(Day 7–9) Meandering to Petaluma

alex hays
4 min readAug 19, 2017


Woke up and lay there for a while thinking “this tent is probably pretty sketch in daylight”. I’d locked my bike to the tent in a really “you could easily steal this if you have scissors” sort of way. ran to a coffee shop the guy had said had amazing pastries and grabbed a coffee and a croissant.

He was there with a friend so sat down and talked for a while. I was a bit sketched out leaving my bike outside out of site, I asked someone at the restaurant if it was OK to leave my bike (it was sort of in the back by the tables) and she gave me a really not-ok-but-ok head nod so didn’t want to be in there for too long. Finished my coffee and food and set back off for Sebastopol, was going to grab a coffee there and regroup.

This ride was like 80% downhill and it felt like I was on a rollercoaster or something it was so easy. I get into town and go to this coffee shop, post up and see if I can get into the next town to catch Game of Thrones at a bar. I haven’t showered in a while and desperately need to do laundry so decide to book a hotel for that night in Petaluma (only about an hour or two away).

A homeless dude rolls up and I get talking to him and he gives me a lot of advice on where to shower for free, where to get free food, and what towns to avoid in general as the people suck.

He used to live in Jenner when he was younger and joked it was a town of 100 people who’s average age was in the 80s. He also noted he used to go down to the post office just to hang and see people because there wasn’t anywhere else to go do that. It reminded me of the post office vibes in Point Reyes. He went on his way and I started packing up my stuff and took my things inside.

There was a sweet 6 piece band playing relaxing music inside to an audience of zero people as everyone was outside and I was like, damn. As I was walking back to my bike I got chatting with this couple who were about to go tour through Italy for a while, and talked about that life in general with them for about 20 ~ 30 mins. They recommended me a good bike path to take into Petaluma via Santa Rosa and I took their recommendation and it was super pretty.

I get into Petaluma and take a selfie outside the entrance to the hotel and see someone through the window laughing at me. I go in and i’m like damn i’ve never been caught taking a selfie before. I ask if Game of Thrones is playing in any bars around there and the receptionist had no idea, I was going to google it later on but I ended up being too wrecked to feel like hitting up a bar.

I shower / do laundry / go buy a 6 pack / order pizza / watch truly terrible television (and lots of shark tank) and sort of pass out eventually. I only drank 4 (5?) beers but felt like absolute trash the next morning and regretted it. I’m like an hour late leaving the hotel but am finally back on the road, heading towards China camp campsite where there is a hiking / biking campsite spot.

Haven’t seen television in forever and its awful