We departed today from our luxurious stay at the Budget Inn. I don't know if we will ever be able to beat the clogging shower, rotting wood, and questionable bed(I gladly took the floor). Despite showering(fastest shower of my life), I felt dirtier leaving. It was memorable.
In light of all of this we knew a place we could stay for the night that was only 20-30 miles outside of San Fransisco in Walnut Creek. Wanda, our Grandma's friend that she has known since high school lived there so we gave her a call just to make sure. Thrilled to get our call she gladly invited us to stay for the night, which gave us the freedom to explore the city for the day.
As we got closer and closer to the city (cause we were still 5-10 miles short of San Fran), there became more and more bikers. I was saying hey to them, and I could have sworn there was a race or biking convention somewhere because the area was packed with bicyclists. We eventually met a guy named Jim. As he was biking by he said hey and asked us some usual questions about where we were travelling to and I asked him what bike routes connect to the bridge so we could ride across it. He said he would show us and to meet him up and around the corner. He flew up the hill at an unreasonable speed and was gone. Eventually we got to him and started talking to him and he said he would be happy to show us around. This was great...no more guessing where to turn, which areas to see, etc. We were with a local, and us being new to every area we go through were more than glad to have someone show us around.
We quickly found out how he was able to climb the hill so fast. He has a bike that is battery powered. It made climbs a bit easier yet still allowing him to get some good exercise in. He made it himself and it peaked all of our interest. He was telling the ins and outs of the bike, the science behind it, and the kind of time and effort it took for the project. It was really cool.
The thing that really floored me about Jim is that he took time out of his entire day to show us around the area. We biked across the Golden Gate bridge, went to Fisherman's Wharf, experience an area celebrating Black History, and stop in a few shops and get Pizza and Ice Cream. We packed in a lot for one day. He had no agenda, he simply wanted to show us around and help in any way he could and we would share things about our life, and vice versa. He seemed very free. Jim said this sort of thing happens to him a lot and he meets people from all over the world. Haha, so cool. Jim I hope you are reading this, you really blessed us today. Personally I have learned a lot from you.
Side story. I completely ate it today. I have had minor falls just being a bit clumsy and waiting too long to unclip my pedals, but today takes the cake. There wasn't even anything that led up to it. It kinda just happened. We were weaving in and out of traffic, as all safe bicyclist do. And there are areas on the road that have tracks for the trolly system. Well my wheel found its home inside of one of those slits in the road and I flew. My hand swiped down the car next to me, I couldn't brace myself in time and rolled in front of the bike. This all happend in .05 seconds. Everyone in San Fransisco aparently saw it cause for the next few minutes I had too many people coming up to me asking if I was ok. ( I am fine by the way). My front wheel got out of true and Jim had the tools and the mechanical skills to fix it up. I am telling you, this guy is the man.
After departing from Jim we took Bart Transit system(similar to Marta) to Walnut Creek to spend the rest of the day with Wanda. We passed by so many roads that we were confident somehow we would mess up haha. So we were thankful for the quickness and simplicity of this treck.
We got to Wanda's house and I instantly felt at home. We all did. She took us out to dinner at an Italian restaurant which was super good and filling. We are loving the constant eating, and it's nice to have a break from our regular diet of peanut butter, trail mix, sausages, and protein bars. Snickers has been my "protein bar" :)
Wanda has showed us incredible hospitality and we have loved getting to chat with her all night. Grandma, you make good friends.
We are making a slight change in route, and I will share that with yall when I can. But anybody who has people we could stay with that are near or along the map that we showed in our first couple of blog posts that would be phenominal. We love staying with people, and we even clean up after ourselves. For real, think hard if you know anybody and send me an email... firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S.- To all my Clemson peeps...freakin love you guys
P.P.S.S. Stats of the trip...Most miles in a day: 85
Fastest Speed: 44.5 (Tommy)...its early in the trip and I let him draft.
Highest Climb: 1,200 ft of pure hill...this stat will change in the next week or so.
Most random place to sleep: Random park 60ish miles south of Cresent City
Worst Hotel: Budget Inn. there I said it.
Now we head East!