This morning I woke up at 4am. I wanted to get started early because today is evil twin day. Of course my plan was to pack up, get dressed, eat breakfast and ride out by 6:00am. Well I woke up at 4am but couldn't get out of my sleeping bag until 6am. I was too cold to move. But I did finally get going.
I went to say good morning to Larry who was busy loading up luggage. He then told me that Obama won the nomination. I totally forgot about the outside world. Anyway, after a brief talk with my brother, I ate up a bunch of electrolytes and pedaled away. Evil Twins here I come.
Suddenly the first twin was right in front of me. Before heading up,I sucked down more electrolytes. Then I started up. Before the twins, there were some smaller hills. I think they should call these hills the evil offspring. Many riders thought that they were the evil twins, but they were much to tame to be the evil ones. My spinning became slower and slower as I went up. That first twin was laughing at me "go back rider, you'll never climb me." Her taunting only made me more determined to reach the top. Spinning and spinning. Slower and slower, more and more electrolytes. After what seemed to be a hour, I looked up and saw the top. Ha Ha, I'm almost there evil twin number one. But then as I thought I had reached the top, I realized it was a false plateau. That @%^$ !!! I had more climbing to do. She tricked me. It was flat for a few spins and then up again. Mean old twin. I kept going. And finally I reached the top. YES !!! Now for her twin.
This one was mean. Not as many miles but more steep. "So you made it up my sister, well you'll never make it to the top of me (evil laugh)." I have to be honest, I was so tired. I just kept pedaling. Many riders passed me by but always with encouraging words. I reached for my water bottle and drank down more electrolytes. My breathing was hard, my legs muscles were burning. I passed some riders who walked their bikes the rest of the way. Just as I thought to do the same, I felt a hand on lower back. "Come one sistah, you're beautiful. You can do it." A rider named Carey gave me a much needed push up. I couldn't give up now. He rode for both of us. He was strong and tall. I recognized his voice because when ever he passed me on the rode he always said "You're doing good sistah." Yesterday he had a Bob Marley jersey on. I'm not sure what jersey he had on today because my eyes were on the road and he was right beside me. These ALC riders are amazing people. No one hesitates to give a hand, or a push.
Here we go, Carey and I up that evil twin number 2. At a few more miles to go, Carey asked me if I could go on. He said I was very strong. I said yes I can and thank you! Off he went with his turbo pedaling legs. Now I spinned much slower without Carey but I was pedaling. When I made it on my own to the top of Twin 2, I yelled out " Eat my skinny tires you TWINS." It felt so good. I conquered the Evil Twins.
Now for the down hill. Evil twins marks the half way spot to LA. I'm half way there. YES! After a photo, I started the most amazing downhill on the ride so far. I was sailing and going almost 30 mph. I zoomed past green mountains and vineyards. The downhill lasted for miles. Then the wind. I figured that the evil twins, angry that the riders made it over the top, called for the wind to knock us off the road. It was a very scary wind. Me and Tosca were being pushed back with every pedal forward. It was also a cold wind. My teeth were chattering. The wind didn't stop. As I rolled into rest stop two, I was sent over to the medical tent. Apparently I was weaving and riding strangely. They took my blood pressure and found out that it was out of control. I did feel dizzy and in a weird twilight sleepy state. After the downhill, i can't remember the period before the rest stop. What happened was I over electrolyted. I thought that electrolytes gave you energy to make it up hills. DUH, I had taken in too much salt which put me in a bonking state. Kind of like being slightly tipsy from a strong drink. After beating the twins and 33 miles, I got sagged again. The Medical team felt that I better quit for the day for safety reasons. But I'm not going to the pity party today. I rode up two (actually four) killer hills and fought fierce winds.
It was kind of neat being in camp without the other 2,000 riders. About 500 of us got sagged for one reason or another. Larry met me at the gear truck and gave me a big hug. I love my little brother. I'm glad he is here with me. Anyway, I got to take a very long shower. My wonderful tent mate Sonia had already put up our tent. She also got my luggage and sleeping bag and put them inside. When I got to camp, Sonia was helping other tired riders put up their tents. Sonia is a veteran rider. I think this is her 5th year. She didn't ride today because of a knee problem, so instead she was helping out. That's Sonia to the left.
I didn't run into Brendan today. I missed you out there today Brendan. I can't wait to see your red dress outfit tomorrow.
That's right, tomorrow we are all riding in our red dresses. This tradition started because someone noticed that when we ride in one particular area, we do a loop and from the air it looks just like the aids ribbon.
Thank you all for your comments. They keep me going. They keep me centered and strong knowing why I'm here. I can be part of the solution. Thank you again to all my sponsors. The money raised will literally keep many of my new friends alive and will provide prevention and education and one day a cure. Most of all, when people gather together to help each other out there is HOPE.