Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.27. RAC Day 4

This is the fourth of many daily logs that I'll make via my iPhone for Ride Across California (RAC), so excuse the spelling and formatting. Go to the day one post to find out what RAC is.

My cold was in full force when I went to bed. I suffered last night. There was no air flow, it was hot and sticky and if I was going to blow my nose I had to get up and go outside so as to not disturb the others sleeping in the community center. I got to sleep at 0200 and at 0215, I awoke to a five alarm cramp in my hamstring. It was a rough night.

The wind was howling until 0530 this AM. The talk today is still all about yesterday's crucible for the fifth graders. It was really a good experience for them. They really got to find out what they are capable of and what suffering really is.  There is nothing like that as a test for most 5th graders.

Breakfast was an egg frittata with other things by the 4H club.

The ride today is a bit shorter and the first day in the mountains. The wind was already starting to kick up at 0600 and the RAC leader is getting nervous. When we head out, it's up hill with about out 10 to 15 mph of wind in our face. What I didn't expect was the protesting from my leg muscles as we head out.  Hmmm.

It's a bitch heading into the wind and up hill. This went on for a couple of miles and then we turned with the wind a bit, reducing the effect of the wind and picked up a bit of speed.

I stopped to take pictures of one of the wind generators under construction, it was really really big. Check out the picture of me standing in front of the prop assembly, you may need to zoom way in to see me.

Have I mentioned the pain in my hind quarters? Its kill'n me. Next time I'm going to try a Motrin drip and get a shot of Novocaine in the rump each morning.

The wind died down a bit as we entered the canyons. One thing I noticed from Mari Lu and her friend Mckella was no complaining about the wind. They've triumphed in worse, much worse. In one day, they learned more about themselves than they would over an entire year.

As a bonus for the very long climb we got a really nice and steep 2 mile downhill. Mari Lu really enjoyed this. Another bonus today is no direct sun, it's hidden behind a high layer of clouds.
The downhill was my favorite part!

When we got to the flats and were back by ourselves, separated from her friend and it was a bit hot. We took a break and Mari Lu asked me "Tell me again why we are doing this." Too funny. I explained to her that this experience was really good for her and she will be very proud of herself when she gets to the Pacific.  I also referenced the previous day's ride and how much she had learned about herself already when she wanted to quit but found it in herself to keep moving.  (What I wanted to tell her was that her mom was a  crazy nut-job who forced both of us to go and if we didn't keep pedaling we'd be miss dinner.).

We arrived at Aguas Calientes at 1130, had lunch and rested.

The ride to the camp for tonight is only 5 miles and should be pretty easy. It starts with a downhill. About half way down Mari Lu realizes she forgot her glasses. When we head back up, I think she over did it a bit because she got a bad stitch in her side. Glasses are retrieved and we head down into the valley of drama. She's crying in pain and we are either very slow or stopped.

Gary comes by in his truck and first uses his drill sergeant's voice and told her to get back back on that bike and tough it out, we are only 4 mile away from camp.

On Gary's next pass, he stopped and checked out her tummy (I was affraid it was the beginning of dehydration). Gary got her calmed down, she thanked him, and off we went with only two miles to go.

On Gary's next pass ML was was with Christiana (a mom on the trip), whom she really likes. With Christiana's boom box mot working, Christiana tried singing a song, but that wasn't working. Gary's next tactic is cheering her on and then playing music from his truck as he rides right next to her. He continues on the road right next to her with the music blasting. That was the final solution to getting us into camp. Gary stops at nothing until all his little chicks are in the roost. I can't thank him enough.  What Gary didn't do was suggest that she put her bike in the truck and pack it in.  I love it.

We got in at 1500 so the kids played till dinner while Jeanette and I had a shower. We had delicious pulled pork burger with BBQ sauce, mac and cheese, a nice salad and some juicy fruit.

I gave another dad some money to get some beer. While I had a beer, Mari Lu French beaded another dad's hair in the dark. I'm sure it looks wonderful.

Tomorrow we climb Gorilla hill and Banner grade. It's sure to be a tough day.


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