4/9 – 94 miles riding from Jack and Sandy’s house, participating in the Cinderella Challenge and back to Jack and Sandy’s.
Jack and Sandy graciously opened their home to me so I could spend the night in Pleasanton where the Cinderella Bike Ride begins. Jack is a cycling buddy I’ve known for many years and many rides. We had fun talking bikes/rides.
There is a rain gutter drain by the window of the room where I slept. Although it didn’t keep me awake all night, I did come to conciousness several times and listened to the water run. It didn’t sound any less noisy when I awoke for the day at 5:05am. As I dressed, I added rain gear to my ensemble. When we opened the door to the outside world, it wasn’t raining as hard as the drainage pipe sounded. That gave me hope but I still wore the rain gear.
It was more a heavy mist than rain as I left for the Pleasanton Fair Grounds, When I went to get in line to check-in, the lines were six to ten people deep. The registration was set up alphabetically. Turns out there was NO ONE in my part of the alphabet – I went right to the front, got my wrist band etc. and was out the door. As I was walking out, Becky and Sydney were walking in so we said a quick ‘hello’ and then I headed to the bike.
As I rode through the rain/mist, it seemed to be coming down more as rain. I think because I was moving though it, not because it was really raining harder. Riding solo has its advantages, I could go at my own pace and stop when I wanted. Since my glasses kept getting hard to see through with all the raindrops, I stopped often to wipe them dry – which lasted about 10 feet. The first part of the ride was part familiar/part where-the-heck-am-I. Eventually we got onto Concannon in Livermore and I knew where I was again. When I came to The Decision Point, I turned right and made my commitment to the longer ride. If I hadn’t told Becky I was going to do it, I might have made a different decision.
The extra 20 mile stretch should have been a pleasant, if difficult, part of the ride. It was until we got to Patterson Pass Road. Apparently, there had been an accident or something on the freeway so people were taking “our” route to get around the problem. Semis with 40’ trailers went hauling past spraying me with mud. The cars and trucks weren’t much better. Speed limit is 55. That is the speed limit not the speed people were going. There isn’t enough shoulder on the road to feel comfortable with that kind of traffic. I was so glad when we got to Cross Road to get off Patterson Pass Road only to find the gasoline/diesel powered vehicles were turning there too. Cross Road is a steep climb – not fun with traffic racing by and having to keep a straight line on a steep climb. Finally, the motorized vehicles were gone and I was back on a quiet, country road.
When I got to the lunch stop, I was seriously debating going off course and heading straight back to the Fairgrounds. Then I thought of Gayle’s post from the day before. She was going to ride even though the forecast was for rain because she has been training for it and was going with friends. OK, change my attitude and just keep going. I’m not the only one riding in the rain (big baby).
Reward: a lemon drop from The Lemondrop Man at the top of the last (major) climb.
Eventually, the rain stopped. I’m not sure exactly when. It was nice to ride without rain on my glasses. Before I got back to the Fairgrounds, it started raining again. By that time, I didn’t care so just kept going. Who needs to see when you’re on a mission?
After the after-ride meal, I went back to Jack and Sandy’s place for a nice hot shower. Couldn’t believe how wet my clothes were! A day later, and they are still hanging in the garage drying.
I drove home (two hour drive) but stopped in Manteca for dinner. Called Dan to let him know that I was leaving Manteca. Had to stop and take a nap as I was getting too drowsy to drive. When I awoke, I just started the car and came on home. When I got there, Dan said he’d expected me about an hour and a half earlier but figured I’d stopped for a nap. All’s well that ends well.