Saturday, June 16, 2012

ALC Day 3 & 4: King City to Paso Robles & Paso Robles to Santa Maria

Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke to Samantha standing on a chair ripping the smoke alarm off the wall.  Apparently it had been beeping.  She took it into the bathroom and shut the door.  When I got up in the morning I heard it beeping while I was in the bathroom.  She had wrapped it in a towel and shoved it in the refrigerator!   Before we left she reattached it to the wall like nothing happened.  This might be one of those "you had to be there" moments but it was freakin' hilarious to wake up to her on a chair in the pitch black dark room ripping the smoke alarm off the wall!

Day 3 - June 5
King City to Paso Robles
66.7 miles
2404 feet of climbing

After lugging the beast back to camp and grabbing some breakfast it was back on the bike for a short 66 miles.  Today held the famed "quadbuster" the steepest climb of the entire ride.

Remember the team from day 1 with the "balloon boobs"?  Today they were gnomes!  

Samantha and I wore our "masher" jerseys which were a big hit!  I saw my friend again who told me I was "still winning" his fashion coordination competition.

Quadbuster started right out the gates at around mile 9 or 10 and we climbed for 1.3 miles, however, the name makes it sound worse than it was.  Don't get me wrong, you were climbing, but if you did your hill training you would have had no trouble making it up. 

What goes up must come down and we enjoyed a nice decent almost all the way to rest stop 2 (almost 8 miles).

Rest stop three had a fun "beauty school drop out" theme.

Lunch was in a small town of Bradley.  When we arrived we were greeted by a bunch of local school children.  Every year they hold a BBQ for the cyclists as a fundraiser.  Apparently, it is one of the biggest money makers all year.  The line was extremely long though so Samantha and I opted just to give them some money and grab the ALC lunch instead.  

Rest stop 4 was the highlight of the day at Mission San Miguel where there was real grass in the shade to relax on (it's the little things).  No but seriously, I could have taken a nap right then and there on that grass.  The boys also put on a great show and all the tips they earned went to help preserve the mission.

We checked out the mission as well.

Then it was back on the bike for the last 11 miles to camp in Paso Robles.

I wish there was more to report but the day was relatively low key.  The route followed mostly remote roads through small towns and sprawling countrysides.  Despite 109 miles the day prior we kept a pretty good clip averaging over 14 mph.

Once we got into camp we picked up our luggage as Samantha's niece and husband picked us up for a another night in a hotel.  When we set out for the trip our plan was to camp three nights and spend three nights in a hotel.  Well, after night one Samantha decided it was hotels from there on out and who was I to complain with that.  Additionally, this was the last time I had to deal with the beast as Samantha's husband was a lifesaver and took it off my hands. 

Courtesy of Samantha
 We enjoyed a nice dinner with some other members of Samantha's team and got to do some laundry.  Then I had the best sleep I had had in a long time.  The beds at that hotel were like sleeping on clouds. 

Officially 258.4 miles completed (47.6% of total route)
284.2 to go (52.4% of total route)

Day 4 - June 6
Paso Robles to Santa Maria
97.7 miles
4255 feet of climbing

Day 4 was always the day I was most worried about.  Taken alone I knew I would have no problem tackling the distance but I wasn't sure how the legs were going to respond after 250 miles. 

Our hotel was across from a Starbucks so we stopped there for breakfast on our way back to camp to feed my Starbucks addiction.  It had been 3 days since my last hit - I was going through withdrawals. :)

If you stay in hotels during the ride and not camp it is called "princessing."  As we walked into camp, holding our Starbucks we got some "hey princess" cat calls.  Stick a tiara on my head any day of the week.  :)

Day 4 had a little bit of everything - more country roads, a few miles a long the coast, the "evil twins" climbs and what I was most looking forward to - the half way to LA point!

The "evil twins" stretched from mile 9.9 to 14.6.  They weren't really steep - it was just 4.5 miles of very steady climbing.

This man was cute.  He would stand along the various hills and "pretend" to pull you up the hill.  

At the top of the second sister was the highest elevation of the ride.

At mile 17 we reached the HALFWAY TO LA point!

Then it was all down hill to rest stop 2 at mile 33.  I saw this car at rest stop 2, also known as the "butt car" where the medics could help with those saddle sores.

I caught up with "boob balloons," "gnomes" - today they were chickens!

Lunch was at mile 49.5 and between rest stop 2 and lunch I kinda lost it.  It just seemed like the miles were crawling by.  I was really starting to notice some chafing on my inner thigh and I just didn't want to ride my bike anymore.  We weren't even half way.  We spent some of that time on the coast and not even the ocean lifted my spirits.  I was pretty quiet and just kept my head down. 

Once we got to lunch and ate I perked up.  I am not sure if I had just been really hungry and my blood sugar was low or if the fact we were at the halfway point of the day but whatever it was I was glad to snap out of my funk.  Samantha offered me some "bag balm" for the chafing and oh my god, it was amazing.  I had never heard of it before and when I came out of porta potty laughing that "it was for goats" (it was is - it originally developed to soothe the udders of cows and goats) I knew the day was on the upswing.

After rest stop 3 we were back out on the coast in Pismo Beach.  It had been years since I had been there.  We stopped for a few pictures.

I honestly don't remember too much post Pismo.  We climbed a steep hill, saw more lettuce - I can't even remember the theme of rest stop 4.  I do remember that as we entered Santa Maria the wind finally worked in our favor and we had amazing tailwinds to bring us into camp.

As we pulled in to bike parking all I could think of was I did it!  I survived the day I was most worried about.  We were over halfway through the ride - it is all downhill from here (well, not literally - I wish - but figuratively).  

Samantha's husband picked us up to take us to the hotel for the night - it was nice to be royalty!  We stuffed ourselves at the Olive Garden and lights out by 10 pm to dream of only 42 miles the next day.

Officially 356.1 miles completed (65.6% of total route)
186.5 miles to go (34.4% of total route)

Samantha is a much more efficient blogger than me - check out her recaps at Samantha Cycles!
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  1. In the UK, the most popular cream for cycling behinds is called Assos (seriously). It's amazing - it has this incredible (and quite pleasant) tingle to it. Your goat cream reminded me of my tingly assos days!!!

    Nice work - I am so keen to do the ride next year!!

  2. Haha, bag balm...have you tried Chamois Butter (It's a name brand) I use that stuff EVERYWHERE :).

    I would have totally been a "princess" too...I can't imagine that much cycling and camping every way.


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