I have been asked what I did to train for this ride. Well, I did what I did last year. And the year before. Which is essentially that I didn’t do anything different than I normally do as far as riding is concerned. That is, I typically ride 3 times a week with a group of riders from the Lamorinda area. Our Tuesday and Thursday rides are 25 to 30 miles, with an occasional 40 miler thrown into the mix, and our Saturday rides are usually 40 to 60 miles. Those aren’t as long as what I will be doing on Laura’s Ride Atlantic Coast but they are usually at a much faster clip so slowing down lets me add quite a few miles. Plus, while riding alone I will stop when I start feeling tired since I figure I have enough miles in my future that there is no reason to push too hard. It is not a race. I’m not masochistic enough for that.
Some of our more interesting rides – usually on Saturday – have included our “2 bridges loop” which takes us over the Benicia and Carquinez bridges for about 50 miles with some great views of the Bay or Canal. We also did our 7th Annual Sacramento Ride from Lafayette to Old Town Sacramento for lunch with a ride home on the train. I have included a couple of photos from that ride, including one on the ferry near Rio Vista which was closed down for about an hour. That meant that this year we had lunch in Rio Vista instead of in Old Town. The restaurant we visited had an embarrassing collection of animal trophies, from a huge elephant to bears, elk, a moose and much smaller animals. There are some of us wo would much prefer that hunters would be content shooting their prey with cameras rather than rifles.
In addition to riding, this year my preparation has included weekly sessions with my chiropractor over the past 4 months or so. They started because I couldn’t lie on either side for more than a minute or so, or drive for more than about an hour, without causing pain to go down my leg. While that seems to have improved considerably, now I am hobbling around because of discomfort in my right hip and down my right leg. However, according to my x-rays, the arthritis in that hip is fairly minor so I was prescribed an MRI to see if the cause could be determined. I guess that is still up in the air. The good news, though, is that the discomfort hasn’t been much of an issue while I am actually riding. I’m hoping it stays that way. No one said that getting older is easy.
My preparations also included quite a bit of packing. I know that Dave B. just rode to Los Angeles with nothing more than a small back pack could hold but I will admit to pretty much filling up my Suburban, which has a roof top carrier. I have attached a photo of Day 1 of Dave’s ride; I joined him on that first leg from Moraga to Half Moon Bay. I also have attached a copy of my packing list for anyone who might be interested. Also included is a photo of our cat, Bear, lying on some of my cycling clothes while I was getting ready. He is so dark that you have to look closely to see him against my black shorts. Although he looks nothing like a bear now – more like a sleek panther – when I named him as a kitten he was rolly poly and very much resembled a little black bear.
Last Friday about 30 friends and family gathered for dinner at our home to offer their good luck wishes for the ride. A number of them also used the occasion to donate to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation to help breast cancer victims. THANK YOU to all! And Kent, a long time neighbor, said that he would add a “+” to the “Twice Across America” logo on my bike’s top tube when I have completed this ride.
Ale left for Quebec City on Sunday with the truck, my 2 bikes and everything I have packed for the ride. I will fly to meet her this coming Thursday. We will spend a couple of days visiting Quebec City – primarily the Old Town – before I start riding on July 2.