Sunday Sept 9, 2012 Crescent City to Eureka California
I'm so tired I can barely type so this one is going to be short. Today was a long day (the understatement of the year). We rode 83.7 miles, climbed over 5000 feet and I was on the saddle for 6 hours and 47 minutes. This is the longest I've ever ridden and the highest I've ever climbed (1250 feet). I'm attaching my Garmin stats in case you want to see them.
We saw some amazing sights today, starting with Redwood trees. We cycled through several Redwood forests and I'm told that these trees are toothpicks compared with the ones we will see tomorrow at the "Avenue of the Giants". We rode for a while along the California coast and the scenery there was spectacular.
Duchie just fell asleep. It's 7:28PM here, and it's now Mark here and I have taken over the blogging for the rest of the night. Duchie is lying here half-moaning, half sleeping. She is not, however, too tired to punch me in the stomach every 2 minutes to ask me how she ever got talked into doing this. I will tell you that this is TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH riding. It's hard to convey just how much 5,000 feet of climbing is on top of the 135 kms Duchie rode today. It's like riding from our house to St. Catherines, and also riding up Blue Mountain 10 times. Crazy. Yet, here's Duchie, doing it! Not only is she doing it, but she even finished with a flurry, leading a couple of riders in a makeshift paceline the last 5 miles into the sprawling metropolis known as Eureka California. Just a side note, in one 2 mile stretch entering town, we passed a spanking new Target, a charming gentrified "Old Town", a monstrously seedy mission (The Eureka Mission), and a sad part of town. Dinner was at a local BBQ that, at first blush, didn't look so great. However, first impressions can be wrong. Duchie and I each demolished the BBQ chicken dinner and it was delicious.
Duchie just rolled a little again. Then she moaned. Then she hit me. Hard.
On a separate note, yesterday in Crescent City (nickname "Crescent Shitty"), Duchie and I got massages, and then Duchie got a manicure. We did laundry, went for lunch, and then for dinner. At dinner we sat with John and Barb Soley, from Cleveland. John did the cross-country ride with me 2 years ago and he came on this trip with his wife. We were swapping stories last night and we heard that their relationship mirrors the relationship Susan and I have had. John and Barb met in high school. So did me and Duchie. One of them helped the other do their homework. So did me and Duchie. John followed an entrepreneurial path and Barb went the corporate path. So did me and Duchie. We could not believe how similar our lives have been. It was a fun dinner getting to know them better. You can see Barb and John in a number of our pictures, which you can see on Mark's and my Facebook pages. They are both very good cyclists.
Uh-oh...Duchie just moaned again!
Anyway, I don't even know what to say about Duchie. Everybody who rides with her is so supportive. Everyone compliments her on how she's doing and roots her on. She (along with all the first-time riders) is now an accepted part of the "fraternity". Duchie has really risen to the challenge in ways that I don't think she could have ever imagined. This cycling is so far out of her comfort zone that it is almost unimaginable. I know she is so thankful to have everyone's support on this ride from the faster riders who have paced her along, to rest of the group who keep her company. Let's hope she keeps up the good work. We're one third of the way to LA!
More moaning, more semi-snoring, and one last shot to my solar-plexus...