Day 2 of Celebration Ride 2! Date: October 12, 2011
Route: Monterey to San Luis Obispo
Pain Level: HIGH
Route beauty: AMAZING
Cell phone reception: Null
After last night, I wasn't sure how I was going I was to ride another 120 miles, let alone sit on the saddle without screaming in pain. But this is Sarah we're talking about and she always forges on ahead! (Not sure why I am talking in third person. Anyway. :))
We checked out of the hotel and drove around the adorable little town of Monterey. It was a PERFECT morning - to sit inside the car. Kidding. We had our one meal of the day. I ate my eggs on the car hood while simultaneously changing into cycling gear. Joshua got the bike ready. A local bike shop opened at 9:30 a.m. and we were waiting to buy some desperately need shammy cream. Oh the joys of endurance sports! I quickly slathered it EVERYWHERE. Then Joshua and I said a quick prayer, hugged and I hopped on the saddle. Let Day 2 begin!
Of course heading out of Monterey on the PCH was uphill. My quads were quite thrilled, let me tell you! There was a short stretch where I had to ride on the freeway (again). But that was the least of my worries. There was a stray dog PLUS a homeless guy on a bike that were weaving in and out of merging traffic. I was just trying to stay upright and on my bike let alone trying to navigate where the dog + man would go next. Thankfully, I made it up the hill, past the dog and man and started a blissful descent down the hill. I love, love, LOVE descending! Going 40 miles on an inch of rubber is thrilling man! (I didn't realize it till later that night, but Joshua (and the other traffic) actually got stopped in the dog+man mess. Some police stopped traffic and were trying to rescue the dog.)
The climbs were a lot of fun leaving Monterey. But the beautiful Pacific Ocean kept me going. The road was narrow, shaded by trees and crowded with cars. Of course the breath taking sights didn't help any! Cars kept pulling over, so I had to keep my eyes and ears wide open. Note: I don't ride with music.
It was hard to keep riding when all I wanted to do was enjoy the views in front of me. The photos won't do it justice, but it will give you a glimpse of the glorious beauty!
I kept on cranking. Joshua kept on driving and protecting me. Surprisingly I felt pretty good. Praise the Lord for that shammy cream! My legs were tired, but nothing more then usual.
Thankfully with all the climbing it meant that there was also descending. The speed limit was 25-30 (for cars) but I hit over 40 mph on most of the descents. Exhilarating :). The road was very curvy, winding and sharp turns. With steep cliffs right beside me. It was hard to descend much faster!
During one pit stop, Joshua took off the areo bars I had on my bike. Riding without them made me feel like a real cyclist. Also, if I haven't said this before, Joshua was the most amazing person ever. EVER!! He took care of me, made sure I was safe, noticed if I was fiddling with my bike and fixed it...the list is endless. I truly met a wonderful person.
The other good news for the day? NO FOG!! Joshua and I were pretty stoked about it. The views were pretty amazing and we wanted to see them!
At some point during the ride two fast boys on fast, expensive bikes were in my sight. Yep. You know what I was thinking. :) Joshua pulled along aside me in the car and I shouted to him "I want to catch them." Joshua said "you are a machine. Make it happen." And so I had something else to do with my brain besides look at licenses plates. Catch the boys!!
Now, by this time I had well over 150 miles in my legs. But I was still climbing pretty well. And I was gaining ground. It took a few climbs and descents, but soon, they were in my grasp. YES. I panted up the hill AND THEN calmly passed them and FLEW down the hill. The adrenaline was rushing through my veins like a hungry tiger. Set goal and conquer.
Joshua and I pulled over for some more photo ops and the boys passed me. Which set goal No. 2 for me. Catch them again. We were quickly approaching Big Sur. I could see them up ahead. This section of the PCH had no shade and I guess they were looking for some, because within a few miles a shady spot appeared WITH a stream. They had pulled over and stopped to enjoy it. I forged on ahead.
We stopped at the only store in the middle of nowhere for some ice for my Gen UCAN refuel. Ice, sweet ice. It was hot out!! Quickly chugged it, ate some almonds and I was back on the saddle. But the guys had passed us. GRR.
Little did I know what awaited me (and them). A HORRENDOUS climb. It went on FOREVER. Words don't it justice. It's probably a good thing I've trained at altitude because this climb was a beast! Even Joshua felt sorry for me. There was no end in sight. Curve after curve, the hill was never ending. It can be hard to keep your spirits up when all you want to do is fall off the bike and sleep. Or eat. Or whatever. But you've got to keep with it. Everything always has a end. And I knew that even though this climb seemed like it had no ending, it would feel AWESOME to get to the top. Knowing that I didn't quit when it got tough. Or when my legs were screaming.
I also thought of the wonderful meal Martha was making for us!! And a shower. And a bed. I love the little things in life :). Especially when you are grueling it out on the saddle :).
I kept myself going by continuing my search for license plates. I shouted to Joshua a few of them. To which he replied "you crack me up. You are climbing a massive hill and yet you are looking for new states." What can I say, that's me :).
About halfway up the climb, I caught the guys AGAIN! And in fact they stopped and turned around. I broke them! Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I'm going with the former. Joshua later told me that "you could out-climb those boys all day long." Nice ego boost :).
Finally. FINALLY!! I approached the top. Not sure why it took so long! We pulled over and I had some water, refueled, used an ActionWipe, then reapplied some sunscreen and caught my breath. On to more climbs :).
Another descent, more climbs, more spectacular views- that's pretty much how the day went. Finally, I had had enough and I stopped the ride for the day. Another 100 miles was in the legs and I was spent.
We were spending the night with Martha and Curt. So we threw the bike in the car and drove to their home.
Along the way we stopped to enjoy the coast, the sunset, Falcons and the beauty of the California coast. We also passed the Hearst Castle from a distance. We saw zebras! Apparently they have a small zoo :).
Finally in the darkness we arrived at Martha's and just as she had promised, we were treated like a king & queen! Thank you Martha for everything. We had a great evening.
I was exhausted. So after a nice, warm shower I said goodnight and went to dreamland. Another day awaited me and I wanted to make sure I was ready!
Full slideshow below