Sunday, June 15, 2014

day 31: half moon bay state beach to the dome (santa cruz)

i got bullied today. she was 15-20, that is, miles per hour. her name: Head Wind. 

i left half moon bay, filled with warmth and affection for what we experienced the previous night. plus, interacting with our german neighbor, wolfe, who ate oatmeal cream cookie sandwiches and those nasty $0.99 pies because "it has a lot of calories" was really sweet. he's probably 70, and soloing down from vancouver to la to visit his kids. i admire him.
anyway, there was a hill (as per usual), but that wasn't a big deal. it was the headwinds that killed me. oh, and that we didn't have a proper lunch so i was running on fumes (or maybe half of a strawberry shortcake from swanton berry farm) in the afternoon. the headwinds were so bad that at one point, while coming downhill, i didn't even have to brake because i started coming to a halt. that is bad. i felt bullied by the wind, but all i could think was, "just keep spinning."
at one point, i pulled off to use the bathroom, but told kevin and samuel to keep going. (i felt bad for holding them up.) well, they took off and i fell behind about 10 minutes, which made it so i could never see them ahead of me. i was soooo hungry that i started shoveling dried apricots, raisins, and pistachios (thx em!) in my mouth as fast as i could. it was barely enough to get me going about 5 or 10 minutes before i stopped again to eat a banana, but that didn't last much longer. i was spiraling mentally and my hunger was insatiable. 

a guy pulled up while i was filling my bottle with electrolytes and asked if i was okay. (did i look that bad?) i told him i was super tired and that i was getting my butt kicked and he offered to let me draft off him. his chipper self didn't seem to even notice there was a strong headwind. after a couple miles, he peeled off to check out pigeon point lighthouse. meanwhile, i knew m&m were not far back so i waited desperately for them, hoping that pedaling with friends would help me mentally. it did some, but the fact that davenport (our first town for the day with food!) was still 16 miles away was completely demoralizing. plus my allergies were getting bad. 
i'm not sure how, but i made it further down the road and turned off at a gas station where kevin, samuel, dan and aaron were all waiting. we took a break there and ate the food we had (ritz and cheese) and started up again. this time, kevin offered to let me draft and went slow for me! we were pedaling strong for five miles when suddenly, my front tire went flat. dear god. 
we fixed it and kept going with the hope of food. samuel and kevin were ahead of me again, moving pretty quickly. at a straight away, i could see we were coming up on swanton berry farm. this farm has pies and treats and all of this wonderful goodness no weary biker should miss! (last time i had come through this section by bike, i stopped and inhaled a slice of pumpkin pie i will never forget.) all in just a few moments, i saw two tiny dots of sky blue and safety cone orange (m&m's jacket colors) at the farm and that the boys didn't look like they were about to pull over. i started ringing my tiny bell (which did nothing) and yelling desperately, "SAAMUEEEEEEEeeEeeeLLL!!! KEVIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiNN!!!!!" over and over (which also did nothing). in fact, samuel started riding harder and i watched him pass kevin! ahhhhhhh! i could see our opportunity to turn left closing and yelled as loud as i could. somehow, they looked back, i pointed to the left and kevin made a bold turn across the hwy, then samuel, then me. 
next thing we know, we devoured a strawberry shortcake and were on our way for our real meal in santa cruz. but before that, of course i had a crash again. UGH. nutritionally, our day was a disaster. the ride was objectively not that difficult, but because we assumed we would hit davenport (about 30 miles into the day) around lunch time but didn't...everything went awry.
anyway, even though i crashed, i got a small hit of energy when we saw torea waiting for us off hwy 1. she came out to santa cruz to join us for a ride and meal. we chatted and road around west cliff and voila!!, we arrived at jack's (a local hamburger joint). needless to say, i destroyed my nutritionally-sound hamburger and fries, then walked around the farmers market and ate every sample while trying not to look like i've been deprived of delicious fruit for six months. 
mary, her mom, jesse, & angel arrived not shortly after as well as heather r-s (her last name is too long to type). was just so nice to see familiar faces. it almost felt like i haven't been gone for six months. hard to believe it's been that long since we moved to montana. 
we left downtown santa cruz STUFFED (because heather r-s treated us to delicious local ice cream) and biked to the dome (ian & sarah's home) where we'd be staying for the night. we were greeted by the most amazing gift, EVER. truly....the cutest little DOGGY!!!! (yes, that is her name, named after truly scrumptious from chitty chitty bang bang.)
i have never been so taken by a dog. samuel and i must've said "truly" and some derivative of "truly" over a thousand times before ian and sarah came home. "truly, are you the truliest of trulies?...oh truly, we truly love truly..." samuel even talked to truly like he talks to me when no one is around. (he's not a dog person people, so this was a big deal!) later, he did say that truly is more like a cat than a dog (not demanding), hence the attraction. 

PHEW! what. a. day.

samuel and i reflected on how helpful it was to have kevin there to pace with when we've been going at this for over a month now. (and by "pace," i really mean to barely keep in view.) he had fresh legs and a laid back approach, and his presence helped both of us tremendously. THANK YOU!

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