because you ASKED for a poorly-written novel - that's why.

it is one thing to dread the early wake up call for that one day next weekend for that obligation you signed yourself up for. it is a whole other story to have it be the night before, when you set your alarm for 4:00am and your phone confirms: ALARM IS SET FOR 3 HOURS AND 51 MINUTES FROM NOW.
well anyway - after sleep-dressing myself at 4:15am, ensuring all of my bike gear was in my car, and then double-checking I actually had pants on, my friend Rai and I took off for the ride.
upon arrival I sorted out the storing locations for all of my food - my nutrition for the day consisted of a lot of gu's, gummies, and caffeine... and I wonder why I feel terrible for days afterward...

the beginning was a flash - excitement was contagious and everyone rode at a high cadence that they would regret later (me included) but, we did it anyway. Lockheed was on the road in full force - showing off cool jerseys and a boisterous individual (named John) whose normal volume was SHOUTING LEVEL... which was REALLY GOOD!!!!!!!!!!

I was bummed to discover that my usual 1st rest stop was not yet set up - it would only be for the shorter routes which had a later start time. but I stopped regardless and complained to myself about it. *grumble grumble.

the first major climb followed shortly and included much more quiet grumbling but also a LOT of conversing. cycling up hills like these allows me plenty of time to meet people and enjoy the scenery and experience. one couple was keeping a decent pace until the woman let it be known: I THOUGHT YOU SAID THIS WOULD BE SLOW AND STEADY? I advised her partner I THINK SHE WANTS SLOWER AND STEADIER.
official rest stop 1 was short and sweet. coffee cake, bananas, PB&J's, nilla wafers, water, Gatorade... there were 3 large climbs left so the break simply served as a water-topper.
I took some group photos for SHOUTING-John before heading out with Rai.
this part of the ride gave me my all-too-familiar nervous pee sensation. rough road, steep downhill, fast cars, moist air collecting on sunglasses. imagining a crash was enough to keep me cautious.
eventually I passed Rai at a wicked speed. I love it when he chooses his wardrobe unwisely and has to pull over to change (thus allowing me said 'wicked speed' pass).

at the 2nd rest stop I found Rai (yes - he beat me) fiddling with his clothes.
SHOUTING-John as well as a swarm of others arrived after me. we stretched, talked, sat, ate, and painfully hovered over the toilets to pee (if penis-less).

Rai's clothing choice shows we were close to the (cold) ocean. the next climb would take us north-west with views of golden rolling hills, green mountains, happy horses, and the Pacific... including a death-defyingly WINDY 2 miles on Highway 1.

rest stop #3 was crucial. it was the LAST stop before the longest and curviest (and final) climb - the moment I gave myself a Gladiator speech. will what I do in life really echo in eternity?

after urging an irresponsible cyclist to clean off the bloody road rash from his unsuccessful date with the pavement, we departed. he would survive.

Tunitas Creek Rd. was a monster. luckily I had lots of company! but unluckily... the first guy I talked to did not speak English, got nervous, and took off ahead of me. ok. : / I passed him soon after as he stopped on the side of the road and practically threw up. weird European. reminded me of my dog when a cat tries to play with him.

miles and switchbacks later I ran out of hill. I found everyone in stretching and pain-writhing positions at the top. the rest of the route was either downhill or flat - bring it.

and what is a finish line photo without a question from the dependable Mr. LaForga...

just 30 more miles than you - that is all.

in other (yet similar) news...
...$1,000 raised for the American Diabetes Association this year!
...I love the company I keep
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