Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 20

June 11, 2011

Despite how short Day 20 was, it was pretty hard. It was only 45 miles, but there were lots of long ups and downs with hundreds of motorcyclists on the road. I rode from Weott to Leggett and stayed at Standish-Hickey State Park.

My route followed the south fork of Eel River, so overall it was a gradual incline the whole way with nothing too huge to go over. The day passed without too many events to remember. I stopped fro lunch in a tiny town called Benbow at a recreation area. I found an outlet there and worked on a few blogs for a while and ended up spending an hour and a half there. It was really nice weather, so I was happy to just sit there and bask in the sun.

After lunch I had lots of ups and downs for the last 20 miles of the day with a headwind for most of the time. The riding was difficult enough, but to top it off there was some motorcycle event happening along the route for the day, so hundreds of motorcycles passed me. You know, the Harleys that are ridiculously loud. Some of the bikers that passed me seemed to crank the engine on purpose right next to me just to make me go deaf. I also passed through about 30 of them in a small town and one didn't look down the road and pulled out right in front of me, going just about 2 mph, waiting for his friends. I had to dodge him and we almost ran into each other. Stupid bikers. You would think that they would have some sympathy for cyclists since they kind of know what it's like to be the "little guy" on the road. But no. There's no sympathy. Harley riders are my second least favorite people on the road after the sooped up pickup truck drivers.

I arrived at the camp ground pretty late since I had such a long lunch, but was greeted by several friendly cyclists. I first met a guy and a girl who were riding from Tacoma to San Francisco, then to Boulder. They were double majoring in music and International Political Economy. Both were band nerds, flute and percussion, so I felt an instant connection with them as I do with all band nerds. I also met two guys named Guido and Nimrod, two names that have been tainted by the media apparently. Guido is Italian, but seems pretty American with his lack of accent and gesticulation. He lives in Victoria, BC. He has the coolest job ever, being a cycling tour guide. I talked with him for a while at his campfire while I ate. His buddy Nimrod came out from his nap a bit later and I found out that he's a movie director. He started telling us about the movies he's done and he directed the most recent Predators movie. Today I found out that he even has his own IMDB page. A family of 3 also was at the campsite, working on a tour from Bellingham to San Diego, same as me. But they aren't taking any rest days and have been averaging 70-80 miles per day. Doesn't sound like much fun to be in such a rush.

Anyways, the lack of fun I had on today's ride was made up by having a great time talking with all the cyclists at the campground. Guido told me that tomorrow was "THE Day" for the entire coast ride, so I fell asleep trying to mentally prepare myself for the infamous Leggett Hill.

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