El Perro Negro (96)

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Leaving the Holiday Inn in Davis – next stop San Francisco!!

It was fun to see all the cyclists in and around Davis on our way out of town this morning.  We were very impressed by the bicycle infrastructure (including roundabouts near the UC Davis Campus), so it makes sense why this area is so well-known for cycling.  In addition to being popular for cycling, it is Rachel’s grandfather’s old stomping grounds (http://theuniversityfaculty.cornell.edu/memorials/HOGUE.pdf), so it was fun to spend a little bit of time here.

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Rachel’s grandfather, Doug Hogue, earned his undergraduate degree in animal science at UC Davis.

Further down the road, we met another cyclist named Gill who rode solo through the Central Valley from Yolo county to Mexico a few years go.  He also did Ragbrai this summer, which sounds like a great time!  We rode with him along the Putah Creek for the morning; he was on his way to Winters to meet his wife for breakfast. It was a pleasure to meet and ride with you, Gill!

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When we stopped in Winters to say goodbye to Gill, he introduced us to a man named Trino who played a leaf like a harmonica.  One of the songs he played for us was El Perro Negro.  He said he was a troublemaker as a kid, and him and his brother often ended up in jail.  While he was there, he learned how to play music on the grape leaf, because he wasn’t allowed to have much else.  We were very impressed!

The route took us on some beautiful roads through plenty of orchards this morning; the ground here is extremely fertile and the climate is also very good for fruit and nuts.  Mostly, we passed walnut orchards, but there were also prunes, peaches, and almonds.  All of these were a lot of fun to see, since we’re not accustomed to seeing this produce grown at home.

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After we parted ways with Gill, we met Austin and Brittney, who started riding in Florida.  They are taking a few days off in San Francisco and then continuing to Seattle along the coast, before doubling back to Portland, where they are relocating to.  They caught up to us about 30 miles from Vallejo, so we decided to ride the rest of the way together.  We stopped at Safeway for lunch, but otherwise pushed to make it in time for the 4PM ferry! There was a steady wind coming in from the bay for the last 15 miles, which slowed us down, but we made it with about 15 minutes to spare.  We were happy to have them join us, because we would have struggled to find the motivation to push so hard for the last segment of the day.

The ferry was nearly empty, so the crew let us leave them inside the boat rather than out on the stern deck.
The ferry was nearly empty, so the crew let us leave them inside the boat rather than out on the stern deck.

To celebrate making it to the ferry, we had beers on the rear deck of the ferry with them.  For most of the trip across the bay, we had sunny skies, but entered into some fog near the city.

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Once we docked in the Embarcadero area, we rode down Market Street together and then parted ways to our hotels.  We hope to meet up with them before leaving, but if we don’t: good luck with the rest of your trip, guys! We had a great time riding with you.

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The four of us in San Francisco before riding towards our hotels.

It was a fun ride, in lanes segregated for cyclists, buses, etc. with a 10mph limit for cars.  Before we knew it, we were riding along with at least 10 other cyclists pedaling down the street in one big group.

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Once we made it to the hotel, we decided to save the last few miles for tomorrow, so the trip isn’t over yet!

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Corner room; double the views!

We relaxed, cleaned up, and took in the view before finding a good restaurant for dinner.  We walked down Polk Street until we settled on Thai Spice.

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Later, we met up with Lisa and Jenny, who have been in town since last Saturday, but will leave on the 22nd to go home to Norway.  It was a lot of fun to share stories with them from the 2nd half of the trip!

Only 5 miles to go tomorrow!  We will probably drag it out, though, with some sightseeing 🙂

Trip stats, to date (Day 96)

Davis, CA to San Francisco, CA

Daily mileage: 64.7 mi ;  Trip total to date: 5,590.5 mi
Daily riding time: 5hr 32min;  Trip total time: 487hr 13min
Daily ascent: 2,433 ft;  Trip total ascent: 296,978 ft
Flat tires: Rachel – 4; Chris – 7