Sunday, June 14, 2009

Getting Lost

Yesterday Steven had a meeting in San Diego so I decided I would find myself some new riding scenery. I found a 100-mile "ride" that is done in March and decided to try to copy that loop, figuring the roads were probably decent if a century takes place on the route.

First stop was the Olympic Training Center. My hope was to ride around and check it out, but the guard at the gate said I had to take an "official tour." No time for this, so I hopped back on my bike.

On the blue planter beneath the Olympic rings it says "Amazing Awaits". I like this.

Part way through the ride I realized I was sweating all over my map and smearing the directions. Oops! Well, hills usually mean east, ocean west. I won't get lost.

The scenery was awesome. The climbing was tough. And it was one of the best rides I have had in a while. Just me, my bike and open roads. At one point the only car I saw over a 3-hour time period was a border patrol truck.

When I finally re-entered a town I reached a point where the next road on my map was not appearing in a timely manner. Realizing I was most likely lost I tried to figure out which direction I was going by looking at the sun, which was over my left shoulder. This meant I was going north. Doohhhhhh! (I needed to go south.) I pulled into a 7-11 to ask directions. Out front two ladies were selling strawberries.

ME: Can you help me figure out where I am on this map?
Lady #1: Ohhhhh no, we no live around here.
ME: Am I in El Cajon?
Lady #2: That's a nice bike! Did I cost you almost $1000?
My internal voice: Hmmm, how do I get them to focus on the issue that little white girl is lost and trying not to end up in Mexico?
ME: Do you know where Paradise Valley is?
Lady #1: Ohhhh honeeeee, you do not want to go there. It is GHETTO!
ME: Ok, so I need to go back that direction?
Lady #2: I used to be in shape like you, but then I had 3 kids. Look, now even my hands are fat! (She holds a pudgy hand up to my face).
My internal voice: Oh jeez, this is not working. 

The ladies were most helpful in trying to send me on the right path, although I had doubts when I rolled out of the parking lot that I had gained any insight.

Rain threatened for much of the day, but thankfully I only got sprinkled on.

As I finally rolled through the "ghetto" I was actually happy because I knew I was going the right direction again.

This is the elevation profile from the ride I had intended to do. I added about an hour when I got lost. I later figured out I'd made the wrong turn because I wrote the directions down incorrectly. Oops again!

It was indeed a most amazing and beautiful day on the bike. I can't wait to take some friends on the loop with me.