Today is the final day of RAC. I will be making a one more post as a sort of RAC wrapup to bring it all together however. Go to Day 1 post to see what RAC is.
Dinner was awesome. It was pizza and lasagna from a local restaurant. Later, they had a small fire with marshmallow roasting. I think Mari Lu fell asleep in about 3 seconds after a day of riding and then playing all afternoon.
The ride today is somewhat like the last day of the Tour de France, a victory lap. It’s a ride, not a race so the reward will be to put the front tire into the pacific, completing our river-to-riptide ride across California. We slept well and are ready to ride.
Someone asked me if I thought there would be any hills today. My response: “It’s San Diego, which is nothing but hills”. And there are hills today but nothing that compared to box canyon, gorilla hill, or Banner Grade that we’ve climbed over the last 6 days.
Breakfast was more of a grab and go. No more catering, keep it simple sort of affair. I had a banana and a fruit bar. The owner of Maui Wowi coffee dropped by to bring some coffee. I hear that he is friends with the ride leader, Gary Rossi.
The ride started with a nice gentle downhill in the San Pasqual valley as we worked our way south. It was cool, and spirits were high in the peloton. There were some little climbs as we made our way into Escondido. The route took us onto a cool little bike path next to the canals and then to next to the train tracks. It was enjoyable and it looked like the aim was to keep us off the busy streets as much as possible. We rode by the house of the man that started this many years ago,
Lunch was near the Palomar airport and was the usual dine and go with sandwiches, snacks, and fruit prepared by the “Sandwich Lady”, Alisa Navapanich and her crew of helpers. The chase drivers and other parents were fantastic on this ride. They took directions from Gary and normally setup water & gatorade stations along the way (normally ever 2 miles in the desert. They also were and were stationed at various road intersections where we needed to change course or if there was a dangerous intersection. Hats off to the crew, whom without, this trip would not have been possible. Hats off to the family that let me use their motorhome potty Thursday night.
Next, we meandered our way down around Escondido, passing by Legoland and stopping at the strawberry patch. A bunch of the kids did some picking and we milled around for a while.. One thing you have to remember, this is a ride for the kids, not a so much a destination objective since we could have burned straight to the beach yesterday.
We crossed over to the coast for one more stop to a more quiet place than our destination to get some group shots. After all the digital film was almost all used up, we head down the road into north Encinitas, at times taking up the entire right lane. It was cool riding as a single group of a 100+ riders. We stretched over a quarter mile at times. The arrival at the beach was met with cheers of parents and others that were waiting for us. The newspaper and Channel 8, and other news crews were doing interviews of the kids. A reporter interviewed me but I hope the kids make the final cut. There were multiple crews there so we may be on more than one channel, so watch the local news tonight.
A couple of the older kids took their bikes into the surf, that’s going to be a cleaning job :). Traci West came to pick us up (thanks mucho Traci!!!) and brought Juan. It was good to see him nice and healthy. We talked to him on the phone the day before yesterday and it sounds like he had a lot of fun on his river rafting trip.
All in all, this was a hell of a way to spend spring break with Mari Lu. The best news yet.... Mari Lu wants to go again next year. I’m so glad to hear that we didn’t ruin her forever on biking. She had a good time and suffered through the climbs, winds, and parents during the week just like all the other kids there. Jeanette and I survived but I think I’ll make an appointment to see the doc about my shoulder. The last crash inflamed what I think is berscietus. Mari Lu had a good time and accomplished something that few 5th graders do, riding 260 miles across California, from the Colorado river outside of Yuma, to the beach here in North County. Ahhh, its nice to be home!
I hoped you enjoyed reading my sort of live-blog of the trip. I thought it ranked high on the epic nature of it and hoped that not only my mom and family could follow the trip but that I could give Mari Lu this gift of memory.
I’ll be going back to fix some things in the earlier posts, and possibly add some pictures and content. Check back later in the week.
P.S. I’ll be adding some more pictures to Flickr.