USA, May 2016 − Travels − Captain Tom

USA, May 2016

We did it again. Another time for five friends to ride some of America's dream routes. Another amazing adventure and a lot of long lasting memories.

This time part of the gang were Steven, me, Rick, Paul and Kevin. The longest journey to it was on me and Paul is - as I am in Germany - the road captain. He planned the routes, organized the hotels and the bike rental.

In total we did almost 2,700 miles in 9 riding days North and East of San Francisco. We made it into Oregon and almost into Nevada and we had extreme Elevations up to 9900 ft.

Find here an overview of the routes taken.

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1 The journey to SF

This time the flight went via Istanbul. There are many interesting things to see.

Take off in Berlin into gray skies
Bosporus Bridge connects Europe and Asia
Norwegian Skerry
Glaciers in Greenland
A Volcano in the US
The new Apple campus in Mountain View
2 Arriving

After almost 20 hours travelling I do my first walk through the town.

Cable Car
Lombard Street
Coit Tower
Sea Lion colony on Pier 39
Nice evening mood ...
... with view to Alcatraz ...
... and Golden Gate Bridge
3 Sightseeing

The following day is sightseeing day. Before breakfast I have a look at Golden Gate Bridge

The I do the Alcatraz tour. I booked it in particular for the view to the skyline and to Golden Gate Bridge. The history of the island does not touch me that much. Approaching Alcatraz
Golden Gate Bridge in the background
A prison museum
View to the skyline
Golden Gate Bridge
View from the cruise ship
You get to Coit tower via endles stair steps up a very steep hill or by bus. I climbed the stairs.
Downtown San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge
Lombard Street
At noon we went to Golden Gate Bridge. An impressive and beautiful construction
View from the bridge
Afterwards the group does the paperwork at Dubbelju
Visiting the sea lions
And then the technial preparations start. Here they try to connect intercoms to each other
4 Riding day #1

We go to Eureka north of San Francisco.

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First we go over Golden Gate Bridge ...
Then we follow Highway 1 along Pacific coast in northern direction
The five red bikes are impressive
Stop at the Pacific coast
We also ride through a Redwood forest
Dinner together
5 Riding day #2

We learn about the roads. You do not go to a particular place here but you simply ride a road. It can take hours and last for more than 100 miles with turns and turns and turns. Just beautiful.

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Stop in a small village
6 Riding day #3

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Planned route starts with Highway 299 ...
Then the roads get smaller and smaller until it becomes hard offroad riding
We find this gas pump in a village. The counter is being read by means of a binocular from the General Store.
Roads get better and wider during the day.
We go on Highway 36 through a Redwood forest in the evening.
7 Riding day #4

We follow Klamath river up north into Oregon. We return along the Pacific coast

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Paul and Tom in the morning
Waiting at a road construction site
Lunch in Oregon
Back to California
We go through a Redwood forest on an easy to ride unpaved road
Stop at Pacific coast
Dinner with oysters
8 Riding day #5

We ride Highway 36 almost all day long. Our destination is Chico where the temperature is very high.

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Flat land in between
Lunch break
It is very hot in Chico. The thermometer shows 102 F.
We have an appointment with local Andy in Sierra Nevada brewery.
A beer
The group
Dinner with Andy
9 Riding day #6

We leave Chico and go to Markleeville close to Lake Tahoe

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Reminder of a different time
Flat hot scenery
Oroville Dam is made of earth and higher than Hoover Dam
A bridge spans over the reservoir
Tom chases Steven
Another dam is Bullards Bar Dam
Nice roads
Gold Lake
This road goes north and south at the same time
Road works
With a pilot car
Lake Tahoe
10 Riding day #7

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Preparations for the ride over Sonora pass
Breakfast is available at Ali's Cafe
and made by Ali
Sonora pass is a great road to ride and provides stunning views
Lunch after a long ride through hot valleys
We return via Carson-Pass
Kevin and I proceed to Lake Tahoe
Police is everywhere
Beer waits for us at the hotel
Later on we have a very good dinner in the restaurant across the street
11 Riding day #8

Tioga pass is the entry to Yosemite National Park. Due to high temperatures in the valleys we decide just to go up the pass and then to return. Hence we do not ride a loop.

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Before Tioga we go over Monitor pass.
Tioga Pass
Lake Tenaya on Tioga-Pass
More Tioga pass views
Mono Lake is very impressive
We go over Sonora Pass in the end. We bought sandwiches in a shop below Tioga and we eat them up at Sonora.
12 Riding day #9

We have 200 miles to go and have to hand in the bikes by 12 pm.

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So we use Interstates back to San Francisco
San Francisco Bay Bridge is the last leg of our ride
Kevin and I go directly to the airport
Take off is interesting.
We stand between two runways and there are airplanes coming in on both runways.
Fog covers San Francisco but I can have a look at Bay Bridge
Full view to Oakland
California Memorial Stadion
Briones Reservoir
We pass Lake Tahoe. Close by is Markleeville located
Just before we arrive in Berlin I can see the Cargolifter hangar (now Tropical Island)
13 And what else?

Dubbelju bikes are marked properly
You will not find many places like this. 170 miles until you change roads but still turn after turn affter tun.
The bikes have been moved a lot.