost trying to leave the hectic bridge area, eventually finding the street I required, Arguello Boulevard, before heading through Golden Gate Park to the coast. It seemed a real shame to pass through San Fran so quickly, but I still had 30 miles to cover and it was already late-afternoon.
Out of the city, I made good time passing through the suburban sprawl of Daly City and Pacifica, where I rejoined Highway 1. Approaching a tunnel after a climb out of Pacifica, I remembered what Matt had said earlier about a detour around it on ‘Devil’s Slide Trail’. While the road tunnelled through the headland, an immaculate cycle path worked its way around it, and was virtually empty at half 7 at night.
The miles were flying by, with a tailwind at my back and much more gentle terrain than I’d had for several days. Soon I was nearing Half Moon Bay for the night’s camp.
Rolling along the coastal bike path, talking to a couple of local cyclists as I reached the campground, they were able to point out the biker camping to me as we went by. I pitched my tent as darkness fell.