Day 31 - Standish-Hickey to Fort Bragg
Jun 26, 2010
Aug 15, 2010
As our plan was to hitch hike to the bike shop in Fort Bragg, we were up early to give ourselves the best chance of flagging someone down in the best time. I beautifully prepared a sign reading 'Wheel bust. Fort Bragg please!' out of the cardboard Antek had negotitated from the cafe across the road. We secured our spot, held out the sign and waited. And kept waiting through rejection after rejection until two very serious looking cyclists pulled up to see if they could help. Luckily for Antek one of them worked in a bike shop so knew exactly what to do and got straight down to business straightening the wheel and fixing the spokes. He even gave Antek's back brake a sort out using some oil and zip ties. The two guys were doing a sponsored cycle and were riding 120 miles that day, and we also discovered they had left Seattle only a week ago! They sorted the wheel well enough to ride on so my plans of being driven over the massive hill were dashed into the ground. So onto the hill we went and it was actually not too bad as the sun was shining, there wasn't much traffic and we completed it in sections. After the 9 mile downhill that turned me blue with cold, we had a couple of miles of flat before hill number 2 arrived- this time a 700 footer. The sun shine had been replaced with a horrible fog so this climb was far from pleasant! We made it over and cycled along the coast to Westport where the hopes of a hot meal and a warm place to sit evaporated into thin air. We had to make do with what we could find in the petrol station and even with my thermal blanket wrapped tightly around me, I was still shivering. We estimated we had just under 15 miles to the campsite in what we hoped would be flattish road, but the California coastline had other ideas. Up and down we went over rolling hills and roads cut into cliff faces meaning we'd hardly changed out of our lowest gear all day and I could feel my muscles working! With the help of singing songs from the 'Sound of Music' (The Hills are Alive was a particular favourite) under my breath, I pushed myself on and we made it to the campsite. After the genius and beauty of the Oregon campsites, California has been a disappointment! I had a quick 50 cents shower and guzzled down some food before I escaped to my tent from out of the cold. Tomorrow we hit the bike shop and hopefully get everything sorted in enough time to cycle the miles the book has laid out for us.