Pleasanton, CA to San Francisco, CA – 34 miles
Yesterday started out at Andrea, Paige, and Brittany’s apartment in Pleasanton. Sticking to my routine I made some oatmeal and coffee. I was super excited to get to the Pacific today, but I tried to stick to the process that had got me through so many rides the last three months. Said bye and started riding around 9. Thanks for the hospitality ladies!!
As I left Pleasanton I started climbing and it was feeling rather difficult, so I checked my tires. My rear wheel was a little out of true again. It will probably never be right again it seems. I found a really loose spoke, unloaded my bike on the side of the road, tightened it, and tweak a few other spokes to try to remove the wobble. Continued the climb.
Soon after climbing I rode through some suburban neighborhoods. Stopped at a convenience store to get some food and continued to the bay.
The plan was to cross the bay via the San Francisco Bay Ferry from Alameda, just west of Oakland. I got to the ferry dock at around noon just after the last ferry before lunch had left. The next one didn’t leave until 120, so I hung out, ate some food, and talked to the security guard watching over the parking lot.
The ride across the bay on the ferry was pretty cool. There were huge cargo ocean liners everywhere and it really brought home where most of our everyday goods come from.
There was a coast guard vessel complete with an anti-aircraft gun on top of it that appeared to be under maintenance as it was elevated out of the water.
We went under what I assume to be the bay bridge going from Oakland to San Francisco and then got the first views of the giant metropolis that is SF.
After getting off of the ferry the ride through the city was pretty exciting. Lots of cars and people to dodge. The only rule about riding in the city seems to be that there are no rules. Lane splitting, cutting between cars, and running red lights seems to be the norm and almost expected. It was very much an organized chaos that worked pretty efficiently.
I went to Charles and Danielle’s place in the Inner Richmond neighborhood just north of Golden Gate Park. Both of their jobs are pretty flexible, so they were able to finish the ride to Ocean Beach with me. Charles long boarded and Danielle rode her bike. It’s great to know that there are employers out there who recognize that they employ adults and treat them as such recognizing that the office isn’t the only place where work can get done and can actually be where the least amount of work gets done due to distractions and the meeting culture that is so common today.
We rode to Golden Gate Park which is just a few blocks from their apartment and down the road that runs through it to the Pacific Ocean.
When we got to the beach I ran out to the ocean and jumped right in! My emotions were at an all time high. It’s impossible to describe what I was feeling, a combination of elation, relief, joy, accomplishment, but mixed with an anxiety, and doubt about what the future holds. What a great way to end an amazing journey! So happy I was able to share it with a couple of other adventurous, nature loving folks!
It’s good to reflect on accomplishments occasionally and now seems as appropriate a time as ever, so here are some achievements from the adventure:
- 4,419 miles cycled
- 253,765 vertical feet climbed by bike
- 9 states biked across
- 2 oceans visited
- 9 states high pointed
- 11 national parks visited
- $4863 RAISED FOR THE BATTLE AGAINST MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS!!
There is no reason why we need to let that last bullet stand. I certainly plan on cycling more miles, climbing more vertical feel, biking across more states, visiting more oceans, high pointing more states (California in less than a week :)), and visiting more national parks, so I encourage you to donate to the cause if you have been considering, but haven’t had the opportunity to execute on your intention just yet. You can still be a part of the goal and journey by donating here – http://www.biketheusforms.org/cyclists/detail.asp?cid=715
It’s been a fantastic ride (literally and figuratively) and the feeling of completing this journey that I’ve been thinking about for a few years now and not knowing if I would ever have the guts to actualize is amazing. It’s like a huge weight lifted and feels different than any previous accomplishment in my life – academic or career – because it was completely self-driven. It had no preconception associated with it, such as, this is what I’m supposed to do, or this is what society expects of me. In fact, it was the exact opposite and at times seemed so contrary to the status quo.
By far one of the most rewarding things I’ve done simply because it was something I wanted to do regardless of how much sense it made or what other people thought. The endeavor produced no tangible reward, had little to no impact on the world in general except for the people whose paths I crossed along the way, but it provided me with a normal lifetime’s memories in just a short 82 days which I will hold as priceless for the rest of my life.
This pilgrimage and the associated memories would not be as rich or perhaps even possible without the help, encouragement, and donations of my family, friends, the many people I met along the way, and some strangers who happened to be inspired by my story. THANK YOU to each and every one of you and without further ado, roll credits…
Alice Mankoff and Joe Greogory
Amanda Clements and Tony Hoag
Andrea Lin and her roommates Brittany and Paige
Ann and Walter Hoffman
Benny from Rico
Brian and Kate Stash
Bridget and Joe Garrison
Carol and Terry Lewis
Chad and Whitney Burdzilauskaus
Charles and Danielle Schnake
Cindy Ms Lady
Craig and Gretchen Baker
Dave and Kathleen Kennedy
Dave and Linda Miltz
Diane, Sherry, Kelley, and T-Dub from The Gap in Cheyenne-Wells, CO
Don Fraser and Cassie Wertz
Gillian in Ordway, CO
Grandma K, Debbie, AT Hiker Outside of Grocery Store in Damascus
Immanuel Luther Church – Walnut, KS
Jenn and Eric Breitbach
Jon and Marianne Garrison
Masha and Thomas Folk
Matt and Leslie Burkley
Michelle and Bo from Cheyenne Wells, CO
Mike and Wendy Orrison
Newton Bike Shop
Paul and Courtney Cise
Professor Peter Hackbert
Rod Johnson and Cathy Ames-Farmer
Teri Ann Tibbetts
The Deluride! -Charlie, Jeff, Caroline, Carter, Tad, and Laura
Tim and Marilyn Stroda
United Methodist Church in Marion, Ky
Vector Cycle Works
Volunteer Fire Department in Utica, Ky
Wes and Judy Murray
…and anyone else whom I may have forgotten. This one’s for you! CHEERS!