California: Sierra’s to the Bay Area

The light emanated through my tent that morning casting a shadow of the branches from the tree that was above camp. We had breakfast at the park table and back on the saddle. The idea was tossed around the night before to ride into Placerville, CA. Descending Carson Pass will bring us right in there so we weren’t worried about the 75 miles ahead. We left Carson City, NV with a peak of the Sierra’s in sight. They were stark and ridged at the distance. We meandered our way through the fences of the Sierra’s quint small towns. It became extremely hot approaching California. I had tunes shuffling with Radiohead taking the lead. We favored the Antlers and Common to name a few on the playlist.

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It was an exhilarating moment to see how far we’ve come when we made it to the border of Nevada and California. We started to take it a bit easy as the climbing began. The temps were rising making us pretty tired.

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About ten miles in after passing the base we took a lunch break.


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After Carson Pass we rode down a few miles to camp not to far from the lake. We ended up watching the Talented Mr. Ripley that evening in the tent. Afterwards we checked on my camera that was shooting a timelapse of the night sky then took it in for the night.

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The next morning we took off further down Carson Pass and got into Placerville around 3:30pm to stay the evening. It’s been a while since we’ve seen fast food so we hung out in McDonalds for a while before camp.


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The next morning we passed through Folsom, CA. We found a peach tree and had lunch before making the connection with the bike trail that brings us into Sacramento.

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We arrived in Sacramento around 5:00 p.m. The American River passes through and many homeless people were camped near by and off the trail. It was hard to tell if they were bike tourist or not at first as some of them had similar setups to ours. We camped off a bicycle path in West Sacramento next to Hwy 80 that night.

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We took off this morning to head into Vallejo, CA


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We got into Vallejo pretty late that night and camped at Benicia State Park. We knew this was the last night we’d be setting up a tent for this trip.

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We got to the ferry around 9:00 a.m.

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After getting into San Francisco we grabbed coffee relaxed and cruised around. We couldn’t make it complete without a visit to The golden Gate Bridge.

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We did it!

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Took a ride into Sausalito, CA on the other side of the bridge.

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Later in the day we grabbed lunch and visited a few bike shops. Afterwards we took the Bart to our destinations. I was staying with family in Oakland and Ken was in Berkely so we’d be hanging out for a few days before he takes off. My two Uncles are awesome, they’re two badass musicians in the bay area and super fun to hangout with. My Uncle Skip to the right of the photo and my Aunt Ramona hosted me.


This is one of four big climbs to get to their house. Taking off in the mourning was always a treat. I climbed this three times and each time people looked at me as if I were crazy. I’d have to agree with them, some slopes greater than 25% were bigger than some on the trip.


My Uncle’s a photographer in and has a nice collection of cameras. His Fujica 35mm Rangefinder was very nice.

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My aunt and uncle threw a BBQ the next day and everyone got together. Here’s Ken and I for the camera.

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Rode into the Oakland Art and Soul festival over the weekend for live music. Ken was leaving the next day so we met up in San Francisco later that day.


Dolores Park and a dip in the Pacific to end the trip.



I’d like to give immense gratitude to everyone who supported me with my trip across country, friends, family, host and strangers along the way. I hope that my story with the content shared on my blog brought you closer to the road along the journey with me. The cycling, adventure, outdoors, art and lifestyle that was produced will continue here on the Manual Pedal blog with the unveiling of new upcoming projects and content.

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