Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 17 – Hardest Day Yet

After a warmish night, I hit Hwy 101 at 6:45. 101 gained elevation gradually along the South Fork of the Eel River. At 13 miles, I reached Leggett and left 101 for CA 1. The the real climbing began with 1000 ft of elevation gain in my lowest gear. I had to stop several times to rest. From the top, I roared downhill and got cold with sweat from the climb evaporating. Near the coast, I labored up a 500-ft climb over Cape Vizcaino. The scenic coastline (see photo) repaid my exertions from climbing.
I ate lunch of tortillas and PB on a grassy spot next to an RV park just before Westport. Lunch did not seem to recharge my batteries. More ups and downs along the coast to Cleone. A bottle of Gatorade perked me up. Sugar? Electrolytes? Onward for 2 miles to Fort Bragg where I got butt butter at a bike shop and food at Safeway. I somehow managed the last 12 miles of the day to Van Damme State Park just south of Mendocino. $10 for the H-B site and $1 for a shower. I think my lack of energy arose from failing to eat a second breakfast at Leggett prior to the big climb. I won’t repeat this mistake. Lots of traffic but no close calls. Not much tailwind. 71 miles in the books.

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