Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 28: Ventura, CA

This dramatic and challenging ride ended with a dinner to give everyone a final opportunity to share stories and many laughs. Carol, one of our four very competent SAG drivers, reminded us that the end was near when she read this poem a couple of dinners ago:

33 Women out on a trek, let's ride to Ventura, yea, what the heck.
We bonded quickly didn't take long. What won't kill you makes you strong.

Michele was our guide and now is the cook. No question about it, #1 one our book.
Cy hopped on board when Patty jumped ship. She caught on to us ever so quick.
With her Southern drawl and happy tone, with Mic and Cy, we may never go home.

Mary Slade so tall and lean, makes for a real riding machine
She's also great as she has an app that tells me where my next coffee is at.

Chris on our trip added a year, hate to tell you, we all did my dear.

Nancy and Donna pedaled side by side. Spinning along as the miles clicked by.
Though tired as we all are at the end of the ride, they help with the dishes - washed and dried.

Liz and Mike speed demons on land, and their reward . . . unloading the van.

Ann's the rebel, often off route, and some are like lemmings, following suit.

Little Vickie rides like the wind. Gets home in time to help with our din.
Marilyn, pedaling along holds the gait. It works, dinner's never been late.

Nancy, Caroline, and Alberta Jean, pleased to join the greatest SAG team.

We share a roomie for each night, except for Lynda - spare bed's for her bike.
Her roommate has history, has heard it before, "pull out couch or sleep on the floor".

I met Virginia on another tour. Not much taller but faster for sure.

Therese's first day was not as she'd like. A cramp, cut leg, and troublesome bike.
For me as the SAG, she helped pave the way. Flagged down some help, no ferry delay.

Janine's our gal from the North, eh? Shelia's our gal cross the sea.
Strong riders with stories we all like to hear. Knows our history better than we.

Rita, Angie, and Carol with their blog, are certainly better than my handwritten log.
Why not let friends and family from home read their stuff instead of my own.

Peg's a good rider, right on my ass. Tells me to stop so she can pass.
This said with a smile, I'll do as she wishes. She's redeemed herself by helping with dishes.

Lin when practiced stays well rehearsed. And entertains us with song and verse.
A riding buddy mile after mile. Fun to pedal where there's always a smile.

Desitin, shammy butter nothing I fear, could heal the issues of Hoagland's rear.

Debby is a biker that is for sure, just don't put her in the van.
She turns a bit green and then very white, Debbie, my friend, STAY ON THE BIKE.

Lighthouse Sue should be her name. She hasn't missed any house on tour.
At the end of the ride when we tally our totals, she'll have the most for sure.

When Sunnye passes, she really flies by. Could she actually be on a CA high?

The sweeps, Katy, Patty and Kirb, have taken the name I so richly deserve.
They used to be last but I hear the whir as they pedal past me, my title's secure.
Patty however has leapt out of the box, she's pedaling hard trying to find my socks.
All things considered, the don't match my dress, I grant you your wish, they're yours, all the best.

As poet and author one can say as she wishes, never thought I'd enjoy doing the dishes.
You all have been great. We really can boast. Don't need to ever do another Pac Coast.
It's nearing the end, it's been a blast. I've pedaled hard - don't go very fast.
3 little words said with a smile, kept me riding mile after mile.
I hear them so often even in sleep, they just kept repeating week after week.
On your left, on your left - please let it be done, stop pedaling so I can share in your fun.

Tonight Cy, with her sweet Kentucky intonation, added this to the mix:

congratulations to the first ever wt pacific coast tour, an epic adventure, that's for sure.

riding your bikes for 24 days,
through bright sunshine & foggy haze.

pedaling, pedaling over 1600 miles,
grunting & grimacing & beatific smiles.
muscles screaming out in pain,
70,000 feet of elevation you did gain.

i sing out praises, oh yes it's true,
and bow down low to each of you.
shine on & on sweet sister friends,
here's hoping this precious connection, never ends...

A few photos of the festivities:

Carol (FL), Debby (OH), Nancy (NC), Chris (NE), Kirby (IL), Ann (NJ)
Debby (OH), Mike (OR)
Sunnye (FL), Cy (KY), Carolyn (CA), Lynda (WA), Sue (OH)
Janine (Canada), Vicky (ME), Marilyn (MI), Virginia (GA), Sheila (Scotland)
Ann (NJ), Carol (PA), Jean (TN), Liz (CO), Mary Slade (MI), Michelle (CO), Donna (NY), Nancy (VT)
Angela (MD), Carol (PA), Peg (WA), Lin ((MN), Therese (MN)
Trip Leaders Michelle (CO) and Cy (KY)
Sheila (Scotland)
A "supportive" walk home:  Nancy (NC), Debby (OH), Chris (NE), Ann (NJ), Sunnye (FL)
Those with the ability to record elevation gain reported a total gain of about 72,000 feet for an average of 3,000 feet per riding day; day after day with none that could honestly be called recovery rides. I didn't complete every mile due to mechanical problems with my bike and a need for additional time off the bike for recovery. Any way you cut it, it was a very challenging and rewarding ride. The scenery was the show and what kept us going. We did have to deal with the elements such as cold and fog and poor road conditions and the like. However, rain, a major concern given our location and the time of year, never was a factor.

Highlights of the ride for me were ferry rides in Puget Sound; crossing the Columbia River; the Oregon Coast towns of Cannon Beach, Newport, and Florence; the Avenue of the Giants through the redwoods; crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing my children in San Francisco; the Monterey to Big Sur ride and both locations; and the elephant seals just north of San Simeon.

Now I return to level Florida where, rather than elevation gain, the main focus is wind intensity and direction. I will have some time to regroup while I wait for my bike to be shipped home. Until the next journey...

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