We started off on Hwy 101 and it was not too bad. We had some fog cover and it gave the ride an eerie feeling. Sean called it "spooky". There was a chill in the air and Don reminded us that once the sun breaks through we will be longing for this chill. So I savored it even though I was a bit cold.
As we climbed and descended gentle rollers, the poetry of cycling took heart in me. My heart was pumping steadily and I could feel it warming my arms and legs. We had a nice sea breeze that was refreshingly cool, beautiful scenery on both sides and when the tail winds kicked in, it felt like the pavement was just rolling under my tire and that everything was just passing by me as if I were watching a movie. It was quite the movie and I was definitely in the here and now.I think all cyclists experience this and why so many of us love riding.
The euphoric feeling faded a bit as the miles stretched on and soon I was longing for the exit. Too many narrow bridges, retread tire portions on the road, and debris. It was a welcome site when we saw Brian. Andrea had also parked the van up the road a bit and we were greeted not just by a couple of cycling friends, but by 10-20 riders. It felt like 100! They were all welcoming and we spent a few minutes chatting before riding on.
Their knowledge of the area was very helpful and they modified our route and took us on some beautiful scenic rides. I thought the most comical event occurred when one of the riders asked if anyone needed a bio-break. This is always welcome, so I said yes. We promptly turned down a street and up the driveway of a private residence. "Wow, I expected a public facility at best, not your house" I said. He smiled and told me it wasn't his house, but one of the other riders! It turns out the other rider was his brother. It just goes though to show you how nice people are.
Our lunch break was great and we offered Brian a jersey as a token of appreciation. We got some good photos of him sporting it. LB, a woman rider in the group purchased one for herself and promised to wear it on her next double century.
The rest of the ride was good for Jose, Derek, Don and Sean but I started to feel the fatigue of being navigator and always looking out for the next turn. It wears on you mentally.
Here are some shots from the afternoon:
But all in all, we made it safely. We had two mechanical issues...Sean's water bottle cage cracked and we had to tighten it down. Nothing like having a bottle fly out and take out a rider or get caught in your spokes. Then two miles from the hotel we heard a bang then Don said he thought he had a flat. But we rode on a few feet and what we saw was more a wobble. Sure enough, he popped a drive train spoke. Fortunately we were close and he was able to nurse the bike along the way.
When we pulled up to our hotel, I took a deep breath and was more than happy to get off my saddle,.
Now I need to work on tomorrow's route...The good news is my freshman college roommate, Gary Wimenitz, will be meeting us along the way and guiding us into Los Angeles.