"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer

8.3.08

March 8: Welcome to California

California, where have you been all my life?

The darkness split open to a glorious dawn at 33,000 feet and soon the plains and sculpted farmland gave way to brown desert and then the golden, crystal-snow western mountains announced your preeminence which has driven my dreams for the last 6 months. A burst of green and ordered beauty swirled below, the fertile lure of past travelers and seekers, families and loners.

In the middle of wine country. Farms everywhere. None of the ritz and pretension of TV California. The Central Coast is Wisconsin with Palm Trees. We stretched out our legs with an easy 32 miler today. Up and down the rollers, never really stressing that much. Nice conversation, some good laughs. California makes me glad to be back out west, and makes me miss Alaska with a squeezing heartache.

All the westward migrants whoever said, "Why stop? Let's keep going." That is the heart of the uniqueness of the American west. Like they say in Alaska, for single women anyways, the odds are good, the goods are odd. We're the most unique, but California has got to be a close second. How can the lush green, the rustic barns, the sunset reflecting off of the mountains not effect every last soul living here?

The ride ended on a quick but confusing sprint, and while my legs were up to the task, my brain had some cobwebs to clear. No sooner had Erik said to "expect a flyer just after the right hand turn" than Newt, Kirby, Jeff, Luke, et al come screaming by. I've been telling myself to react quicker and to not let pain dissuade, so off I went to bridge and quickly found a wheel. That faded behind a gap, and up I jumped again. Those two bridges where the only time I felt the wind that night, and when Stocky attack long up the left side of the group I stuck to his wheel, hoping for some sign of the sprint point. It was called the "Mailbox Sprint," earlier, and too late to react, Stocky looked left at the mailbox and sat up.

Just as I thought to myself, "next time," Luke rocketed past and I barely heard the words, "wrong mailbox!" as he brought a load of wheel suckers with him. Curses.

The hotel is very nice, quaint, clean, and quiet, and I have not had roommates like these since Band Camp. Poop jokes, fag jokes, dick jokes, and enough farting to power to the Space Shuttle, this is a vacation unlike I've ever had and have been needing for years.

A tour of the first day in pictures...

Finally on our way:
Finally!

Morning shock:
Morning shock

JT is just 2 kool 4 Skool. Literally. He was supposed to be in weekend detention today.
JT illin'.

I come for the fares, but I stay for the leg room:
Exit Row

Wing:
Wing

The wait:
The wait

Newt berating me for some goddamn thing or another:
Intensity

It fits...phew!
Bikes on Bus

As rode on the bus from Oakland to San Luis Obispo, Randy showed us some race DVDs to illustrate the tactics and theories of climbing, descending, and pacelining:
Randy gives it up

Edzzzzzzzzz.
Tired Ed

Coming soon, fine Paso Robles Zinfindel:
Wine

My first bus ride road trip in over 10 years:
Bus ride

Newtron and Squirrel Meat:
Newtron and Squirrel Meat

Build-a-bike!
Buildabike?

We have a back porch!
Back Porch

Ready to roll, Luke and I:
Luke Me Pre ride

Rick Widen and the Pacific Ocean:
Rick Pacific

The group:
Saturday Ride

Squirrel Meat and his box:
Squirrel Meat and his Box

Nighty nite!
Peach Tree Inn

2 comments:

Jeff said...

Squirrel Meat goes to 12.

Matt said...

Keep the updates and pictures coming! I'm training vicariously now :(