Sean gave a very energetic start of the day with a speech at the Intel Museum. He ended with a very enthusiastic call of "Let's ride!"
We rode off with about 100 riders and despite the varying ability of the cyclists as well as a mix of road bikes, mountain bikes, TT bikes, and bikes towing trailers, and somewhat wet roads, to my knowledge no accidents occurred. Ahmad did a great job policing riders that gave even the slightest hint of being a hazard.
Palo Alto greeted us with a huge welcome. There were booths set up everywhere, great food and beverages. I couldn't find any coffee but Ahmad showed up and shared his cup with me. Not sure where he got the coffee but it's the best I've ever had. Even better was seeing friends and family showing up from all over.
The ride to HP was splendid with police escorts. So nice to own the road!
At this point we swapped Sean's nice Passoni bike for his trusted Trek just to make sure he can get used to the new bike before putting major miles on it. He seemed disappointed but agreed to play it safe.
I expected the worse for the next segment but it actually worked out great. Everyone took Old La Honda at their own pace and seemed to enjoy it. I heard rumors that Tom reached the top thinking he was only half way up. He was so elated when he found out he was at the summit that he ran around in circles giving high 5's to all who ventured to raise their hands. I think he only dislocated the shoulders of two of the unsuspecting climbers!
The ride down 84 was a bit cold and drizzly. Sean was shivering at one point and he gladly accepted the light windbreaker I offered him. Worked for me. One less thing in my pockets!
We stopped in San Gregorio and it was great to see so many Heart Across America riders, many sporting their jerseys. We took a short break, rehydrated and then it was, "Where's Sean?" "Oh he just took off" I was told. So the chase began! Fortunately he wasn't too far ahead and we all rode together along Highway 1.
At this point, the sun started to shine through the dispersing clouds and the wind changed to a lovely NW. Everyone felt like a super hero. We were cruising at 20+ MPH with minimal effort. The hills though were still there and I will admit the last climb had me thinking about getting to the hotel!
Davenport finally showed up and we arrived a bit before 5 pm. Not bad considering the late start. By 6:15 pm we were all showered and ready for food and drink. We worked out tomorrow's schedule...departing at 9:00 am. Sean wanted 7:30 am but in addition to a threatened mutiny, morning logistics just didn't work for the early start. This will give us more time to get everything in its place and make sure nothing is left behind.
Today's missing items included, a helmet, 2 water bottles at the start, two water bottles at San Gregorio, sunglasses, arm warmers, gloves, street shoes, and a new floor pump.. Andrea recovered the water bottles from San Gregorio and teamwork sharing took care of the rest. Not bad for a day 1. And no, all missing items were not from one person!
The surprise of the day came from Bruce Hollibaugh owner of Concept Cyclery bikes in Morgan Hill. He spotted us using my 10 year old duct taped and zip chord tied pump and drove all the way to Morgan Hill and back to Davenport to deliver two brand new pumps! The sad news is that Don and Dedi made me promise to toss the old pump to make room in the van. I liked that pump. (note the use of the past tense).
So tomorrow now awaits us. The grill next door opens at 6:30 am and we don't leave until 9. This also gives John time to get up here from Santa Cruz to join us. Somehow John's room in Davenport got lost and he ended up having to stay in Santa Cruz. I'm probably guilty and that's ok....things worked out in the end.