Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coast Ride

I have always wanted to ride my bike down the coast from San Francisco. Since I took a solid off season and figured it might be time to start panic-training for Ironman Melbourne, 125 miles on my bike three days in a row sounded perfect. Enter the coast ride.

Kiet jumped into the ride last minute.

There were about 150 of us that set off from the bridge.

 We really got lucky - sunshine every day and mid-70s.

Day 1 took us from San Francisco to Seaside.

There were several wrong turns made on this day, which resulted in a bit of a late arrival (and a few extra miles...)

Finally made it to Seaside!

Day 2 morning in Monterey.

Monterey to Morro Bay was by far my favorite stage. The coast is amazing. I also decided to test my legs on day two and see how well I could hang onto the front group. It was fun, and I realized I am way stronger on a bike than I thought I might be coming off my UK holiday. I may have been in the hurt box on multiple occasions, but never imploded.

The climbing on day 2 was also my favorite - epic scenery and all up and down. Being on my bike with the spectacular views is the only way I would ever want to see this part of the coast.

A few one-way bridges and section of coast under construction.

Headed into Morro Bay after day 2. I was quite happy to make friends with a number of strong cyclists that let me sit on their wheel.

Day 3 my legs were still attached and I figured facing 125 miles and some new friends would be fun. Just before lunch we were headed down a large descent and I found myself on the back of the pack (don't hang out here!!) I was chatting with a friend and all of a sudden two guys a few people in front of me went down, resulting in a bike laid out flat in front of me and another bike just to the right. The guy immediately in front of me endo-ed over the carnage and literally was in the air above me. I somehow threaded the needle between the bikes and bodies on the ground, went underneath the guy flying through the air and made it out the other side without hitting the pavement. To tell you I feel lucky is a huge understatement. The guy who flew through the air broke his collar bone. There was a guy with some bad road rash, and a guy with a concussion, who on the ambulance ride went into shock and ended up being air lifted to the hospital. They should all be ok. But again, realizing how closely I sneaked out of what could have ended in a bad day, I was happy to finish the ride without road rash and all limbs attached properly.

I ended up with 390 miles in three days. Made a bunch of new friends. And now have some thoroughly tired legs. All in all - a very successful weekend! A HUGE thanks to Scott for organizing the ride. I will definitely be back.