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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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To Petaluma Petaluma, California, Friday, 25 September 2009 2:48am

We somehow managed to set out at pretty close to our planned start time of 8 am. We got the obligatory thing-falling-off-of-a-bike mishap out of the way within the first few blocks (a map. Run over a few times by cars before we could pick it up, but still intact). We made the traditional side trip to return a library book, and then set out on our way.

It was very foggy in San Francisco. Visibility on the Golden Gate Bridge was about 10 feet. Perhaps that was why there were almost no pedestrians... or maybe it was just too early for them.

Had breakfast in Sausalito, and made good progress across Corte Madera. When I was testing routes for this trip, I measured a 22% grade hill. We went a few blocks around it and found another way up the ridge that was only an 18% grade. Success!

It was only 11 when we reached San Rafel, so we decided to press on to Novato before stopping for lunch. In Novato, we considered our options. It was about 1 when we were done with lunch, and we estimated we had only 10 or 15 miles to go before we hit Petaluma. It seemed silly to get there so early, so we decided to visit the famous Cheese Factory that appears on all of the bike maps of the region.

The side trip meant going 10 miles out of our way, along a hot, dry, hilly road. It was fun, but I had to take off my bike jacket.

The Cheese Factory is in a pretty little plot, with a pond and some geese and some picnic tables. Apparently, they make a scandalously good Brie (defeated the French contender at an international cheese competition!). Sadly, we agreed that all of their soft cheeses would be soup by the time we reached Cloverdale.

There were some grueling hills on the road north to Petaluma, but we still arrived at the Kampground before 5. It's pretty plush. There's wifi in the campsite and the swimming pool seems bathwater-warm, until you get into the hot tub and realize that that is bathwater warm.

We had dinner at a Cattlemens (the lack of apostrophe confuses me, but sic) restaurant, which had the rare distinction of showing me desserts that were so large that they dissuaded me from ordering them. This after a full day of biking!

59.73 mi 4:56 rolling Map

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