Wednesday 23rd-Saturday 26th September- Lake Tahoe to Napa Valley

We had a great ride through the Sierra Nevada to Lake Tahoe.

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The lake is as beautiful as they say. I have only seen water so blue on the coast of Thailand and Greece.

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We stayed at a campsite right on a west shore beach near Tahoma.

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We were very lucky to have direct lake access. The temperature was perfect for lying on the beach. Even Dave lay in the shade of a tree on the sand for an hour. I think it is the first time he has reclined on a beach in about 20 years.

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We had planned a long ride around the lake to Nevada but the whole road was blighted by road works that take 10-15 minutes to get through at each road block, via a pilot car. There were 5 or 6 of these just on the stretch where we were staying. They really go to town on their road works here and they are overly safety conscious in my opinion, which really slows things up.

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We decided to have a quick ride into Tahoe City and saw the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, including a very alpine look ski village.

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We were treated to some great lake views along the way.

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We left Tahoe to head for Napa and Sonoma Valleys north of San Francisco. The plan was to spend a day touring the valleys and then a day in San Fran from our Airbnb 30 minutes outside. During the stay at Tahoe, however, it became apparent that we need rear wheel bearings urgently. A couple of hours was spent at Starbucks using the Wifi and phone to source the parts. It transpired we needed to go to two different shops, one in the centre of San Fran and one in Silicon Valley and then get the parts replaced without riding too far and putting the bike at risk. This meant the whole plan had to be changed and our days in the Napa Valley and San Fran had to be sacrificed.

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We did have a night on a campsite in the Sonoma Valley and got a good feel for the area. It is very attractive, especially early in the morning when there is no traffic but is not a match for wine growing regions in France or Italy. I guess if you have never been to Europe then it is pretty nice.

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We had a crazy trip into the centre of San Francisco.  Thankfully we have a Sat Nav. I was very excited about crossing the Golden Gate Bridge but the whole thing was shrouded in low cloud and fog (as is very common) so we did not get to see much but it was still pretty thrilling. I did catch a glimpse of Alcatraz.

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Riding through the centre of San Fran was great. We went right through the historic and civic district.The Triumph shop was located in the Mission District right in the middle of the city.

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It feels quite exotic  compared to other US cities and is definitely a city I want to come back to and explore in the spring. We managed to pick up the bearings from both shops with no fuss and secured a hotel with an early check in in Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley where we had the chance to smarten ourselves up a bit and have an evening out. We really were starting to look a bit rough, dirty and unkempt so it could not have come at a better time.

Today we are heading back to Santa Cruz for two nights on the beach at a site where Dave can work on the bearings and then we head up to Half Moon Bay and back to Big Sur-all Pacific coast beaches.

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