Bicycle TouringOur StoriesUSA

Bodega Dunes to Samuel P Taylor to Fairfax

posted by Tim May 31, 2019 0 comments
  • Date: Sunday, Monday. May 26, 27.
  • Distance: 90 km.
  • Route highlights: Tomales Bakery, Point Reyes, and Fairfax.

The ride from Bodega Dunes to Samuel P Taylor was great, through hills that reminded us sometimes of Scotland, sometimes of France.The best pastry we got on this whole route was at Tomales Bakery. They open early at 7.30 and stay open until they run out of food, that’s usually around 2 pm.We planned to have a rest day at Samuel P Taylor state park so we were disappointed when we saw that hikers/bikers were allowed to stay only 1 night. We talked with the ranger and he said, “well, officially you’d have to leave, but if you don’t ask..”, keeping it vague, implying we could stay another night.When we arrived at the hiker/biker site, the fire was already burning and marshmallows were being caramelized. We hadn’t seen so many cyclists and tents at any state park before – often we were the only ones. The reason was that it was memorial day weekend, and besides two guys from London, they had all come from the San Francisco area for an overnighter. It was cozy!The next day we were relaxing in our tent at about 1 pm and were disturbed by a man saying we should have checked out an hour before. He sounded like the ranger we spoke to the evening before. I peeked out of the tent and saw it actually was the same ranger – was he joking? Unfortunately, he wasn’t. We didn’t understand it. All other state parks allowed hikers/bikers to stay 2 or 3 nights, and all the people working at the parks had been really friendly to us. Memorial day was over, most people had left the campground, including all the other cyclists, what was the problem of us staying (and paying) 1 more night? We’ll never know for sure, because the ranger simply referred to the rules, so we left disappointed. We were getting to more populated areas, and saw many cyclists – roadbikers, bike tourers, and mountainbikers. That’s not surprising if you know that Fairfax is the claimed birthplace of mountainbiking. The city looked lovely, had several bike shops. and we went to the recommended “Gestalthaus” : a kind of German beer and bratwurst house with bike mounts on the wall.Because we were kicked out the state park, our plan got messed up, so at 4 pm, it was getting a bit late to ride from Fairfax to San Francisco and catch our train to Palo Alto. I started sending some last minute warmshowers requests, we talked with people, and put up a sign “will you host us please?”. At one point, a man named Bill heard our story and said he would call his wife. After a few minutes he said they couldn’t host us unfortunately, but he wanted to offer us a hotel room. Our eyes went big and we said no, that would be too expensive, and we’d figure out something else. But Bill insisted, he wanted to give this to help and simply because we were Dutch. After looking at each other another time, we accepted his incredibly generous offer and walked down the street to the hotel.Bill explained the hotel owner that he was going to pay for us, and that we had to store our bikes somewhere safely. The lady said we could park them in the patio, but I said that would not be safe enough, and suggested to park them in the room. “No sorry, that will make the carpet dirty, and we can’t have that for the next guests”. I suggested to park them carefully on a cloth in the room, protecting the carpet. She still looked hesitant. Bill explained that we came all the way from Holland, and cycled with our bikes from Seattle to here. Now she couldn’t hold up the resistance anymore.

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