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A Bike Trip to Death Valley
Friday, 23 June 2006
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This is a Blog or online diary of a bike tour from Las Vegas to San Francisco taking in Death Valley and Yosemite.The word Blog is derived from web log.

As with all Blogs the latest entry is at the top of the page. Each days entry has relevant pictures just below it. The best way to read from the start is to click on 3 June on the calender to the right which will take you to the first page. There are 5 pages. For each page start with the entry at the bottom and follow the entries to the top of the page. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the link to "newer" to go to the next page.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 8:35 AM BST
Wednesday, 21 June 2006
Tuesday 20 June. San Francisco and flight back. Trip Summary.

Our flight back was not until 16.30 so we had plenty of time. Clear blue skies again as we walked to Mels for breakfast.

After sorting out and packing we rode to the Civic Centre Station for the Bart underground train system which takes bikes off-peak including on a line to the Airport.

We rode up Divisario Street with the emphasis on up as the grade reached 25%. Then on to the train station and a smooth 30 minutes train ride took us direct to the Airport and a Gatwick style Monorail took us to the terminals. We packed the bikes in a quiet spot. The Virgin Atlantic flight left on time and we flew over the Golden Gate Bridge soon after takeoff.

In summary of the trip it was a seriously hard bike ride but with some tremendous scenery especially the stark dry beauty of Death Valley and the grandeur of Yosemite and the Sierras.

In the 20 day trip we bicycled 1072 miles and climbed up hills totalling 64517ft or more than twice the height of Everest. We all look forward to getting home for a comparative rest and even a lie in to 7.00am!!

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:56 PM BST
Tuesday 20 June. Martin and Peter climb the 25% gradient Divasario Street


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:47 PM BST
Tuesday 20 June. Flying out. City of San Francisco and the Oakland Bay Bridge


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:44 PM BST
Monday 19 June. San Francisco

Another day with clear blue skies and temperatures lower than we had been used to at about 75f.

We had all spent a few days in San Francisco on a previous trip when we rode the West Coast Highway down to Los Angeles. We had seen the usual sights like Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz.

We started the day with a visit to Mel's 50' style Diner a few blocks up the road for breakfast. I then took a bike ride across town to the Civic Centre Post Office to pick up my bike packing materials and bike bag which I had posted from Las Vegas, General Delivery (Post Restante) Martin and Peter meanwhile walked up the road to an American Barbers for short haircuts.

We then walked along to the Marina and a small harbour with historic ships. Then on to a Cable Car for a ride up and down the streets of San Francisco to the top end of Lombard Street and the famed Crookedest Street.

We walked back with a "tea stop" back at Mels where we all indulged in large portions of Apple Pie "a la mode" or with ice cream.

My mileage for the day riding to and from the Post Office was 6.4 miles with 813ft of climbing. (There are a lot of hills in San Francisco and all very steep

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:39 PM BST
Monday 19 June. Breakfast at Mels Diner


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:35 PM BST
Monday 19 June. Skaterboarder headed down the crookedest street. Nob Hill in the background


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:31 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006 2:01 PM BST
Sunday 18 June. Petulama to San Francisco.

Today's Sunday bike ride was to San Francisco. Another day of clear blue skies but a little cooler than of late under the influence of the cool Pacific. Temperatures reached 75 f.

We started from Petulama on backroads over the rolling coastal hills. After 15 miles we crossed into Marin County and joined US Highway 1 heading southbound towards San Francisco. We had our first view of the Pacific as we rode alongside Tomales Bay and down to Point Reyes and the "Bovine Bakery" a well known hangout for local cyclists (bicyclists) out for a Sunday ride from San Francisco. We joined the crowd eating suitably giant sized buns.

We stopped for lunch at a beach resort before a stiff 600ft climb above the Pacific Rollers. Then it was down to sea level again and another 600ft climb over the hills of the Peninsula to Sausalito.

We soon had our first view of the Golden Gate Bridge and rode up to the famous Battery Viewpoint on the Marin County headland for the inevitable photo stop. Then down to the Bridge and across on the Bikepath. The strong wind whistling across the Bay made us glad of the heavy panniers anchoring our bikes to the bridge.

We took a great bikepath into the City alongside the Bay with views of the Bridge and on to the Marina District. Then inland a few blocks to the Marina Motel on Lombard Street. This was a good place to stay with an internal courtyard decorated by many flowers.

70.3 miles for the day with 3884 ft of climbing.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 12:09 PM BST
Sunday 18 June. Giant Buns for elevenses


remote Posted by Edwin at 12:05 PM BST
Sunday 18 June. Peter and Martin at the Golden Gate


remote Posted by Edwin at 12:01 PM BST
Sunday 18 June. Peter riding across the Golden Gate Bridge


remote Posted by Edwin at 11:55 AM BST
Tuesday, 20 June 2006
Saturday 17 June, Lodi to Petulama
Weather today was again clear sunny skies with temperatures reaching 95f.

Today was a moving on day to get within striking distance of the West Coast. Scenery was not very special and we had to use the busy route 12 as the only east to west route avoiding major towns and freeways.

We had a 5.30 am breakfast at the Hollywood Cafe in Lodi and then headed out on Route 12 dead straight to Rio Vista where we stopped for a break. Then on for another 25 miles on a road that undulated up and down near Windfarms. Near to Fairfax I spotted a Black Bear Diner and turned in quickly.

The Black Bear Diner is the Chain which does gigantic portions even by American standards. Martin and Peter shared a meal between them. I had a soup followed by a Blackberry pie which came out in a great bowl at least 4 times the size of an English portion.

We next rode on to the Napa Valley with its Vineyards spread over the hillsides. We stopped at a winery Cafe where Martin and Peter sampled a local wine. After more hard miles we eventually arrived in Petulama to check in to a Motel 6.

89.3 miles for the day and 1538 ft of climb.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 10:21 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006 10:58 PM BST
Saturday 17 June. Black Bear Diner


remote Posted by Edwin at 10:16 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006 11:00 PM BST
Sunday, 18 June 2006
Friday 16 June. Groveland to Lodi
By stopping earlier yesterday the mileage for today was increased but it also gave me the chance to plan a quieter and more direct route and avoid a climb up to Sonora.

Today's ride was taking us down from the edges of the Sierras and into the foothills and then descending to the San Joaquin Valley. There were again bright blue skies and temperatures up to 97f.

We started the day with a long 2000ft descent on a smooth road and shallow bends and a maximum speed of 45 mph. We started the days ride at 6.30 without breakfast looking to get this on the route. The backroads we took did not at first prove very productive but we eventually found a cafe after 20 miles at Lake Tulloch.

We took some very quiet backroads along Salt Springs Valley with a car about every 10 minutes among ranch country. We rode via the quiet Hamlet of Felix!.

We took a long up and down ride through the edges of the foothills to eventually descend to the Cherry Trees of the San Joaquin Valley. We stopped for a late lunch and cold drinks at Linden. As we started off at 3.00 a sign across the road showed the temperature at 97f.

We took backroads among the orchards for 20 miles to our overnight stay at the Best Western in Lodi.

85 miles for the day with 2424ft of climb and 5091ft of descent.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 3:46 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006 10:09 AM BST
Friday 16 June. Peter riding a hill in Salt Spring Valley


remote Posted by Edwin at 3:41 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006 10:07 AM BST

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