Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Strawberry Festival Ride

 (Candace and Su)

A couple of weeks ago I got an email for a new bike tour that was added to the Vista Strawberry Festival. Hmmm...strawberries at the aid stations. End of the ride Strawberries? A route that included a nice ride along the beach in Oceanside... It didn't take me long to talk Candace and Su into doing the ride with me.

It's been a while since we've done a long ride. In fact, we've had a hard time getting together to do any rides! I've been going to spin class and we've all gone on a few rides around the neighborhood, but that's about it.

We were a little nervous about jumping right into 34 miles. But hey, it's only 800 feet of climbing and we know we love the beach part of the route. There's 8 miles on the San Luis Rey trail. How hard could it be?

Ha ha ha!! It was the hardest stinkin ride I have ever done. It was hill, after hill, after hill. At first I thought it was great. I was so proud that we could do it. Each hill we went up made me feel stronger. Su and I were even laughing, joking and singing (poorly). Candace was a little sleepy so she didn't join in on the singing.

We met some fun people and had a great time playing leap frog for the first half of the ride. I think there was a group of about 10 of us that kept running into each other.  We'd pass a couple, then they'd pass us.  We'd catch them at an aid station and they would leave... and then there was the group that stopped for coffee... What a bunch of slackers! haha!

About 25 miles in to the ride, we started to get tired and sore.  It was cold.  It was windy.  It was hilly.  My knees started hurting for the first time ever.  Usually it's my hands or my shoulders.  I felt good everywhere else (well except for my tush...but that's not a big surprise)... and we hadn't seen any of the other groups for a very long time.  We started to wonder if the ones behind us quit.  Are we the last lone survivors at the end of the ride? 

Finally we popped out of the river trail and a SAG wagon pulled right up.  What incredible timing!!  They checked on us, pointed out the next turn and we were on our way.  During the last 6 miles the two sag wagons came by a couple of times.  It was the most amazing ride support I have ever seen!  I wish I lived closer because I would definately go to that bike shop!!!!

The last few miles were really hard.  We had a couple of long slow climbs and about a 1/2 mile from the end...those coffee stoppers passed us.  Darn it... Not only did they pass us, but then they took us on an off route climb.  Ooops.  Instead of making a left turn at an intersection.  The ride planners had us take a right turn and then we were supposed to immediately turn around and go through the intersection.  Makes sense now.  Didn't make sense on the directions and we ended up going up another hill before we figured it out.  Sheesh... Sure hope we got bonus points for that!

Over all, it was a GREAT experience.  I am so glad we did it and I am so glad we had no idea how hard it would be because I think we never would've tried....and now we know we can do it!  What a great way to start off our summer of long rides and adventures!  If this is the beginning... I can't wait to see the end!

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