Get out of San Diego day
It’s 4:00am. I’m up. I can’t sleep any longer. There is something about facing the start of a long trip that makes you want to go through your gear and see if there is a way to pack it any better. I’m pretty sure there is, since up to this point I have pretty much just been throwing shit into my panniers. I has occurred to me that no matter how I pack my gear I can’t make it any lighter, but the desire to make that happen somehow keeps crossing my mind.
It has been a rough start for me. There is a portion of our crew that has some severe dietary restrictions and I have been hesitant about what the food would taste like when the accommodations they require are applied to our food prep. Last night I helped fix dinner. I may have been wrong to be nervous, I hope so. Everyone in the group raved about the meal. I was proud, but also a little embarrassed. I never would have thought to use Turmeric in hamburger instead of garlic, peppers, and the like. Of course yesterday was not a long day of cycling, so people weren’t hungry as they will be after a long day of cycling. Given that fact, this could be a sign that everything is going to work out fine. I hope so.
My biggest concern on tour (after food) is getting lost. I’m not very good at map reading and reading the ACA maps takes a bit of practice. So I plan to get lost today, that will just have to be dealt with when it happens I suppose. At least I’m not fixing dinner tonight.
It’s time to begin, I’m excited…
It took only 5 miles before I got my first flat. Sarah our leader helped me change it, actually she gave me some valuable tips that saved a bit of time in the process. She’s an experienced cyclist, actually that is probably an understatement. She has lived basically on her bike for the last four years. After fixing the flat I realized I was actually off course. It took an unscheduled turn to get back on course. No bonus miles awarded. However, I did get bonus miles awarded later in the day when I got off course for the second time. That time worked to my advantage, because the wrong turn took me into a town with a Walgreens Drug and I was able to pick up sun screen, which I badly needed, and some lemon aid. The latter part of the day consisted of a lot of climbing. The last 10 miles of the course was all up hill with no respite. It was also about a 5% grade, so you just had to put your head down and keep slogging.
We reached camp 2-½ hours later than our plan, so dinner was late, our map meeting was late, and for many, so was getting to sleep. Today’s course has even more climbing than yesterday, but the good news is that at least for awhile, I’m guessing until we get to Texas, today will be the last really significant day of climbing. I could always be wrong about that… My fingers are cold, it’s chilly in the mountains at night and in the morning. Time to pack up for the day and get rolling.