Saturday August 3, 2002  Start of the San Francisco to Los Angeles Cycling Trip

Cycling trip? What the heck does a
Ferrarri Testa Rossa have to do with my bike ride?
Nothing!  Who cares?  I love my buddy Joe Valencic's machine (even though the turkey WON'T allow me to borrow it for a weekend) and just had to put this picture in!

What I actually rode to meet my friends, Alan and Carol Rodely, to start the bike trip was much more powerful than that dinky Testa Rossa - an Amtrak train to Fresno, California.
Karen's mom Gladys and Karen bid me bon voyage from the other side of the tracks at the Irvine Amtrak station.
Double decker and great view.
Wow!  A lot less crowded and much more room than any airline.  How can they make a profit and stay in business?  Oops!  Forgot - they don't have to.  Amtrak is run by the government and makes taxpayers (most who never ride it) cough up a couple of billion dollars a year to keep it alive.
Alan and Carol picked me up in Fresno a bit after 3 PM.  Later on that afternoon I took a picture of Alan driving his RV up highway 5 on the way to the first night's campsite. 
Basalt campground with a view of the San Louis Rey reservoir.
We spotted seven deer on the way in.  The next morning I got lucky and was able to get some video of two bucks.
My first night of gourmet food and drink with Carol and Alan Rodely in their Winnebago RV.
The Rodely's Minnie Winnie in our camp site.
Sunday August 4th.
Our first stop was  to pick up my son-in-law, John Cole, at his "cabin" up in the hills of Los Gatos, California.  John was going to ride the first leg to Half Moon bay with me today and part of Monday's ride before heading back to Los Gatos over the mountains.
A photo on John's deck and then off to a local coffee shop before heading to Mill Valley, just North of the Golden Gate Bridge to have lunch with Margaret Gill.  Margaret is a long time friend of the Rodely's who signed on to ride this cycling trip down the Coast back in March - when we first planned it.
Margaret Gill is a charming effervescent English lady who is also quite an athlete.  She has led several cycling tours in Northern California. I first met her in 1995 when she joined us for our backpack trip to the summit of Mount Whitney (14,496  feet elevation).  Margaret had to cancel this cycling trip because of a very serious accident on a motorcycle last April.  Both the tibia and fibia of Margaret's left leg were broken in compound fractures (means the ends of the broken bones are sticking out through the skin). 
She was riding on the back of her boyfriend's motorcycle across the Golden Gate Bridge in heavy stop and go traffic (less than 30 mph max) when he had a seizure.  She says his head just flopped over to the left and his grip on the throttle went to full speed.  Cut left across the oncoming traffic and crashed into the solid steel of the bridge.
Originally the leg bones were stabilized internally with long titanium pins.  Didn't work.  In June, she had a second operation by the best orthopedic doctor in the Bay Area to the tune of $60,000.  This Russian invention has about 20 long adjustable pins that go right through her skin and muscle tissue to lock the bones properly in place.
Margaret and Carol enjoying lunch on Margaret's patio.
Margaret and Doug. 

We all want our buddy to get  100% well soon!

It was a little after 1PM when we drove in the RV to the North end of the Golden Gate Bridge where John and I did our "official" start.  Margaret drove her pickup truck separately to see us all off.

Doug stops for a photo in the middle of the famous San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge - the start of his 540 mile ride down super scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1. 

This is the 5th time he has done the ride.  First time was 1982.

Link to bike trip page 2

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