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Follow my adventures in parkour, tall bikes, beater cars, and kinetic sculpture racing, just to name a few.

Northward, HO!

Video by Nick. Words by Jay.

Whatever I ate yesterday, was a bowl full of bad idea. I've been up most of the night, bellyaching, and spent a lot of time being sick this morning. Nick was amazingly patient, and since our journey today was extra short, he was great about waiting until I felt well enough to leave. We have been sleeping in the same place for five nights, but we'd like to move on now, please. So we BARTed to the end of the line in Pittsburgh,CA, where I drank all the Gatorade in the universe. The remaining 20 miles was all, blessedly, downhill.

Famous. Last. Words. Remember that part about me being sick? Yeah. We got off BART and grabbed me some crackers and vitamin water and rice for dinner, and proceeded to stop every 5 miles or so, which felt like they took an hour each, as hard as I was struggling to pedal. The second time we stopped was in the shadow of a very large bridge. “What happened to no elevation?” I demanded to know. This is about the time Nick mentions that it's a toll bridge. We're we going to be kicked off? Was there a shoulder? “There's no other way” he said. The first sign saying “cyclists, pedestrians and motorized bicycles permitted” he thought may have said prohibited, so we were glad when there was a second.

The toll taker gave us a strange look as we rolled onto the foot of the bridge. Nick says it was the scariest thing he's ever done on a bicycle. I refused to think at all, concentrating too much on putting one foot in front of the other. We'd been warned about Delta wind, but this was a whole different level. Every time a vehicle rushed by us, we were sucked to the edge of the shoulder or shoved rudely into the jersey barrier keeping us out of the river, in addition to ascending a steep slope. And the bridge was easily two miles long. Fighting downhill on the other side was just as bad, I think I would rather forget, but then we were on flat pavement again, even if it was just the side of a fast rural route. With 6 miles to go, we stopped again for water and crackers. Baby steps.

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We made it over another small bridge and into the campground, where there were no staff or maps to greet us or make change, so we just rolled in and headed for the back. Sign said “hiker/biker $6 camping” we figured we could pay in the morning. Not thirty seconds after our bikes were parked did I flop down on the grass for a rest, feeling almost person by now. We put up the tent in short order, assuming the wind would die down after dark, a d settled in for a pre-dinner nap. Tonight will be an early one, with fried rice and a little James May. I'm exhausted and tomorrow will be a long, if flat ride. Shame there's no soft grass here for our tent. We better get caught up on sleep tonight.


Total mi: 20 by bicycle

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