Thursday, September 17, 2009

Very Timely Update {rolls eyes}

I know that I said I would try and give nightly updates of the ride (that happened almost a month ago), but it turns out that after you've physically exhausted yourself each day it's tough to work up the effort to do much besides take a shower, curl up on the bed and weep. So I'll give a bit of a rundown here on events. And thank you again for you readers who donated and helped me be able to do this.

First off, a short rundown of what the ride actually turned out to be during that 7 days:
  • 500 miles traveled
  • 22 thousand feet of climbing
  • 35 thousand calories burned
  • 2 extremely wicked saddle sores (more on that later)
Needless to say it was, without a doubt, the most physically demanding thing that I've ever done. To be honest, I thought that I was in pretty good shape for this ride. Turns out, I'm not nearly as strong of a rider as I thought I was. There were guys on this ride that destroyed me as far as riding ability. To be fair to myself, most of those guys were either A) college kids who are on their school's triathlon team or B) guys who have been riding much, much longer than I have. But it was a bit discouraging to be one of the last 5 or 6 people in at the end of the day. But I completed every day no matter how badly I wanted to quit on a couple days. About a third of the whole group didn't ride each day to completion.

Regarding the days that I wanted to give up, there were two of them. One was the day going through Big Sur (Day 3). If you're not familiar with that area, it's a beautiful, forested stretch along the Central California coast. But it's insanely hilly spread over about a 50 mile stretch. The elevation climbed that day was over 5K feet in a 70 mile ride. That was the day I first started really noticing saddle sores (turns out my seat alignment got jacked up at the end of day 1 and didn't notice until half way through the day). Let me tell you, when you've got to do 70-80 miles a day and your ass is raw, it is not good. Luckily, I had a couple ride partners with me to talk me through the last 10 miles of the worst of the climbing and I finished.

The second day I fantasized about quitting was the last day. We were going from Dana Point to San Diego, it was hotter than hell and my ass was just pure mechanism of fucking misery at that point. I could not, for the life of me, find a comfortable part of the saddle. It was excruciating. I managed to make it though, even if I was the last guy in. And I have to tell you, it was worth every bit of cursing, anger and agony when we rode up to the picnic where the hemophilia foundation was having an event. It was great to see all the appreciative people that came out to cheer us in to the final stop and express their thanks for raising money for their families. It made me feel really good about what we all had done. Goofy, but true.

Nonwithstanding my whininess, seeing the Cali Coast by bike is specfuckingtacular. You don't really realize how much of the scenery and awesomeness of a place you miss while flying by in a car. On a bike, you get to see it at a much slower pace and much more closely than you ever could by car. I can't recommend enough seeing some majestic part of our country on top of a bike, it's a whole new experience.

Starting next week, I'll share some of the funnier stuff that happened during the trip and maybe some more of the daily break-downs of the ride.