Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 15 (of 22) riding ...

Santa Cruz, CA to Carmel, CA
Staying at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church
57.5 miles today, average pace 12.6 mph
Total ascent 2,385 feet (grades 4%-6%, one at 15%, some at 12%, some at 11%)

Another perfect day of riding. Some challenging hills near the end of the ride today, but none of the steep hills were very long. We came around a curve and were suddenly faced with 15% hill, and the others were scrambling to find their granny gears, while all I had to do was let up a little on the pedal pressure, spin my shifter four quick clicks, take another pedal or two, spin it again, the bike is in granny gear, and I’m ready to work my way up this new challenge. Love my new bike!
My buddy Sarah and I rode together again today. We rode strong the first 25 miles with 7 other riders and I felt real good again. (I think I can forget about the bad day I had two rides ago now.) We split from the other riders after the first van break, and Sarah and I rode the rest of the way, with Tim joining us for most of that time. Tim was riding stronger than we were, so he kept pulling away and then coming back to us. 
As we biked through one region today we noticed a delightful fragrance in the air. We were biking through field after field after field of strawberries! The view of all the migrant workers toiling in the fields, with the packing stations, aid stations, trailer facilities, lockers, etc., was quite a lovely picture. 
I must tell you about the ride after the Golden Gate Bridge the other day (which, of course, I forgot about then). There are a lot of disrespectful (rude) riders in that area (kind of like in Boulder), and they will not even announce that they are coming up on you and passing you. This, of course, is just not a safe way to ride, as the potential for accidents increases greatly. So yet another male rider, with no acknowledgement, zoomed by me and then Sarah as we were going into a pretty steep hill. I could just feel Sarah steaming at yet another rude person, and after pondering for just a minute, she was up out of her saddle and after this guy. As she overtook him she called out loudly, “Bike left,” and rode past him, up the hill. At the top of the hill she stopped to wait for me and gave the guy her best smile, with her delightfully shy expression. I could hardly wait to get to the top and give her a "beautifully done" hearty high five and awkward bike hug.
Tonight we have to prepare our own dinner, and I’m now on that chore group, so I’m glad I’ve already been to town and had a late lunch/early dinner. Actually, in spite of me, we usually have good meals when we cook for ourselves, maybe just not as hearty as when the churches cook for us.
This group of FCBA riders is another outstanding group of folks who have come together and are so supportive of one another, so helpful to one another. This is just a wonderful "team" effort that has come together in a very satisfying manner. It’s great to be a part of this adventure.
Looks like we have a century plus ride tomorrow followed by two 75 mile days before another day off. How could it be any better?
Peace ...

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