Sunshine! Riders peeled out of Richardson Grove, rolling through the brown wooded hillsides along Highway 101, dotted with scrub oak and blackberry bramble. A quick stop at the Peg House brought gooey chocolate brownies, oversize cowboy hats, and some quick tune-ups, watering, and stretching.
To the Hills!
Between the redwoods and the sea lies the coast range, which riders crossed along twisty, turny Highway 1, climbing nearly 4000 feet in the process. The first hill led the Climate Ride posse up five miles of rolling, climbing curves and switchbacks. A warm sunny top-out was followed by the reward: 12 miles of glorious descent, sweeping through thick forest. A short but steep second climb bore suspicious signs of sasquatch presence, with an actual sighting at the top for those with a keen eye. A vertiginously twisted descent broke suddenly open into sunshine, and there it was: the Pacific Ocean.
To the Sea!
Riders rested from their successful crossing of the most mountainous part of the route with a picnic lunch at Howard Beach. Crashing waves, salt air, and bright green-blue ocean provided a stark contrast to the dense, protective walls of redwoods. Riders followed Highway 1 along the coast, crossing creeks and bluffs, with each turn providing a new vista. Before to long, they rattled across a train trestle to arrive in Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg was evacuated by the army in 1864, and since then has grown into a quirky little town, full of old buildings perched along the edge of the ocean cliffs. The building formerly known as the Union Lumber Company Store now holds a yummy coffee shop, a bike shop, and all the modern comforts to welcome tired riders, as they made their final stop of the day. After espresso and ice cream, the crew rolled a final six miles down the coast to the night’s campsite at Casper Beach, in time for a swim in the waves, and a sunset over the water.
It’s Not Easy Building Green
After swimming, sunning, and eating the final delicious meal from Sweet Basil Catering (thanks guys!), riders gathered in the twilight for a speaker series focusing on green building. David Arkin of Arkin-Tilt Architecture explained to the gang that straw bale houses can actually be carbon positive. Brad Jacobson from EHDD walked us through how to design a zero-energy building. Jeff Lesk, an attorney with Nixon Peabody, spoke about his quest to bring about transformational change in green building by bringing it to all members of society and advocating for sustainable communities. These talks were a great reminder that there are a lot of ways to work for a healthier planet!
Then, well, everyone went to bed, ready to get up at 5 am for the trip’s ‘century’ ride --100 miles down the coast on Tuesday!
Why We Ride, Part 2
Day 3 Recap: Century Day!