A Fair Distance to Fairfield – Saturday 17th May 2014 (49 miles, 47 miles on route)

We set off very late because we wanted to sort out just what our itinerary is for the remainder of our trip. Officially our route ends at the Golden Gate Bridge (4005.5 miles officially from St Augustine, 4125.5 miles from Orlando), but we feel that this is insufficiently romantic and we’ve booked two nights at Point Reyes Youth Hostel with the intention of reaching the Point Reyes Lighthouse, which is our true end of transam, and much wuthering may there be out there on a different techtonic plate (yes, we’ll say hello to the San Andreas fault as well). And then we’ve got to find our way back to Frisco along a different route (so we aren’t bored by the same roads) and finally we have to get ourselves and bikes (in boxes, obtained from somewhere as yet unknown) on a plane from the airport south of the city… Phew! Well, we think we’ve got a good route to Point Reyes worked out, via forests and the Marin County hills.

Then we set off for Davis, self-styled Bicycle Capital of the World. Well, it’s a decent place to cycle, loads of bikes and bike lanes and has a modest cycling museum called US Bicycle Hall of Fame. Of course, not many US cyclists have achieved global success (and Lance’s fall must have put a big hole in the collection) – so really it’s fairly minor as a collection of memorabilia. But there are some nice things – a six seater bike (a publicity thing rather than a record breaking), the first production carbon frame, a titanium bike that broke an impressive number of records in 1974, in a fairing at human power vehicle events, examples of the history of cycling, and a few trendy bamboo bikes – eco bikes I guess – plus some relatively local heroes (people that the average US cyclist should have heard of). The top floor was shut because it was the communications hub for an annual bike event (a very impressive 200 mile ride) – we saw lots of people doing this bike ride as we headed out west of Davis. Not a bad museum, but the one in Llandrindod Wells is a more comprehensive thing altogether. But I’m a brit so I’m biased.

The farmers’ market was in full swing and provided lunch, and there was a superb community garden with gorgeous roses (lovely rose called ‘Brass Band’ – peach floribunda with scent from 1993), rosemary, huge lavenders, catmint, and scarlet hollyhocks, to name the most obvious. The University (UCD) was having a sports day so Davis was very festive throughout.

All this delayed us excessively after a late start, so we got going out of town and did a relatively quick 30+ miles to Fairfield. We saw a couple of cycle tourers heading east – they were speeding along and just shouted ‘Bikes Rule!’ as they sped by. Darn, I could have read their blog after we’re back in blighty. There’s no camping listed for Fairfield area so we shopped around for a cheap motel and found one that wouldn’t break our budget. Ah, the bliss of floating once more on an ocean of tea and books. We’re both trying to finish the reading we’ve set ourselves for the trip, never mind just getting to Point Reyes. Deadlines, deadlines…

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