“A beginning is only the start of a journey to another beginning”.
We headed into San Fransisco this morning before the sun. My husband thrives at these pre-dawn adventures, when frankly – there is not enough coffee in the world to make me perky waking up while it’s still dark out. But it was pure adrenaline carrying Dave this morning. After a late night at the kick-off dinner and even later meeting with the sandman due to a last minute review of all packed materials, Dave finally hit the sack at about 11 last night. At 2:30am, thanks to one of my sister-in-law’s neighbors, we were reminded of how much we love car alarms. Especially ones that go off for 15 minutes in the middle of the night. Love them! By 3:30 am, Dave was already up, brewing coffee and packing his bike and gear one last time.
We made it to the city by about 6:45am. My three kids were up and fairly awake, as were his mom and dad, his sister, brother-in -law and my nephew Christian. We almost all wore our purple walk team shirts to support him – the one man Princess Parade.
He even wore a tiara on his helmet to get in the spirit.
All the riders had their bikes at the front of the hotel. They loaded their bags into one of two trucks – one for the campground dwellers (which includes Dave) and one for the hotel seekers. (Riders have the option of booking rooms at pre-designated hotels along the route… or bringing their own camp gear along and sleeping at the camp ground. Dave loves camping so much, he was even willing to do it after cycling all day. I imagine at either campground or hotel, there is tons of camaraderie – and breakfast and dinner are served each day in one location for all the riders.)
Seeing all those bikes lined up was pretty cool – but I admit I started getting a little nervous imagining all of them riding beside traffic through the streets of San Fransisco!
After all the last-minute instructions, and a hearty breakfast, the riders saddled up and headed into the bustling city traffic bound for Santa Cruz. There was a fantastic drum line to set the mood…. and volunteers were cheering. It was easy to personalize the cheers because every cyclist has an ID tag on both front and rear of the bike, and it had their first names listed. So, it was cool to see them smile as they hear “You rock Dwight! You go John!”
It was only about 30 minutes later that Dave paused for this shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Dave send us another photo of the second check point…. where riders pick up more water, snacks, take a break etc.
Today’s route was 85 miles… one of the longest days on the ride. Dave made it into camp in Santa Cruz at about 2:45. I think for him, today was like the first day at a new school. He really had to see what it was all about, get a feel for how people ride, where the good stops are and how to pace – especially on hills. The veterans are offering some great advice. It’s hard to imagine after such a physically challenging day, climbing into a sleeping bag on a 1/2″ foam pad on the ground for rest. But that’s exactly what he is doing as I write. And tomorrow morning, he’s going to get up (I bet before the sun), roll up the bag, pack up the tent, eat some breakfast and climb back on the bike. Tomorrow is a mere 53 miles to Monterey 🙂
This is the camp right after dinner. Dave said it was all you can eat fresh shellfish – and it was fantastic. In the foreground with his back to the camera… I think that is the CEO of our Pacific region, Manny Loya. He rode today – and will probably ride the next two days, until business will call him away. Makes him pretty awesome, dontcha think?
There are some fantastic photographers on the ride… and they are posting photos daily here. Check it out to share in the adventure!