June 20, 2008 – Willits to San Francisco
There was a little bit of a sting to leaving Willits. This was our final day of riding in California. We had to be back in San Francisco to return our rental bikes by dinner time. Though another beautiful day of riding along the serpentine tarmac of the coast lay ahead, the ride was tinged with the sadness of knowing that the trip we had been dreaming of for so long was nearly finished.
We stopped along the way, enjoying the views and visiting the lighthouses at both Point Cabrillo and Point Arena and having a bite to eat in Mendocino. Onward we went, heading back to where we’d started from in San Francisco.
When we rode inland off the coast, the heat felt like a punch to the gut. One minute we were cruising along in the mild air of the coastline and then WHAMMO!, it was H-O-T. We’d passed a bank sign while making a pit stop that read 114°.
I saw Greg put on his signal and move to the shoulder. Flat tire! The sun and the heat were merciless while we were standing there on the side of the highway. It felt every bit of that 114 degrees we’d seen earlier and then some. Thankfully, this roadside repair was done in jig time using the fabulously small and flexible Slime compressor and a Stop & Go Tire plugging kit.
The irony of getting a flat at the Lucky Drive exit was not lost on me 🙂
With Greg’s tire plugged, each of us was hot and admittedly cranky but we were back on our way. The big red bridge though beautiful was like a dagger in my heart. Our ride was over. In what seemed to be the blink of an eye, we were pulling our bikes back in to the garage at Dubbleju.
How could 9 days have passed so quickly?