I had preconceived fancy notions to title this blog “From Infinite Ocean to Endless Heavens,” but as soon as I started to ride today, the better title emerged. I was on just another bike ride.
That is, except for:
- The sendoff by the Oceanside policemen who came to be witnesses for Guinness World Records as well as my dear friend Allison who made it happen to be there!
- The challenge coin one of the officers gave me that he had earned for his participation on a swat team
- Missing a turn and ending up at the entrance to Camp Pendleton with a rifle pointed at me (only four miles ridden by mistake and it was flat)
- Climbing a 12% grade hill for half a mile (I’m so glad I climbed Mt. Weather in training to prepare for this one!)
- Ice water and cheerleading by Susie, my dear friend, at dozens of points along the way.
- Climbing Old Castle Road at 6% grade for two miles
- A jarring long steep descent on a very rough road toward Harrah’s Casino, a blemish on the pristine area
- A four-mile climb at 7+% pitch to end the ride. (I’m so glad I rode on Skyline Drive three times to mentally and physically prepare for this one!) At several points, I felt a gentle cool tailwind and I am certain it was the collective well wishes of all my friends and those of you who have kindly chosen to follow my ride. I will sleep well tonight knowing that climb is done.
- An idyllic pleasantly warm afternoon on the patio of our room at Lazy H Ranch, with WiFi, hot shower and clean dry towels, and a soft bed
I am so grateful for the enthusiasm expressed by so many people for my ride and my quest. One of them is George Thomas, a RAAM Radio host who emceed the RAAM finish in Annapolis in June, where I met him when my friend, Joan, and I went to Annapolis (on our bikes, of course), to witness the first RAAM racers come in in June. George recorded this podcast last night before the ride began.
Details of today’s ride:
Oceanside to Rincon, CA
4521 feet of elevation gain
4 hrs 45 minutes