Bicycle boot camp

Day 5: Prairie Creek Redwoods to Arcata, 46 miles

Training on the road should be termed Bicycle Boot Camp. Today this is proven a success.

Today I find my legs.

I ride out of the redwoods, onto the rolling 101, dipping into valleys, skirting massive lagoons, enjoying a tailwind, allowing my sore tail to motivate me to stand in the pedals. Yes, the only good thing about a sore cycling butt is that I am forced up, out of my seat, pedaling from a standing position.

Of course standing in the pedals is a much better power stroke, and what every fit cyclist does while climbing hills. But usually touring cyclists don’t stand. Too much weight being hauled. Or too tiring for the long rides. But today, I get up and stay up, for miles.

Stronger, faster. Flying like the wind! The road disappears underneath me. The hills come and vanish. I meet my cycling friends with less embarrassment, in fact sprinting the last few miles into Arcata with a couple guys drafting me. That feels good.

In town so early, I take a leisurely soak at Finnish Country Sauna and Tubs, highly recommended. Then shop the North Country Co-op, get lots of great provisions for the next few days in the wild. Then I power on down the 101 to the KOA in time to set up camp and do the laundry.

I watch beautiful sunset, out over the Arcata Bay and the freeway below. My legs sore, but noticeably stronger. Tomorrow, more climbing, and I’m ready for it!

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