Day 8: June 10, Lake McSwain to Briceburg via Turlock

I woke up kinda damp, sleeping on the picnic table. I guess there's some dew here, after all.

Since my cyclometer had busted yesterday, I have to go back to Turlock (ugh!) to repair it. Luckily, I've brought some cyclometer cable to use to extend the cable from a replacement mounting. I found a replacement wiring set in Turlock, and went to a VCR repair place, where Ron, the owner, let me use his soldering iron and hand tools to modify and install the new cable. All fixed. I hope this lasts!

I got back on the road by around 11:00, and rode down to Briceburg via J17 through Snelling, J16 to Hornitos and route 140 to Mariposa.

In Mariposa, I looked around for another knee brace -- the one I got in Turlock has been helping my right knee, so I figured I'd get one for my left knee. Unfortunately, no one had any.

From Mariposa, there was a long climb to a 3000 foot summit that left me feeling pretty beat. But the downhill to Briceburg was long and steep, and I had to struggle to keep my speed below 35. I also had to stop several times to let my rims cool down.

I had heard that there was free camping in Briceburg, down a dirt road along the beautiful Merced River. When I went down the road, however, I found that this was not free, but a $12 per night camping fee area. What was worse was that all the campgrounds were full (well, the first two anyway). Since I'd already ridden down the road 5 miles to the second campground, and it looked like I was riding downhill the whole way, I was in no mood to go any further down the bad road surface. So I asked a couple of guys at one site whether I could share their site. They were Bob and Farmer, who had just finished whitewater rafting down the Merced River.

Bob and Farmer

I ended up cooking dinner for them (the fresh asparagus I'd bought in Mariposa, with a curry sauce, and Basmati rice), and they let me stay for free and gave me a couple of beers.