Day 1 of Celebration Ride2 (Tuesday, October 11, 2011)
Route: San Francisco to Monterey
Raising money for Kids on Bikes (please give to them - it would make the miles a little less painful!) And NO, it does not go to me.
The day started off calm, cool and collected. Joshua has been absolutely AMAZING in keeping me from freaking out. I could not have prayed for a better support person. Who has quickly become a very good friend. More on that later.
After having breakfast at the hostel, we had to go get the vinyl letters from the shop. Which didn't open till 9 a.m. First we had to get our car and drive over there. It was nice to walk through town before a VERY long journey!! Got the letters/sign and drove over to the Ferry Building. Our launching point for the ride. And one of my favorite places in the world. Love it here!
We had our work cut out for us. Assemble bike. Put letters on window. Drink some Gen UCAN. Get dressed for ride. And other little things that just add up over time :).
Joshua was busy getting the gear ready and I was his assistant. Perfect team. We were trying to put the letters on the back of the window and a friendly, helpful person - Jim - came over and started talking with us. Two seconds later he was pitching in and made the letters look perfect :). If you are reading this Jim, THANK YOU!!
I changed into my cycling shorts in the front seat of the car. Yes it can be done! And mentally prepared to be on the bikes for HOURS.
Jim stuck around for the ride departure, told me that he was proud of what I was doing and wished me & Joshua great success. A few photos later, I hopped on my bike and WE WERE OFF to San Diego!
Getting out of the city was not entirely a piece of cake. Since I have been to SF frequently, I kind of know my way around. We took the SF Marathon route from the Embarcdo, up past Crissy Field, by the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Presido, Golden Gate Park, Sea Cliff, then down past the Nike Women's Marathon finish line (which they were setting up for, btw!).
What this route meant was it was a lot of hills right off the start. My heart rate went from 0-100 (no, not true numbers) in a matter of seconds!
Today was also foggy. And as it would turn out, the fog would not lift till 4:15pm!!! Way down the coast!! So we didn't get to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Next year. :)
We made a wrong turn and had to backtrack. Then another bad direction and backtrack AGAIN. Leaving the city wasn't fun! Cars kept trying to kill me. A few people honked in moments of cheer, which was great.
Finally we were on a quieter road. But of course had some massive climbs. With the fog being SO ridiculously think, it blocked my view of the tops of the climbs. So I biked blindly. Fun.
We had to stop for gas and I was grateful for a chance to stop! I ate some almonds and had a half of a banana. Then it was back on the bike. PCH/ Highway 1 was getting close! Up a few hills, and there we were!! Let the adventure begin.
This section of PCH was really, really narrow and virtually no shoulder. Combined with the fact that construction was also going on, climbing was slow going. At one point I was riding (climbing a hill actually) with a semi on my right and a dump truck backing up on my left. I was a little shaky!! To say the least!
Cars were getting agitated and so Joshua had to pull over a few times to let them go by. It is amazing how slowing down for 9.7 seconds really gets drivers in a funk. Seriously, chill people, chill!! Joshua will have to tell you all about that though.
We stopped at the top of the hill and I refueled as Joshua took photos of the view. Soon I was back on the saddle and flying down the hill. That felt amazing.
The next 60 miles were kind of a blur. We had time to make and nightfall doesn't take a break. I was keeping a pretty good pace. If you have been keeping up to date on my little life. You know I've been sick for the past week. I had several nosebleeds last week. I told Joshua in the morning, that I prayed I wouldn't have any on the bike. Well that was about to change.
Did I mention that the fog sucked? It was cold and dark and I couldn't see in front of me. It lasted for HOURS. Literally. It didn't help my cough any, that's for sure!
I kept blowing my nose and then it happened. Red stuff. Blood. Damn. (Insert other word for what I really said). I tried to hold my nose, ride up hill and breathe at the same time. Not so easy. I finally pulled over to get the bleeding to stop. Joshua wouldn't let me go till it stopped. GRR.
Thankfully it stopped. Hopped back on the back. Then about two minutes and seven seconds later, I blew my nose and the OTHER side started bleeding. I shook my head, flung my hand down and kept on pedalling. Joshua pulled up beside me and said "it's the other side, right." He knows me SO well already! So we had to stop AGAIN. Time wasn't on my side and we had to be in Monterey by night fall!
Despite all these little things, the views- that we were able to see were AMAZING. The coast is so special!! I wish I could post all the photos Joshua took. They are magnificent!
We laughed at all the signs along the way. The "entering __ Population 313." Little things to keep my mind focused off the duty at hand.
Riding on. The climbs kept coming and the sun soon faded. I was in intense pain. Let's just say it felt like it would be a miracle if I would be able to give birth one day! I was also exhausted. We rode through Santa Cruz as dusk fell. The PCH suddenly turned into a insanely busy freeway. Safety was at an all time high. Just ask Joshua. After some hairy and close calls, we finally made it to Monterey. It was not an easy day. AT ALL.
When I finally collapsed in the hotel bed that night. I stared at the ceiling and wondered how the heck I was supposed to ENDURE 4 (blank) more days of this. Every muscle, bone, and fiber of my being hurt. HURT.
I hobbled to the ice bath Joshua got ready for me. Then we had dinner on the bed. Don't ask what it was. We were both STARVING. I called my friend Martha and told her how I was feeling. She told me to listen to Joshua. And with that we went to bed :).
Full slideshow below