lost coast part 3

Biking the Lost Coast Day 3: Fort Bragg to Petaluma

While the Lost Coast was central to this adventure, it felt like bad planning at this point to add yet another herculean effort after never experiencing anything of this sort.

Day three featured the same amount of gain, but this time over 140 miles meaning most of the vert would be sublte.

I didn’t want to tighten up, so I started out slow and made many stops though really brief to stay hydrated and not stiffen up.

The first ten miles were the scariest with the fog making me wary riding on Highway 1, so I was happy to grab a coffee in Mendocino to help conditions clear up.

I can generalize riding along the coast, but the experience is spectacular constantly weaving providing a number of changing views while never going about 100m above sea level giving efficient riding enjoying the north to south tailwind.

A key feature why I enjoy riding the North Coast against Big Sur are the number of settlements that are more closely grouped thanks to their 19th century footprints with a number of towns popping up to support the lumber and fishing industries.

I chose my next stop to be in Point Arena that has a number of dining options that owes part of its establishment as a navigation point around this jutting land mass.

While the town was foggy, there was a great release the next couple of hours feeling like I had Highway 1 all to myself wondering why more people don’t visit while appreciating the silence as well.

One of my must stops is into Sea Ranch first into the chapel that’s an exhale moment for every journey and then a quick coffee in this 1960s coastal environment influenced development.

The day’s toughest climbs had the best views

Right beyond, under normal circumstances I would have stopped at Stewarts Point for their excellent sandwiches, but even though it was the halfway, I was too afraid of what a prolonged break would do for my body.

After another hour on the bike, I rolled into Fort Ross for reliable water and bathrooms, though the draw of this over 200 year old Russian settlement always intrigues me.

Nowhere near a famed Tour de France climb, my biggest ascents soon followed testing my fatigue while rewarded by some amazing cliff views.

Stopping in Jenner left me just short of the century mark that was noted down the road crossing the Russian River.

Endless nooks like these along the North Coast

The end of my coastal experience ended on a high note with cinematic views off the coast before rounding into Bodega Bay.

Heading east towards Petaluma felt like a time trial relying on adrenaline finishing off the most epic effort beyond anything I could have imagined years before.

It’s hard to properly reflect on such an adventure that was monumental with landmarks and memories, but hard to overcome that none of this would have been possible without such a heavy physical effort.

Already I’ve thought about doing this journey again