Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gold Coast Ride for Literacy 56 miles. Finally a recap!

Phew! FINALLY getting around to the recap! My computer went bonkers on me. It's incredible how much I rely on computers. When it's gone, I don't even know how to function. How on earth did humankind survive before internet and computers? Boggles my mind.

Anyhoo!!!! Onto the ride!!!

To sum it up in one word: OMGSoMuchFun!

I had an incredible time. I really honestly was not expecting it to be so rewarding and fun.

Gold Coast Ride for Literacy was held on Saturday April 17. Participants could choose from a 10 mile family ride, a 30, 55, 66, or 100 mile rides. I signed up for the 55. Never mind that the longest ride I had completed was a 35! I'm a daredevil, what can I say ;-)

Wake up call at 5:20 AM; an hour and a half after the housemates went to bed. Thank god for earplugs.
Had a delicioso breakfast of banana-oatmeal-protein-powder-peanut butter-pancake syrup-and cinnamon overdose, and hit the road!

It was a quick 40 min drive into the sunrise on the coast jamming to some great tunes. I was in such a chipper mood. Couldn't ask for a better start to my day. Oh, and I ate two more slices of bread in my car. Carbs. Yum. :-)The ride organization was Extremely Casual, to say the least. There was no start, there was no MC, there was no starting time, there was no clue as to what to do. Um.... OK. So there I am, the only solo rider, only female under 40, and no one to lead me. Hmmm..... So what's a girl to do? Make friends, of course!

I gingerly asked the two guys setting up their bikes next to me it they knew "what was going on." They didn't know either, but they offered "as long as you don't mind riding slow with two old guys, do you want to ride with us?"

Yes Please!

So the 55 mile trio was born: me, Mike and Zack, who were two very kind and friendly brothers.

Since there was no official start.... we just kind of took off... very anticlimatically. haha. We couldn't even tell where the start was! But no worries. It's all good. The route was freaking fantasitc. Ocean side. Ocean views. Ocean breeze. Ocean clouds. Ocean smells. Ahhh. I love living by the ocean!
From the starting point in Ventura, we headed up the coast towards Carpinteria. The first 15 miles was a nice, fast, flat course. The only time I freaked out was when we rode on the shoulder of the 101. Holy crap! Cars were zooming past me at 70mph no more than 5-6 feet away! And holy smokes, it was scary when trucks went by! phew! What an adrenaline rush!

It was a very small and intimate ride, but the aid stations were wonderful.

This is the first aid station by Rincon at mile 15. There were bananas, oranges, grapes, cookies, Soy Joy bars, lemonade and water, trail mix, Fig Newtons, Bagels, pastries....oh my, goodies galore! I wanted to shove my face with all this deliciousness, but exercises some self-control. I knew I didn't want to ride with a bulging belly for the next 40 miles, esp since I was um.... still waiting for the ever-elusive pre-game-dump. Woah crap that's TMI! hahahahaha.

We didn't rest too long and we took off for the second leg of the ride. We had a little snafu right after we left the rest stop... We made a mistake on the route and found ourselves riding against traffic on the 101. Umm.... NO BUENO. I realized the mistake, and we eventually found the right route. I just had a hunch, you know, that the ride organizers woulnd't have us being that much of a thrill seeker!

We rode up a couple of hills, and saw a bunch of BEAUTIFUL mansions. WTF! Who lives in these castles? Can I please live there with you? Oh man. I don't have a photo, cause I was too busy hauling ass up the hill, but trust me, it was gorge.

As we continued riding, I was surprised to see how far we were going! As we passed Carpinteria and Summerland, I couldn't believe I wasn't even tired yet! Driving on the freeway, the distance between Summerland and Ventura seems monumental. But I had now just cycled it! Crazy, my friends.

Mile 24. Oh boy. This was a climb to remember.
OMG. OMG OMG OMG. Quads turned into complete jelly. Lactic Acid overflow. No more power. The hill. Was long. Was steep. Was gravel. Was long. Was steep. When would it end?

I had a funny moment when I literally felt my quads bonk. There was a moment when it just stopped. I got out of my bike and walked up the remainder of the hill, about 0.15 miles I think. I made it up most of the way.... but oh man, my quads were shot! The above photos are how I felt about that hill ;-) (I don't feel bad about walking though... I saw three others doing it, and people at the rest stops also mentioned they had to walk up that killer hill)

Good thing though, that was basically the last uphill.

We wound our way through the luxurious neighborhood of Montecito. Unfortunately, there was no Oprah sighting, but I did see my fair share of Mercedes, Lexuses, and Grand Mansions. One day.... One day.... A girl can dream.

There were plenty of downhills. I just tried to enjoy the pull of gravity, but I couldn't help but hope to dear god "please don't make me go back up those hills I just came down!"

Mile 30 was the second rest stop and turn around point, and they had more great food, and even had sammy fixins'! Ham. Yum.
And the words "no we aren't going back the way we came" was music to my ears. The route back was a shorter, flatter route. Hooray!

So back through Montecito, Carpinteria, 101, and back to Ventura.

The crazy part is: There was no fatigue, and absolutely no pain! I felt like I could just ride and ride and ride forever. I was having a blast! Thought the 55 mile trio wasn't the most talkative, (we were each in our own "happy zones") it was nice to have company and the occasional conversation.

56 miles in 4 hours 15 min. Same time it takes me to run a marathon, same number of calories burned. Level of discomfort and pain? Not even close!

Donezo! Happy as a clam.

The ride was SUCH a positive experience. I can't wait to do it again! And I have a riding training buddy out of it too; I might go on rides with the trio again! ;)

So I know this post is quite scattered, but I really did have a great time. The weather was perfect, the views were gorgeous, I got in a great workout, and no pain. Seriously, what more can a girl want?

A barbeque perhaps?

Later that evening I celebrated a friend's b-day with some yummy BBQ steak. What an awesome day it was! Halibut never looked so pretty
Can you please just admire how incredibly flexible this puppy is? He is cradling his leg with his arms and balancing on a hand. Bravo.

Later this week I have some physical therapy updates and will hopefully finally get around to doing the product reviews I have been meaning to do.
In the meantime, happy humpday and Administrative Professional's Day!


  1. I am so excited that you had a great time!! It makes me want to try it. However, I am exhausted from my measly 6 mile bike ride on hills! It kills me and my quads. I will have to work up to it. Have a great day!

  2. I'm a terrible biker! I promised the hubby I'd more this summer...keeping fingers crossed.
    Nice work and sounds like a fun time for sure!

  3. You are so funny! Your TMI...I feel ya!! Congrats! Now if you had same time and calories burned...doesn't that kind of make you feel like why the hell am I running so much? Hahah.

  4. Congrats on your longest ride and first official riding event. Sounds like quite a day and an overall SUCCESS!

  5. great job!! You make me want to take up biking:)

  6. ow ow biker babe! looking good!!! :) i love the pictures!!! great job! thats a long effing way.... now do me a favor and compare it to running a marathon-- which sucked more? lol :)

  7. Running my friend is TOTALLY the cure to a quarter life crises, we are living proof!

  8. What a great time! Looks like quite the day.

  9. Love the pictures and you're so happy at the end. If I rode that far, up a hill I know I wouldn't look so happy.

  10. What a beautiful ride! I"m so jealous you get to experience scenery like that! Reading your post makes me want to by a road bike! Something I am terribly trying to resist doing! Way to go on your accomplishment! That is A-MAZING!

  11. I'm new to your blog. Sounds like an awesome ride!



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