After two really long days, a 67 mile day seemed like it should be positivly easy. There was one catch. The most feared hill of the ride, Quadbuster, was right at the beginning of the day. Now, I have tackled some pretty big hills in my training. Probably hills more demanding than Quadbuster. But please keep in mind that when I was killing myself on the way up to the conservatory or wherever, I had not spent the two days previous on a bike covering about 190 miles. This adds a level of difficulty to any hill that it is not easy to prepare for. And aside from that...the hill was long and steep and I did not like it. I heard a lot of "it's not that bad" and "it's easier than they make it out to be." FALSE. This hill sucked and in what was probably 15 minutes that felt like about 2 hours I made it up that crap hill. I stopped twice to catch my breath and swear, but I did not walk, which was what my goal was. So, good for me.
And another thing. Once you get up to the top of this mountain, you think there is going to be a nice decent right into a rest stop, right? FALSE AGAIN. I don't understand how it's even geographically possible, but there was almost no downhill to what was a seemingly endless uphill. Unfair.
The second nasty part of the day came when we went on the freeway the first time. When I tell people I rode my bike on the freeway they always assume it's some back country highway, or that lanes were shut down to accommodate us. No such luck. We are riding bikes on the 101 freeway. As bizarre as that sounds...thats as bizarre as it was.
As scary as that is, the freeway part was not the bad part. The bad part was the quality of the road. The lanes seemed as if they had been repaved recently. I am pretty sure the shoulder, however, had not be maintained since 1932. There were cracks at least 2" high every foot. Horrible. I don't have a mountain bike! The Skinny Bitch is not equipped to take on terrain like this! But don't worry, if you fall, it's not like you will fall into heavy oncoming freeway traffic...oh wait! When I returned to camp that night I told the Bike Whisperer that if my ovaries are damaged from this ride due to poor terrain, she owes me one baby which I will collect in 5-7 years.
The third and final nail in the coffin for day three were the cross winds. Headwinds are great, tailwinds are hard, but crosswinds are going to knock you flat on your ass on the side of the road. They were so strong on he last leg on the ride that I felt like I was leaning horizontally into them, straitening up when a car comes by and blocks them, and then immediately leaning over again when it passed. I mean...seriously. I do not weigh enough for this.
The landscape was not really my thing on Day 3 either. A lot of rolling golden fields etc. etc. Not that I don't appreciate it, but I bores me a little. It was also really hot, but I probably only noticed that because I was so cranky from all of the other elements of the fun day.
Now that that's all out of my system, I can say I did enjoy some things from the day. Our lunch stop was in Bradley, California and the entire town puts together a BBQ/fundraiser catering to ALC which funds their sports and scholarship programs for the year. It was great to feel like you are helping out yet another group of people, and I got a cheeseburger. What's not to love?
Also, I got into camp pretty early Day 3 and was actually able to relax a little which was awesome. You cannot know how amazing just sitting on grass and stretching feels in that situation and finishing at 4pm meant I had some time to do that. And I had time to eat TWO dinners! Very luxurious.
In all, I can say that if I do the ride next year (ummm...right) I may get sick for Day 3. Just saying.
Cheeseburgers in Bradley
70 miles of this? Really?