Friday, June 29, 2012

ALC Day 6: Lompoc to Ventura

Don't worry - I didn't forget - we still have three posts to go!

Day 6 - June 8
Lompoc to Ventura
84.3 miles
3038 feet of climbing

I think that afternoon of rest was just what I needed to mentally tackle another long day on the bike.  Coupled with the fact we were heading back to the coast I was ready for a great day.

Balloon boobs, Gnomes, Chickens, Pink Squirrels?
Rockin the latest cycling fashions at Starbucks that morning.
It was uphill the entire way to the first rest stop and a little bit beyond but my favorite type of uphill - gradual climbing but a fairly easy grade.  Despite riding almost 400 miles the past 5 days my legs felt good and I was passing a lot of people.  

The most amazing downhill was waiting for us at the top.  We coasted through a deep canyon on Highway 101 for a good 4 miles.  You could smell the salty sea air as the wind whipped through the canyon.  The coast was just around the corner.

From rest stop 2 to lunch was just more traveling along the beautiful coast.  I just remember feeling strong, smiling a lot and just really taking in the views.  

To make it to lunch we had to turn into a residential area.  As I rounded the corner to the park Kevin was waiting there for me!  I was so happy to see him.  It had been 5 long days apart.  Samantha's husband met up with us as well and met me with an iced cold bottled Starbucks Frappuccino!  We also knew we were making good time when Samantha's entire team was just sitting down to lunch when we pulled in (they are speedsters).  The day kept getting better and better.

The boys followed us for the rest of the day and from lunch it was 13 miles til the next stop at beautiful Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara.  Knowing we were making excellent time I convinced everyone to go down to the water.  It felt absolutely amazing to soak my feet in the cool water.  The ocean really is the best ice bath.  

The theme of the rest stop was "Smurf Village."
As hard as it was to leave the beautiful ocean there was a treat to look forward to only 4 short miles away . . .

Corporate and local sponsors pool their resources to open "Paradise Pit" for all the riders in a small park serving free ice cream and baked goods.  By day 6 any food that is not peanut butter, an orange, banana or bar of some sort is like a delicacy.  3 huge scoops of ice cream and a brownie - the best way to refuel in my book.

After ice cream we made our way through Monteceto (didn't see Oprah's house) and Carpinteria.  At mile 70 we entered highway 101.

I just absolutely loved this stretch from mile 70 to rest stop 4 at mile 76.  It was short but you had the beautiful coastline to your right and cars whizzing by you on your left.  The wind was cool but the sun was out.  Samantha and I were flying down the highway.  This might sound weird but it was truly as if we were in our own ALC world.  Sure, there was the "real" world right there - we watched them, we interacted with them, heck we were sharing a freeway with them - but it was like two parallel worlds were running right along side of each other (or maybe I was just really delirious at this point).  I really can't think of a better way to describe it but it was really cool.

And the views, oh the views.  We are so lucky to have this right in our backyard.

Only 81 miles to go!
Rest stop 4 did not disappoint with their "Welcome to the Thunder Dome" theme.
From there we followed the coast to camp at San Buenaventura State Beach where I got another surprise.  My parents had flown down to see me finish and my in-laws were on their way.  I had no idea they were coming!  It seems silly but it really helps to know someone is waiting for you and cheering for you at the next rest stop - it is just that little push you need to get through.  I was so happy to see them!

Samantha and I picked a time to meet in the morning and then we went our separate ways as we were in different hotels that night which was kinda weird after spending the past five nights together.

My family and I headed to our hotel and planned to leave for dinner right around 7 which gave me about an hour and a half to get showered and get things set up for the next day.  After about an hour I was done and laid down to try and get in a quick nap before dinner.  When I woke up my stomach was not happy and I felt really dizzy.  I figured I was just hungry even though at that point food was the last thing I wanted.  We went to a really fun and cute Mexican restaurant and I tried to eat as much as I could but couldn't shake the nausea.  I figured all those miles were just catching up with me and a good night sleep would do the trick.  Our hotel had a huge fluffy, feathery bed I couldn't wait to crawl into and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out.

Officially 482.4 miles completed (88.9% of total route)
60.2 miles to go (11.1% of total route)

* I really could have just saved you from reading this novel and summed up the day in one word - PERFECT!  The views were perfect, the weather was perfect, the company was perfect!  We kept an amazing pace - just an all around amazing day on my bike.

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  1. This was such an amazing day. From the weather, to the views, to our husbands, to how fast we were riding, to sticking our feet in the glorious ocean. Memories of a lifetime!

  2. Those thunderdome outfits are AMAZING!!!!


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