July 31 – 50 miles, 3,200 feet, and 3,000 calories
Today was a great day. And not especially because of the ride itself.
It started when I was getting my bike and stuff in order by the truck. Bob Salvatore approached me and asked about the sign on the truck and about the ride. After me stating where I was riding from and to, and Bob confirming that the ride in fact aids breast cancer victims, he asked if he could make a cash donation right then. I, of course, told him not only “yes” but that it would be greatly appreciated. He then opened his wallet, pulled out a $100 bill and he gave us the largest “on the road” donation we have received on any of the four Laura’s Rides. Thank you, Bob. It is such generosity that makes this journey meaningful. It not only aids breast cancer victims, which is of course most important, but it helps motivate me to keep on pedaling.
Bob, who now lives in Crescent City, is also a bicyclist, both road and mountain, though he is hindered some because of a life threatening lung issue he had 7 years ago. He took up riding to deal with that issue and from looking at him, it has served him well.
The ride itself was fine. Because tomorrow’s scheduled ride was so short, I asked Ale to get me at 50 miles. Well, at 49.86 miles I was at a wide portion of the road when I heard a vehicle pull up behind me. I knew it had to be Ale, and it was. How she was able to catch me at exactly 50 miles is beyond my comprehension. (By the way, I believe the 49.86 was actually more like 50 because I hadn’t started the Garmin until shortly after I left our motel.)
The weather was again good, there wasn’t too much wind, though once again, little of it was with me. The traffic continued to be an issue for much of the ride with some notable exceptions. One was when I was directed off of 101 onto a scenic road that was designated as a bicycle route. The climb I was doing on 101 continued for a while, but without having the constant stream of cars, RVs and big rigs going by, it was actually fun. There were some passenger vehicles but no 18 wheelers and few enough of what there was that it was a great respite. It was especially fun when I reached the top because without having to deal with disappearing shoulders and worrying about getting knocked off the road, I was able to go downhill without riding my brakes. Granted, it wasn’t all that steep, but after what I had been doing, it was totally liberating. The descent lasted long enough that it confirmed I had done some climbing. (And speaking of climbing, I noticed that I had gained 950 feet in the first 5.5 miles of the ride with the first half mile having been pretty flat.)
The towering redwoods also made those the best 10 or so miles of the ride.
There were also other stretches where the shoulder would be so wide and smooth that I could just enjoy the riding, whether going flat, down or even up, without being focused on how close some of the vehicles felt when passing me. Most of the drivers were good, but some were close enough that I would have a start when they passed me. That was especially irritating when they clearly had plenty of room to move over.
Despite all of my complaining, I really do enjoy riding and there have been portions of this ride that have been really pleasurable. It’s just that that feeling would be more prevalent with either less traffic or better shoulders. Or, I suppose, more nerve on my part.
With today’s donations, this ride is now at $9,400. Maybe the hope of reaching $10,000 isn’t so crazy after all. Thank you to all who have made that thought possible.
Bye for now,