Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 2- Seaside to Morro Bay. EPIC indeed

Day two was the highlight of my coastal journey. I woke up tired, but ready to rock 'n roll. By now I knew the pace would be strong (but later in the day realized the group would redefine "strong").
I was so scared of bonking during the ride that I took extreme care to properly fuel myself. This is as close as I've ever come to the "I can eat anything I want" mentality. Truth is, no matter how much we consumed I'd still be at a deficit by the end of day 3. So the morning started with a killer breakfast. I ate one of everything, and loaded my pockets with seconds. The start of the ride was dark and dewy, but this set the stage for spectacular views to come.
I was told the ride to Big Sur would be killer in terms of climbing and scenery. I couldn't fathum just how awesome it would be! I will try to share pictures with you here, but imagine rolling up and down a mountain while ascending and descending through a layer of puffy clouds. It was jaw dropping! and I enjoyed every second of it...
Once we hit the mountains the group started to break apart. I didn't mind- this meant I could actually look to my right and left and enjoy the morning. This will go down as the best 85miles I've spent on 2 wheels. The pictures don't even do it justice.
 Some people drive the coast, but to ride it and be part of it was breathtaking. Thanks to Steve for this amazing pic...yup, that's me! KILLER shot!

Once the fog lifted the sun gave light to the clear blue water that would remain on our right for miles to come. Have I mentions how awesome these hours of riding were? I rode most of this section with my new friend Zach. It was another opportunity from me to learn how to properly descend. Riding with this group might bring me one step closer to calling myself a real cyclist!
12 miles to go until our quick lunch stop (where I purchased the most expensive bottle of water and double shot I've ever. Even worse than Disney World prices...worth every penny!) From there I was told it would be 40miles of easy flat riding. I was skeptical. The winds had been in our face for two days, and knew flat/rolling terrain meant the turbo train would be moving full steam ahead.
I don't have any pictures from this portion of the day. But imagine this: A strong head wind, causing the mass pack of bikes to span across a lane of traffic on the 101. Every time I looked at my Garmin500 it confirmed that our pace was insane- 28+mph. I tried hard to stay tucked behind the speedsters. I didn't dare take a pull as it would have resulted in me getting shot off the back 10secs later. I am finally learning how to survive these psycho group hammer sessions (survive being the relative term here).
After the ride I learned that we flew by Hertz Castle and a large family of elephant seals (hear they mimicked the size of a whale. Can't tell you from personal experience. The only thing I saw was the wheel in front of me). Guess I'll have to check out the Hertz Castle another time.
Once back at the hotel all anyone could talk about was the insane riding that just ensued. I knew if I didn't do everything I could to recover I wouldn't make it out of bed the next day. So we rallied the troops and made our way to the ocean for a cold soak.

Then it was off to dinner where I consumed a burrito a size of my head. Once back at the hotel we laughed about how the day unfolded. My legs were toast! 
Day 2 in the bank: 126miles, 7,900ft of climbing, lots of pain inflicted. Thanks boys!!! Feelin' the love.
Only 125miles to go...