Daily miles – 96. Total miles – 355.
Got an earlier start this morning – left Richardson Grove around 8:30. We wanted to make Arcata by 6 pm to get to the Adventure’s Edge bike shop for the cassette and chain. After a couple climbs early on, we bailed off the 101 (a relief for sure) to cruise down the Avenue of the Giants. A beautiful road lined by redwoods and mostly downhill for about 30 miles, we made great time and enjoyed the cool shady riding all along the way. The Eel river, which makes a massive valley through the mountains. It looks like Reggae on the River or another big Reggae festival goes on up there.
Near the northern end of Avenue of the Giants, we encountered a bunch of folks on a century an metric century ride called Tour of the Unknown Coast. We followed their route back onto 101 for a bit but then it broke off into a surreal landscape of flat farmland that felt more like Wisconsin or Minnesota than California.
After a couple short, steep climbs, we enjoyed the flats and encountered our first real taste of serious headwind. It slowed us down a bit, but felt OK.
We stopped at a market for some coffee and a cookie and to rest the lower quarters a bit . . . Ran into a nice Harley rider who gave us good beta on how to get through Eureka on side roads. We followed his good directions and made the slow, tiresome slog up to Arcata. Found the bike shop easily and they had the parts with a note attached saying “For Mike Fienen – on tour from SF – needs this BAD!” Had to drop $100 for the parts, but will enable us to get far again! Tomorrow I will fix the bike, we’ll rest, and make our way north a little. Tonight it is Mexican food, beer, plenty of hot showers and a soft bed. We’ve strewn the bike and gear all over the hotel room and generally ae just lazing. Happy to be here and looking forward to our first rest day tomorrow.