Last weekend Albert and I rode 160 kilometers to stay with a couple who had graciously offered to host us deep in the mountains northwest of Santa Rosa. It rained the whole way. Presented below (and purposefully attributed to no one of us in particular) are our thoughts on the experience.
1 km from Marin:
"I had a good three minutes of the jacket where I thought it was waterproof"
2 km from Marin:
"Hey Albert, where's your backpack man? Under your jacket? Nope, it's not under the jacket. Where is it Albert? It's back in the car, isn't it?"
50 km from Marin:
"And then there was that old lady; you said I was hitting on her. I was just being friendly! Is there a difference between being friendly and flirting? Mmmm... it's a grey area"
60 km from Marin:
"You come flying down the other side through the pines and you hit these little inlets, each with a little jetty, little fishing boat, and little oyster shop. Yeah if we did this again I would definitely stop for chowder."
75 km from Marin:
"You were pretty hungry and slow and I was just bummed about the traffic. I would get to the top of each roller, get off my bike, and sit and wait for you."
80 km from Marin:
"I could feel the stillness. I could hear the leaves rustling. The moment seemed like an infinite peace. I probably should've walked the steep part."
82 km from Marin:
"We get to the top, you're like 'I need a food break'. It's raining, cold, misty, and now we're standing in this gross muddy pullout. You ask me if I can help you get your banana out of your back pocket, and so I go to your back pocket expecting to extract a banana and I just find this large glob of unrecognizable brown mush. That was surprising, but I think more surprising is the fact that you wanted to eat it."
83 km from Marin:
"I was thinking about a lot of stuff I didn't need to be considering but I couldn't get away from. And then we turned onto Coleman Valley Road. You're going through these trees; this beautiful forest, and then you pop out onto the ridge with the road rolling off into the misty distance. I remember seeing you standing up on the next roller, everything so grey, foggy, and peaceful, and just seeing your little taillight going 'blink, blink, blink, blink', and then my troubles were gone."
110 km from Marin:
"I wasn't miserable until I got very hungry. Do you remember how hungry I got?"
150 km from Marin:
"How was that for you? Slow."
152 km from Marin:
"It was actually contemplative; almost scary; almost to the point of tears. Just a lot running through my head. Suddenly there was this sense of eery arrival. It was almost as if this was the coda, the epilogue. That moment, it hurt, but it also felt like a special gift. It's almost as if you are watching yourself suffering from above, and you know you'll keep hurting and know you'll keep going, and you're ok with that."
152.1 km from Marin:
"About five seconds later you got off your bike, sat for a while, and then asked if I wanted Skittles."
157 km from Marin:
"We came under cover of twilight. It was almost like you're arriving right as the door is closing."
160 km from Marin:
"You could tell we were going to be in good hands. It feels like this type of stuff shouldn't happen. I had a real sense that they were genuinely good people, happy to share what they had. We had been given something special"