There have been various reports that riders have been complaining about “bridge fatigue”. Bridge fatigue is something that Bay Area cyclists face, having to deal with the windy conditions, the maddening tourists on rental bikes, and the monotony of having to ride through the same North Bay cities over and over. Even a friend’s 7 year old son went so far as to say he preferred bike camping in the East Bay rather than at China Camp in San Rafael because he “hate[s] riding over the Golden Gate Bridge”.
And while I understand these complaints, there’s still something magical about meeting up at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, hearing our RBA Rob Hawks do his pre-ride standup comedy/safety routine, and then riding over the bridge amongst a sea of flourescent vests and reflective gear at 7am in the morning.
The first 20 miles of this ride is almost like muscle memory to most San Francisco Randonneurs since they pass through the same roads repeatedly on brevets. To be honest, I’m not even sure of most of the street names for this first section of all brevets, however every time I pass by Shady Ln in Ross, this song starts playing in the jukebox in my head.
By the time we hit Sir Francis Drake Boulevard past Fairfax, I was pleasantly surprised by the nicely re-paved roads. I’m not sure when this roadwork was completed, since I usually opt to ride the Cross Marin Trail, but it was a pleasant experience that lead us over Point Reyes National Seashore.
I had difficulty during the previous year’s event, due to the windy conditions, the rolling terrain, and the constant stream of Marin Airporters zipping passing cyclists on the narrow roads to the lighthouse. This year there were far fewer tourist buses and one of them got stuck on a turn. I know it’s been quite popular to pour the hatred on buses in the Bay Area lately but I refrained from throwing rocks at the down and out bus.
The Lighthouse control point was particularly pleasant and not absurdly windy. I overheard some other rides talking about how the Point Reyes Lighthouse is the furthest point west in the mainland U.S., which is also pretty cool (Editor’s Note: … and FALSE).
I spent the next portion of the ride from Highway 1 to Marshall trying to stay alive and hoping that cars wouldn’t buzz me on their drive to Tomales Bay. The reflecto triangle definitely did it’s job in this situation. As a reward for stayin’ alive, I treated myself to some tasty fish stew and a root beer over at the Marshall store.
The rest of the ride was pretty much smooth sailing. Brian and I took a quick break over at Rancho Nicasio for some caffeine and carbs, before continuing to roll back into San Francisco shortly after sunset.
Once again, the SFR rides are always amazing because of the jolly people that attend and the gracious help of the many volunteers who staff our control points. I’ll be opting out of the next Two Rock/Valley Ford 200k in February but I look forward to staffing the finish control and cheering on randonneurs as they cross the finish line.