Sunday, June 17, 2012

ALC Day 5: Santa Maria to Lompoc

Day 5 - June 7
Santa Maria to Lompoc
42 miles
1995 feet of climbing

When the alarm went off the morning of day 5 I jumped out of bed.  Not only were were only riding 42 miles today but it was RED DRESS DAY!  It is an AIDS/Lifecycle tradition to wear red on Day 5.  There is a set of switchbacks going up the Vandenberg grade around mile 20 that if viewed from the sky resembles the shape of the red HIV/AIDS ribbon. 

As we got to camp it was fun to see everyone in their red.  There were red dresses, red speedos, red body suits, red jerseys, wigs, hats, bows, boas, tutus - you name it people were dressed in it.  I opted for the red tutu.

Don't let the low mileage fool you - I definitely worked harder than I expected to this day.  There was quite a bit of climbing.

We were some of the first people to arrive at rest stop one.  I had been noticing my chain was squeaking a bit so I took it over to bike maintenance to be oiled up.  Side note - Every rest stop had bike mechanics who would assist with any mechanical issues you were having - for free!  Matt oiled my chain up but told me I needed to get the bottom bracket looked at so to drop it off at bike maintenance back at camp after the ride.  When I got there after camp they wisked my bike away and told me to go enjoy my evening and it would be there for me in the morning.  I am not to competent when it comes to bike maintenance so it was so nice to have these guys out there to help take care of things.  Luckily I didn't need them for much else but it was nice to know had I had a major issue they could have fixed me up and got me back out on the road. 

We got a photo with Samantha's team.  Everyone looked fabulous in their red.

We headed up Vandenberg Grade after the second rest stop.  I tried to find a photo online that showed an aerial view but turned up with nothing.  Here is a picture from Samantha of what it looked like going up the grade.

There was a nice long downhill on the backside and somehow I ended up all alone for a good 7 mile stretch - not another rider in sight.  For about a mile I started to worry I missed a turn or something but then saw the moto crew and knew I was on track.  During this time we also rode by the Lompoc Federal Prison Complex.  I know I am weird, but I find prisons fascinating so it was cool to see.

Even though lunch was only three miles from camp we stopped as the guys of Rest Stop 4 were putting on a skit based on "The Voice."  People could sing karaoke and the guys were playing the role of the judges.  It was pretty hilarious.

This guy rode the entire way in this costume!  There are clips on the bottom of those boots.

A quick 3 miles and we were back at camp just as soon as it opened (camp opened everyday at 1:00 pm).  After dropping off my bike at bike maintenance Samantha's husband took us to our hotel to get showered, etc and then her and I headed to Starbucks where we spent 3 glorious hours enjoying coffee, free wi-fi, and just relaxing.  I love that we both thought that was a perfect way to spend an afternoon after 5 days of riding.  We chatted with some other cyclists who thought the same thing.

A pizza dinner and it was lights out.  Another 80+ miles were on the schedule for the next day but it was rumored to be some of the prettiest 80 miles of the entire ride.

Officially 398.4 miles completed (73.4% of total route)
144.5 miles to go (26.5% of total route)

Are you getting tired of these recaps yet?  Only 3 more I promise!  Check out Samantha's at Samantha Cycles.
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  1. Not at all, keep them coming!

    I'm going to have to check out Samantha's page too.

    Now that you've cycled in a tutu, think you'll ever run in one? HAHAHA! I kinda want to run a short race in a costume, I think it'd be fun.

  2. No, not bored at all!!! Love the red dress.

    You can't tell me that no-one made any funny 'bottom bracket' jokes? I can hardly say that phrase without sniggering. My husband had to fix my bottom bracket once - it made my day!

  3. No, not bored at all!!! Love the red dress.

    You can't tell me that no-one made any funny 'bottom bracket' jokes? I can hardly say that phrase without sniggering. My husband had to fix my bottom bracket once - it made my day!

  4. Obviously didn't mean to post that twice. Sorry.

  5. I am loving these recaps! Work has been sucking the soul out of me, so these are a very nice distraction -- hey, I'm entitled to breaks, too!
    I totally would have slowed to check out the prison, too. Most people think I'm weird about that stuff, so it's nice to know I'm not the only one.


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