Randonneur Ride Report: San Francisco to Cloverdale 200k

Every summer, the San Francisco Randonneurs organize a super fun double brevet weekend that begins in San Francisco and heads north out to Cloverdale (riders have their choice of either a 300k or 200k route). After kicking back and relaxing over a catered dinner at the host hotel and tucking away several hours of sleep, folks stretch their tired legs and return to the city the following day on another 200k route. Last year I had done the Cloverdale to SF segment, so I thought I’d ride the other direction this time around and volunteer at the finish.

I’m going to keep my ride report brief and just give a quick run down of the main highlights of the ride: setting out with a big pack at 6AM from the Golden Gate Bridge after our RBA Rob Hawks administered our, “Don’t do stupid stuff oath”; riding in the cool morning fog and mentally patting myself on the back for wearing my SFR wool jersey; rolling through the familiar neighborhoods of Marin with Denise, Gabrielle, Stacy, Greg and other friends; enjoying my delicious (and still warm from the oven) spinach, mushroom and goat cheese croissant at the Bovine Bakery in the company of Jesse, Matthew, Andrea, Francisco and other randos at Pt. Reyes Station; swooping along the rollers of Highway 1 with Denise, Gabrielle and Barb; wistfully passing by the Wild Flour Bakery en route (ah, I should have stopped!); chasing carrots (Alex and Michael) to Occidental; ye olde lunch stop at the Safeway Guerneville; basking in the sunshine in wine country; reuniting with Stacy, Greg, John and their DBC Gold Rush comrade (I’m blanking on his name!) just as they were peeling out from the Stumptown Brewery; having a leisurely gourmet pit stop at the Dry Creek General Store; following Deb, Willy, Yogy, David, Ryan and others to Jimtown for ice cream; now regretting my decision to wear the SFR wool jersey in the sweltering heat of the afternoon and hiking it up my back as far as it could go so that it formed a big sweat-soaked tube top; sprinting to the Quik Stop in Cloverdale so that I could get the hell out of said wool jersey as fast as possible; drinking a cold beer immediately upon arriving at the hotel; cheering other randos as they arrived; eating lots of delicious food from the Railroad Station Bar; drinking more beer at Ruth McGowan’s with Kimber and friends; watching Tour de France coverage; polishing off a fantastic gourmet brunch at Savvy on First with Kimber, Bruce, Barb and Pudu on Sunday morning; hanging out Pudu for the rest of the day as we volunteered at the SF finish; welcoming riders in with my old rando buddy, Martin, as they returned from their day’s adventures, especially the ones who survived crashes and mechanicals and still managed to make it in on time and newcomers who were completing their very first brevets like Frankie and Andrew; enjoying Ryan’s Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam cheese and fresh baguette (lovingly transported in his saddle bag while wrapped in his SFR wool jersey); wondering who the heck left behind their cycling shoes that still remained unclaimed at the end.

A big high-five goes out to the fine wrangling skills of Jesse Marsh, who expertly oversees all of the complex masterminding that’s required in making sure this awesome weekend comes together without a hitch! And kudos to all of the other volunteers who donated their time checking in riders as well as transporting food and drop bags.

My next big ride is the 3CR, so wish me luck!