All I kept hearing all morning was about Quad-buster. It is a mile plus climb. I slowly went to my bike and checked her tires. Deep in the back of my mind I was kinda hoping that something would happen so I could avoid this legendary hill. But noooooo. So off I went. After a nice morning warm up, there it was in front of me......Quad-buster. There were other riders struggling up it. I took a deep breath and remembered why I was doing this ride. Then up I went.
As other riders were passing me they cheered me on. "You can do it" " Go Girl" " almost at the top" oh please. Several times I wanted to quit. I almost gave up at the half way point. But why give up half way. So I kept going. I was doing 2 miles an hour. Sometimes I was going so slow that the mileage didn't even register on my bike computer. Finally I could hear Brendan's and Chris' voice." Come on Shawnet, you can do it. Just make it to Ginger and you are at the top"
At this point, as I got closer and closer to Ginger, Brendan's Parents had a sign that read "California Loves Shawnet Sweets." They cheered me up and right into Brendan and Chris's arms. I made it, I kicked quad-busters @^#!!!
After some photo ops, we all cheered other riders up the crazy quad-buster. My newbie pal, Jose made it up. He was a bundle of emotion as he pedaled to the top. More hugs and more tears. Then Michele, a fellow team 100 member, made it up. She was all tears also. It was so special that Chris and Brendan met us at the top. They are two very caring and special training ride leaders. They were proud of their newbies. We are proud of ourselves also. We rocked Jose and Michelle and everyone who conquered that hill.
Now for the payoff - the downhill. We zoomed down the other side of Quad sometimes going 25 miles per hour. The wind felt great. We are now on our way to the small town of Bradley, CA. I was told that Bradley has a population of 101. Every year the school kids there have a BBQ to raise funds for school activities. ALC riders don't only ride to fund AIDS/HIV services, we all help support the town of Bradley's fund-raiser. The kids do everything but cook the food. Adults do that part. But the kids handle the funds, they plate the burgers and they also write us wonderful letters that we are given on our way into camp. The burgers were sooo good.
After Bradley we headed back to camp. Thank you whom ever routes the map. Back to camp was mostly downhill with a gentle tail wind. Along a ride on the freeway, I noticed Chris aiding a rider with a flat tire. We all love you Chris. There were also many well wishers along the side of the road.
After I rolled into camp and set Tosca (my bike) up for the night. I saw my teammate Elaine holding a kitten. Apparently a woman named Brianna ( the cat lady) meets riders at camp with a bunch of kittens. Elaine explained to me that she brings the kittens for the riders to play with. Kitty therapy.
Tomorrow we tackle the Evil Twins.