Sunday, June 7, 2015

Nine Mornings to California: Morning 9 - Truckee, California

Note: this is the final post of the Nine Mornings series, but I posted it Saturday night because this morning, Sunday morning, I am riding in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure in Palo Alto. Please help me by making a donation to my ADA page...and then enjoy reading Morning 9. 

Morning 9:(Sunday, May 10) Truckee, California

I woke up in Truckee, California - at the site of the Donner Pass. People once ate people here. I ate pancakes. 

Let me back up a second. 

We were originally going to spend the night in Reno but in our effort to make the last day of driving as short as possible, we decided to drive over the California border and stay at the Truckee Donner Lodge - which gave us a view of the Endor-like trees outside the window. 

I went out biking in the chilly morning air and savored the ride. I had no specific destination. It was quiet. I didn’t have to pick up any groceries or run any errands. I just rode out into the woods.

I also thought about the Donner Party, stranded so long ago and forced to resort to cannibalism for the simple reason because they didn’t have the right transportation option available. Had they fat tire bikes and Bob trailers, their story would have had a different ending. 

I ended up logging about nine aimless miles. Nothing particularly exciting happened on that ride. But it was a fine ride nonetheless. And the pancakes at the Truckee Donner Lodge were good. 

Soon after breakfast, we hit the road and began the long descent toward Silicon Valley. Even though it was the shortest leg, it felt like it was the longest. The closer we got to the coast, the worse the traffic became. 

I saw more cars than I had ever seen before as we entered Redwood City. It immediately felt strange to be sitting in a car I’m familiar with and driving it in an unfamiliar place that was to be my home. 

We arrived at our temporary apartment in Redwood City and I shut off the engine and snapped one final photograph. I had driven more than 3,400 miles in the course of ten days with a Yoda action figure on the dashboard.

In the days that followed this trip, I removed the Yoda. I got a California driver’s license.  I learned what a ‘smog test’ is and ultimately used that knowledge to get California plates put on my Element. And every morning since these nine mornings, when I ride in Silicon Valley, I look around and think: 

Why aren’t more people cycling and what can I do to get them to #choosethebike? 

Hope you can help me ask and answer that question. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Just found Nine Mornings? Click here for Morning 1.

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