Tuesday Sept 11, 2012 Garberville to Ft. Bragg California
Today was definitely the toughest day so far. As I was struggling to finish, Tracey (a really nice guy and fellow cyclist) rode by me and said "failure is not an option" and he is right. His words kept me pedalling so that I was able to finish the day.
I'm not sure what it was about today but I felt out of sorts all day long. We started climbing almost immediately out of the hotel and it felt like we were climbing all day long. The reason it felt that way is because we were climbing all day long. When we weren't climbing we were riding into a 30km wind. My Garmin shows 5886 feet of climbing over 69 miles. I'm not sure if it was just a really tough day or if I just wasn't mentally prepared for this ride. Either way, here are my stats:
I took off early from the first SAG to get a jump on the big climb. Mark stayed behind and bought a great turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich from a shop beside the SAG stop. He put it in the van, marked it "The Duchess" and surprised me with it at the second SAG. He thinks of everything (he even helped me finish it before we pressed on for the last 20 miles a few hours later). After climbing up to 1900 feet, descending down to almost sea level again, and then climbing back up to 850 feet (which took an eternity for this 53 year old girl), we finally kicked out of the hills onto the Pacific coastline. It was spectacularly beautiful in the sunshine and the scenery did not disappoint. Here is a great picture Mark took of the coastline and a really nice picture of Mark and I.
I was never so happy to see a hotel as I was today. We are staying at America's Best Value Inn in Ft Bragg (need I say more???) The best part of this hotel is that it's only a block to Starbuck's. I haven't had a latte since Tillamook (last Sunday) and boy did this one taste good.
Here is some video Mark took today as we were riding along the coast. It's hard to describe how rugged and uninhabited it is around here. You are riding along these roads and there is no one around and then you see a house, just one single lone house, perched up on the cliff. Then there won't be another house for 5 miles or so. Imagine waking up every morning to that view!!! There is a lot of cattle ranching in these dry golden hills. When you ride this coast you see why this is called the Golden State, that's for sure.
I have an admission to make though. This amount of cycling is definitely out of my zone. As for the climbing, well, as New Jersey Wiseguys would say, "fugget-about" it. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. The climbing is killing me. Also, to quote a funny line from the movie City Slickers..."...and I've got some sort of rash...". I truly hope I can get on the bike tomorrow, but right now it is a 50/50 proposition at best. This trip is amazing. I am learning so much about myself, almost all of which is good...really good. The people on this trip are great. Everyone is always asking about me, encouraging me, giving me advice, and so on.
One more great picture courtesy of Mike Munk: