Sunday April 24: We flew to California to Meet Annie & David:

Eric, Sally & Cory flew from New Jersey to San Francisco. Nick and John flew from Boston to San Francisco. We met up in the airport, and drove up to Inverness. On the way we stopped to see the golden gate bridge. At the cabin Eric rented in Inverness, we found Annie & David.

Here we see Eric, Cory, Nick and John in front of the golden gate bridge. Then we see John and David at the Inverness cabin, Annie working on John's bike, David and Nick doing the dishes after our pasta dinner, Eric, John and Nick working on the web site, and John sitting out on the deck before dinner. The red hat is a present from Annie, it is supposed to keep our heads warm under our biking helmets in the mountains.

Tomorrow we will ride down to the Pacific ocean to officially start our trip, check out all our equipment, and spend one more night at this cabin before heading East on the long ride.

Eric, Cory, John & Nick at Golden Gate Park headed for Point Reyes
John and David relaxing on the deck of the house in Inverness
Annie tuning up John's bike before the first ride
David & Nick do dishes in Inverness
Sally, Eric, John & Nick take a look at the web page format
John on the deck just before sunset


Monday April 25: Shakedown ride to Point Reyes Lighthouse

First day of riding today. We rode from our camp in Inverness out to the end of Point Reyes, which was about 16.5 miles of up and down riding! There was a lot more climbing than we thought there would be on a simple ride out to the coast. At Point Reyes there is a lighthouse that was built in 1870. This lighthouse is not on the high bluff, but instead is located down low near the water. The reason it is low is because there is often fog high on the bluffs, and having the light low means that it can shine out under the fog and ships can see it. This lighthouse has a type 1 Fresnel lens, which is very big!

Passing by Point Reyes at this time of year are grey whales headed north for the summer. We saw a mother and calf whale pass by during the hour we were at the point.

Road art
Nick at the top of one of the hills headed for Point Reyes
Outer coast of Point Reyes, looking North
Point Reyes light, down a steep bluff near the ocean
Bikers go down to the surf at South Beach to dip their wheels in the ocean
John and Eric capture some Pacific water to bring east
David gets a homemade birthday cake to celebrate his day!


Tuesday April 26: Headed East, Inverness to St Helena

Bikers had a long hard day, 62 miles, to end up in St. Helena, CA. We are taking a day off on the 27th. We are staying with Chuck & Anne McMinn, friends of John from his early days at Intel. More of an update later, after we have had some R&R.

Sunrise at the cabin in Inverness,
looking over Tamales Bay (and
the San Andreas fault)
First blood, Eric got dragged
into his chain ring.
Bikers half way thru the day,
eating lunch in Petaluma

Eric crests the last hill heading
into wine country

John is a bit behind but coming
Bikers at the top, with a view of
a vineyard behind
Chuck & Ann's house in
St. Helena, team has arrived
Chuck & John remember the
old days at Intel


Wednesday April 27: Day off in St. Helena

We slept in a bit, had a nice breakfast cooked by Chuck, and took a bit of time to wander through downtown St Helena. Annie found a few things at the bike shop for us, including helmet mounted mirrors, which we are all now sporting. In the afternoon we went for a tour of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), in an old building that used to be a winery, called Greystone, built in about 1870. There we saw the CIA's teaching kitchens. Cory got a full explanation of how the equipment works, and picked up literature for a possible future career.

After Greystone we visited Vinyard 29, which is Chuck and Anne's vinyard and winery. This is a very impressive building cut into the side of a big hill with tunnels underneath to store the wine while it ages. Chuck talked us through the whole wine making process, showed us the facilities and of course let us taste the results. After the tour we went for a nice dinner at a local resturant, and tasted a bit more! Our sincerest thanks to Chuck and Anne for hosting us for 2 nights, giving us a much needed rest and being such fine hosts.

Cory gets a personal tour of
the Culinary Instutue of
America (CIA)
Teaching kitchens at the CIA,
St. Helena, CA
Greystone, the building that
houses the CIA
On our tour of Vinyard 29,
aging barrels for red wines
The aging tunnels under the hill
where wine ages for 2 years
Reception room near the back of
the tunnels
Vinyard 29's library of previous
wine releases
Chuck and Anne McMinn, the
owners and our tour guides!



Thursday April 28: St Helena to Davis, California

Cory baked muffins for break-
fast before leaving Chuck & Anne's
John gets a neck massage for the
Annie leads the pack, shot taken
enroute by Eric, GPS in the
Big dam at the east end of Lake
Berryessa Resevior
John crashes after forgetting to
take his foot out of the pedal
Sally & Roma serve up water-
melon when we arrive in Davis

Today was not as hard as Tuesday. We had a good climb in the morning, but much of it was a slow uphill grade, through very pretty countryside. We got to the top of the top at just about noon, so we stopped and had our sandwiches. Then the rest of the ride was down or along the flats of the central valley. Down on the valley floor we were able to maintain 15 mph so we got to Davis by about 3:30. Fifty five miles total today.

Our hosts tonight were Prem and Roma Devanbu, and their two children Josephine and Frances. Roma is the younger sister of Sally's best friend from grade school. Roma fed us a great dinner of stewed chicken and sauce over pasta, and we spread ourselves all over their house to sleep.

Friday April 29: Davis to Placerville

The original plan was to go only 44 miles today (see the schedule), but since we had done well on Thursday, and since we knew that most of the day was in the Central Valley, which means very little hills, we thought we ought to be able to get farther, and get a start on climbing the Sierra mountains. So we planned to go all the way to Placerville, which meant about a 2000 foot climb in the last 20 miles. It turned out to be 69 miles for the whole day, and we all were pretty tired by the time we arrived at our hotel. We got a late start, and so we did not finish until about 7:30 PM.

The whole gang in Davis
American River in Sacramento. We followed a bike path along the river for over 25 miles
Farther up the American River, a
big fish hatchery in the back-
Rattlesnake on the bike path!
Spring flowers, California
poppies and lupine.
Bridge for bikers and walkers
as a part of the bike path,
crossing the American River
Cory shows off his tour T-shirt
Cory is named Bike Ride Chef
for his contributions to our
meals including muffins, cakes,
lattes and cappachinos!

Later in the evening, Eric and John drove back to the Sacramento airport (about an hour in a car). Eric picked up a rental car, and John picked up Nana, who flew in from Vermont. The rental car is for Sally & Cory, who leave early on the 30th to drive to San Francisco, and fly home. Nana is now our SAG driver for the next 11 days. Welcome Nana!

Saturday April 30: Eric's Birthday! Nana is here!

We rode 46 miles of very tough riding today. We climbed and went down and climbed and went down all day! We worked our way south from Placerville, headed for the Kit Carson pass (Route 88). By the end of the day we had climbed up to about 5000 feet. When we reached Rt. 88, we turned west (and down), and rode about 10 miles to Pioneer where we had a hotel reservation. Tomorrow we will ride up to where we met Rt 88 so we don't have to climb all that way up again.

Packing up in Placerville
This one is for Sandy in the
Copley OR.
Stopping for a break somewhere
in the mountains
Eric demonstrates the size of a local tree, and picks up ants

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First flat of the trip, on the
Here is the little thorn that punched right through the tire and tube
OK, now we know we are up in
the mountains!

Sunday May 1: Day off in Pioneer, CA

We decided based on the forecast of snow in the pass, and the state of our tired legs, that a day off in Pioneer would fit the bill. This morning we spent time in the Jacuzzi. This afternoon Annie is tuning up bicycles. We built gorp this morning, each to his own receipe, to help carry us over the mountains tomorrow. Pictures to come ...

Easing sore muscles in the
John takes his job as web-
master seriously
Annie 'The Wrench' tuning up
her wheels
The weather over the Sierras
looks threatening
Nick takes on Nana in a game
of Rummy 500
Nana displays the Vermont
patches she put on backpacks

Monday, May 2: Over the Sierra Nevada!

We packed the bikes onto the car last night, and early today we drove 3 bikers and 4 bikes up Rt. 88 to the intersection of the road from Omo Ranch, where we had come on Saturday. This saved us about 2000 feet of climbing, which we had done on Saturday to get there, so there is no cheating involved! Annie, Nick and John had breakfast beside the road while Eric drove back down to the hotel and packed the car with Nana, then they both came back up. Off we went up the hill, up the hill and up the hill. We climbed for 35 miles, starting at 4900 feet and peaking at 8543 in the top of Kit Carson pass. There was one drop of about 700 feet of altitude, but otherwise pure climbing. We arrived at the peak at about 3:00 PM, then after putting on jackets and gloves, we shot down the other side, covering 14 miles in about 45 minutes to arrive in Woodfords for the night.

View from near the top
Eric's bike parked next to the
snow bank at one rest stop
A Western Jay (?) who came to
ask for some of our lunch
A Canada Goose who got
some of our lunch!
Eric in front of a large snow
Nick & John at a senic over-
This little house at the peak is
not yet melted out of the snow
The gang of four at the top of
Kit Carson pass, 8543'

We stayed the night in Woodfords, CA, which is a small town part way down the mountains. It was a great hotel with a great hot tub, but only one pay-phone so we were not able to be very in touch, or to update the web site for a couple of days. Next morning we rode off down the hill, and soon crossed into Nevada.

On to Nevada!

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