Name Tour of the Unknown Coast
Distance 50 Mile RT
Difficulty Medium
Ascent 1460 Feet
Start Ferndale


The Tour of the Unknown Coast is a full century ride, and called “California’s Toughest).  Fortunately for us mortals there are 10, 20, 50 mile and 100 kM options.  I took the 50 mile and actually did alright considering I was recovering from a knee injury and so had just started cycling again (on a new hybrid bike, basically, a mountain bike with road tires on it).  I had done a 10 mile on the Hammond trail and a 20 mile ride to headwaters for training.

The ride is really quite enjoyable and it’s easy to enjoy the scenery on the ride out with a soundtrack of Michael Franti.  The climbs aren’t too bad and although some participants were walking, I was proud to say I stayed on my bike and cranked up the hills past the road bikes.  When we got to the flat highway portion, I switch to NPR’s Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me for a couple of laughs.  There is a nice section along Avenue of the Giants before turning around in pepperwood.  We had beautiful perfect weather considering this is Humboldt county and little headwind on the return.  So I rocked out to Pat Benatar through the farmland to the finish.  In the end I was the 53rd person out of 90 to finish the 50 Mile at 5h16m.  Not bad for a first timer.

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