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  • Memoirs of the Tandem Captain from Bodega Bay to Santa Cruz: Part 4

    Memoirs of the Tandem Captain from Bodega Bay to Santa Cruz: Part 4

    Guest blogger Mike Cummins

    Finally on the road.

     We were at the top of the driveway in Bodega Bay. I clipped my right shoe into the pedal. Lifted it up in unison with Devon to poise our power for the first pedal-push of our journey. 1 And 2 and go! We were on the road. I got my left pedal clicked in on the 2nd or 3rd go round and we were on our way with grace. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to practice for some miles with Devon and the Tandem on Temp's route from Sequim to Crescent Beach.  Slowly we got up to riding speed and balance with the road starting to blur beneath us and the views of Tomales Bay opened up in front.  I tried my best to navigate just to the left of the roadsides white line.

     Towing the trailer was a new thing for me. Going up the hills it was like hauling a dirty, wet stump and going down the hills it was like being pushed by a rhinoceros. Also, the weight of gear in the saddlebags off the front forks made the bike very pivoty, especially when we were going up the hills.  Aaaaaand.....I'm embarrassed to say that getting in the right unison with the gearing was a challenge, I mean really tough! Really, this was my only BIG stressor the entire way. I will give you an example- Imagine a hill is coming up ahead, "downshifting" I would say. But then the hill gets more hilly "downshifting more" I would say. And then the hill grows more hellishly hillier, "downshifting even more" I would say. "No" Devon would say, "we have to stop and put it into the granny gear!"  Crap I would always think to myself, what a bad captain I turned out to be.   If our pedaling put too much tension on the long tandem chain, it could snap!  We would both have to get off the bike, lift up the back tire, and turn it to the granny gear by shifting and turning the crank with our hands. Sorry, I haven't been to this hill before!  

    But, my blue shirt was preforming amazing well, exceeding my expectations. Not to cool, not to warm, I think I'm going to wear it the entire trip.  And then my great thoughts were interrupted by the saddlebag bouncing off the bike an hour or so into our day, tumbled down the road and skidded to a stop. I had put it on the wrong way-backwards I guess. I ran to retrieve it before Jeff saw my mistake, but I'm sure he got a photo. Did I mention Jeff was sometimes behind us, sometimes in front of us all day, everyday riding and taking photos? He wanted us to find an old barn on the roadside for us to pose in front of, I’m sure with the secret hope of making a photo for a National Geographic issue.

     We rode up and down the little hills towards Point Reyes Station. On our way, the bay to our left had smooth water with a low tide.  It was Sunday afternoon and the traffic was thin and slow. We got some water in a little town and then pushed towards someplace with better food. Point Reyes is where the famous blue cheese is from, and it as at the deepest southern nook of Tomales Bay.  Our ride was 40 easy miles that felt like 40 easy miles. Becca and Laura meet us at this little deli and we shared some sandwiches.   We got some coffees and a quick bike tune at a weird bike shop and then headed towards John Hope's little boathouse.  

    Just so everyone knows, Becca and Laura were not on bicycles. They were in the same silver businessman rental car: the support vehicle. Pretty much they were Devon’s cheerleaders. On the first day, I gave them 10 bucks to find me a fanny pack and a visor, fashion items I really needed for my trip.  The said they couldn’t find anything-I believed them until just now.  

    There were at least 6 bottles of wine in the trunk.  Just saying!