QUOTE OF THE DAY: "You have to shove it in. I have a tiny hole." - overheard by someone at a rest stop. The guy was talking about shoving big pieces of ice into the small neck of his water bottle. Get your minds out of the gutter! :)
Today was awesome. Hot, lots of time on the highway, stressful hills, but filled with the anticipation of finishing and seeing my loved ones at the finish line.
I had great energy and was abuzz, like most others, with the excitement of the finish. However, as we were passing through a small town outside of Ventura, we had a small crash. A girl in front of Craig slammed on her brakes as we crossed some big nasty train tracks. His tire hit hers and took him down - hard. I had to work to not literally run over him. It was scary... In working to avoid that, the lady behind me hit my tire and that took her down. Luckily, Craig was not injured but his bike - Mrs. Ritchie - was all jacked up in the front and he had to ride in to the first rest stop with no front brakes. A quick stop at bike tech had her up and running fine though!
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. Our entire crew enjoyed lunch at the last stop - which was just under the hill from Pepperdine University. It was gorgeous with the sea spread out at our feet as we ate and commiserated with each other about our excitement and exhaustion.
The last stretch up San Vicente in LA was torturous, just because it seemed as if it would never end. We got separated a little bit but had agreed at lunch to wait at the final turn for each other so we could all cross together.
It was amazing. I saw my brother, my brother in law, his mom, his brother all in a group, then a few hundred feet later, I saw Adam and Big Sir, one of my two best friends in SF. It was so special to see them all there, cheering me on.
Closing ceremonies were nice, but a bit too long. And HOT. I got sunburned a little more during them and ended up skipping out early. Adam and I drove over to Rancho Cucamonga to spend the rest of the weekend with Philip and Craig. It was soooo nice to just have the down time and not do really ANYTHING but sleep and eat. YAY!
This has easily been the most difficult thing I've ever done physically and one of the most challenging mentally as well. I'm already going through withdrawal from the spirit and energy of the ride. I'm trying to remember that my super-short temper and agitation is from that. It takes a while. I'm sure I'll be a bit of a crabby bitch at work too for a few days. What's new? HA!
I promise to come back and post pictures. Unfortunately, my camera was liberated from my bag somewhere between the Ontario and Oakland airports. Luckily, I downloaded my photos to Craig's macbook before we returned home, so I have all my pics. That's the most important part. He's going to mail me a CD and then I'll go in and pepper my posts with some more pics.
Again - I had the easy job - riding and talking about it. For those of you who did - thanks so much for reading. If you've ever thought about doing this event - stop thinking and just sign up. Do it. It has the power to change your life in ways you can hardly imagine.
This is the shining star, signing off.
Stay classy everyone,