Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Undefeated EOD Ride -- The California Coastline

Jim and Tim along the California coast

Another post about the EOD Ride -- I haven't yet written about the route! Oh, wow... fantastic! It was very different from the New England coastline, (of course), as it was lined with palm trees, wide smooth roads, and warm colors. (As an artist, the colors really stood out to me.) So many shades of sandy brown, burnt orange, and soft pale blue. Gorgeous. We often rode along the water, (and at one point a winding path that cut across a beach), several bike paths and through a park -- quintessential California. We travelled through beautiful neighborhoods, so neatly laid out with modern architecture, and busy cities that were so spread out, a single block would probably swallow half our town. (Three city blocks would gulp it down.) I seriously would have been so lost if I weren't following Schreck.

Riding with the gang of four on Saturday, (five including me), was so much fun. Many, many laughs and great camaraderie. We'd stop at a rest stop, refill water bottles, grab a bite to eat and be off. I packed my own fuel, (dates and dried apricots), but by mile X at the second rest stop, I had a Stinger Waffle and a mini Snickers bar. (Last time I ate a Snickers was maybe last Halloween?!) I wasn't too concerned about the gluten and sugar at that point -- I just needed something.

Riding along the beach in the morning was so, so cool -- I loved it -- and riding through the neighborhoods was fun, too. Julia and I chatted a little bit, (possibly annoying the men, though they didn't say anything), but for most of the ride I was quiet, which I tend to get while riding. We just cruised along down the coast that first day, finishing at 70 miles. I think there may have been a few hills that day, although I didn't notice. Jim showed off his neat talents by calling each intersection "clear" about 50 yards before we actually got there. He has amazing spidey sense.

There was only one tough climb that I remember from the two days, and that was Torrey Pines, near the end on Sunday. It's long and steep, with the first half being a steeper grade than the second, but Tim took Torrey Pines all on his own without any help from the guys or Miss Julia, and I just climbed along at the same pace as everyone else. I can't think of a climb similar to that one here at home, so there's really nothing I can do to prepare for it next year. (If there is a next year.)

(And did I tell you it was warm? I know...  it's California... but when I got off the plane in Boston Tuesday and it was in the low 40s, that was all I could think about.)

All in all, it was a beautiful route down the California coast -- at times challenging, (no Strava records) -- but a great ride. And for all you folks who kept telling me it was all downhill... You lied!