Day 8: We kick some ass, MJ gets a flat and we dine with the viola player from Titanic

The dawn of day 8 smelled like the smoldering campfire from the night before. Roosevelt Elk slumbered in the meadow next to our tent town of cycle tourists in this remote corner of California. But as with every morning, it was time to move on.

MJ and I set out to hit another 70+ mile day to go beyond what “the book” suggested was the right stop… A KOA in Eureka. Yeah, not going to happen. Instead we decided to take advantage of the relatively tame afternoon portion and push to a campground in Fortuna that we’ve both stayed at… Him on last year’s PDX-SFO tour, me on the Climate RIde.

There’s a brew pub around the corner. No mystery here on why we chose this now.

A cool start, a chocolate milk and some rolling hills of some note got us through the morning. After deciding the book’s scenic route wawasting valuable beer time, we decided to stick with 101 north of Eureka and jammed into town ahead of schedule. A brief break by the side of the rode invited conversation with several passing bikers, including Keith, a SoCal tourist with impeccable and efficient gear. We were 20 miles away, so we pushed on.

Well, I did. MJ… mr. “I never get a flat and I never get rained on” got his first on-tour flat after 16 kajillion* miles. Meanwhile I am dropping the hammer (bike term) in my highest gear, breaking land speed records like a Lance on HGH. Only later do I notice the twin texts from MJ stating he had a flat, and that he had fixed said flat and was on the way. Great support team, eh?

After dropping out of warp 11 and gliding into camp, Keith rolled up as I was checking in. Through a quirk of private RV park math ($22 + $22 +$22 = $33 if three bikers share a tent site rather than share a tent site separately… Seems like string theory or quantum something whatsit to me) we figure Keith would hang with MJ and I. MJ came rolling in about 15 minutes later after getting to warp 76.

Back to Keith:

– plays viola in movies you have absolutely heard of… Titanic, Avatar, etc.

– went to the Eastman School of Music for a grad degree, which makes him an honorary Rochestarian in my mind (despite not knowing Nick Tahou’s – he gets a demerit for that).

– put up with our craziness while eating with us at the brewpub (and incidentally, paid for the whole thing, which was way too kind)

– has never seen The Wire and got an earful on why that needs to change

Eel River Brewery was aces again, but has the least hoppy IPA I have ever had. No complaints, just saying.

Shorter day tomorrow… We need to exorcise a bad day on this portion of MJs route last year. Day after we exorcise mine. Screw you Leggett!

MJ Tip of The Day:
You should always save your most 80s looking shorts for laundry day. Then embrace the look.


*more than a thousand, less than a babillion

Don’t forget you can track this madness on a real live map at and also on Twitter.