Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 4 - Chewing it up, spitting it out. 97 miler - check.

Day 4. After getting blasted by the sun on Tuesday and thinking about 97 miles today - I wasn't sure about how it would play out. I knew I'd ride light (as few extras on me as possible) and continue to hit every rest stop, drink all the time and stay within my own capabilities. The day started with greeting my bike in bike parking with a flat which was actually a good thing because I could replace it BEFORE starting my ride, instead of out on the road somewhere.
Bike repair/ mechanic station.

Your bike, the various bags you have attached to it, and your jersey pockets have to hold everything you think you need to get through the day. There is tremendous mechanical support at rest stops for bike help, food and drink too at the rest stops of course, but while you're riding you have to manage with whatever you have. At the beginning of the day you were handed a direction map with elevation chart and call outs for rest stops, lunch, etc. If you get a flat tire you change it on the spot. If you have greater issues w/ your bike or yourself, you can be picked up my one of the many support vehicles that are constantly combing the course you ride, making sure everyone is ok. I carry: 2 bottles - one water, one a water down Powerade, a couple mini Cliff bars, a couple GU packs, camera, phone, wallet, map, extra tube, patch kit, sunscreen, 'butter' and bandana. As the day unfolded, the leg warmers and probably your morning windbreaker/ extra layer will get stored in a back jersey pocket. My 'kitchen' of food was always on the right side, my clothes on the left, my phone and map in the middle pocket of my jersey and the rest in bags attached to the bike. Riding 'light' was more mental than anything.

After mile 10 there are 2 "hills" they call the Evil Twins and after that you hit the half way mark to L.A. The climbs were long and there was plenty of complaining on the way up them, but they weren't that bad and at the top, fog firmly in place, an open dirt lot  with signs marking the half way mark to L.A.
275 miles down. Half way to L.A.!

Mary Kay Cosmetics-themed rest stop.
This was a game changer for me for the rest of the day which still added up to 60 something miles to go. The descent down the backside of the second hill was especially cool (and cold) w/ some of my fellow riders getting up to 40 mph. It's really mental riding all day. So many things go through your head and I just felt stronger and stronger as the day went on. Chewing up the miles and spitting them out. You'd feel tired, you'd look down at your legs and they'd just be jamming away, completely doing their own thing while you managed your upper body, seat, neck, arms, wrists, etc. The rest stops were great all day.
A tradition to stop for a cinnamon roll in Pismo Beach.

Lunch at Cuesta College. Afterwards, a traditional (I'm learning there are a lot of 'traditions' to the ride) stop for a cinnamon roll at the Old West Cinnamon Rolls shop in Pismo Beach and then jamming w/ a tail wind the last 30 into camp.
The Pacific Ocean by Pismo Beach.


  1. Yay, Tad! Hang in there and thank God for fog and tail winds! :-)