Parades and More Parades!


I awoke early at the renegade camping spot -concerned with hightailing it out before being discovered. I broke ate, broke camp, and packed up Steel in record time – one hour! I had never done so in under two.


I had an almost immediate ‘laugh out loud’ moment as I cycled upon not one, but two campgrounds less than a mile further down the road! Never-the-less, they were private campgrounds and would have set me back as the private ones do not typically have a bike-in rate, so I’d have to pay the $40 flat rate. Given my $20 day budget, I just won’t do that unless an absolute emergency.


After experiencing more beautiful scenery along Old River Road along the Russian River, I stopped in Forrestville for some caffeine at Rooster’s Coffee and was rewarded for being a bicyclist. Not only did the friendly young gals working the joint with a line out the door, serve me a killer fruit smoothie and some great organic coffee, I received a $.50 discount because I came in on pedal power. A teen, and his buddy, both on skateboards was quick to ask if they too might get a discount considering they came in on wheels too. Ha! The barista agreed. As I sat enjoying my coffee and charing up my gear, I was turned on to the lovely concept of ‘karma coffee’. I heard one of the baristas say, “No problem, your coffee is on the house compliments of karma coffee. Some nice soul left a few dollars for the coffee gals to pay it forward to someone short on money, in need of coffee, whatever.


While I sipped, I ended up chitchatting with an interesting cyclist sort, Dean Pederson, and got turned on to something I’d never heard of before, the World Human Power Speed Challenged ( Where cyclists, who feel the need for speed, build bikes and attempt to set land speed records out in the dessert. How fast can a human powered bike go on flat land within five miles? The current world record is 83mph (! Dean built and participated in the event some time ago with his “Coyote”, really just for fun he explained. “While my bicycle is fast, it and it’s 45 gears are really built for me to do some riding around this area.” He says he’s probably put 50,000 miles on it or so! Dang!


In my well caffeinated state, I cycled on over rolling hills on a backroad (Martinelli) past vineyards and other farms before getting onto the Joe Rodota Trail. It’s a hike/bike trail system that is mostly paved and almost completely off of any roads, but has access points into towns from Forestville to Santa Rosa about a 15 mile stretch. Along the way, I met cyclists heading in the opposite direction who mentioned that a parade was going on in Sepastopol. I love parades, and if I caught it, this would be the second one I’d catch in a week. I got off the trail, and wandered my way into Sepastopol, and indeed not only found the parade, but found myself IN the parade. The streets and sidewalks were fully packed with onlookers all the way down Main St., so the only place to ride was along with the parade. I did so for awhile before feeling completely awkward and veering off. The big whoop-ta-do was the start of the two-day Apple Blossom Festival in Sepastopol, and the parade was the kick off event.


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