Day 2- Santa Cruz to King City
Day 2 was the longest day of the ride, 107 miles. This would be my longest ride ever. I felt good about the mileage because in the month prior, I had ridden two centuries at 100 miles and 106 miles. I worried about the logistics more than the mileage. I had to figure out how to wake up, eat, stretch, gear up, pack up and leave camp. I knew it was going to be a process, but I kind of wish I had a little more practice before having to squash 107 miles by 7pm.
My morning routine started out like this and pretty much stayed the same throughout the ride.
- 4:30am Wake up.
- Get dressed in my riding gear except helmet and shoes. I kept my clothes in my sleeping bag, as everyone suggested, so that they were warm in the morning.
- Go to the port-a-potty.
- Get in line for breakfast/Get in line for coffee/eat. After the 4th day, I had a harder time waking up, so I took advantage of Java Juice coffee extract in my water bottle first thing in the morning (wayyyy better than the coffee provided by the ride).
- Go to the port-a-potty.
- Pack up the tent/gear. Put on shoes and helmet.
- Stretch. The first 2 days, I searched around for the yoga class that they announced would be in front of the medical tent. The announcements were wrong. Only the sports medicine people were leading stretching at the medical tents. This stretching was sufficient but not the same as yoga! From Day 3 on I joined “Daddy Witch’s Yoga Bitches” for a half our condensed yoga session. This was AWESOME, one of my favorite parts of the ride. After my free 15 minute massage on Day 3 I included using a foam roller as part of my stretching routine.
- Fill my CamelBak with water and water bottle with Powerade (the official electrolyte drink of the ride).
- Go to the port-a-potty. (They were pretty gross by this time.)
- Go to bike parking and get a route sheet.
- Ride off!
This was pretty much my morning schedule every morning on the ride.
The Day 2 route was full of unofficial stops including skinny dipping! It was a pretty hot afternoon and I really need a pick-me-up. I found the bridge (somewhere around mile 80) that everyone was talking about, climbed under it and got naked. There were maybe about 15 other cyclists in the river and I joined them. One minute after I got in, a ride official came down and called us out of the water. He stated that a bus full of kids crossed the bridge and the bus driver called the police. The police then called the ride and the ride pulled us out of the river. I think one minute was just enough, though I would have liked to stay longer, to jump start my second wind.
The next unofficial stop came up quickly, The Cookie Lady. Apparently this woman cooks thousands of cookies for us every year. So amazing. I decided to get the vegan oatmeal cookie. Super good! While I was chowing down, I overheard some cyclists who pulled in saying that skinny dipping was closed because of some other cyclists who ruined it for everyone. I got a bit defensive. I felt like we were well behaved and parked appropriately. I told them my version of the story about the complaining bus driver who was offended by our nudity. I hoped to somehow deflect their anger away from fellow cyclists, but I don’t think it worked.
There was a rest stop soon after the cookie lady. I went for the port-a-potty first. At this point, I was carrying my CamelBak in with me to the port-a-potty. Gross, I know. I thought it was perfectly safe because I was using my amazing pStyle to pee standing up, so I felt totally aware about where my bag was going. Unfortunately, somehow, the mouth valve of my CamelBak fell of INSIDE the port-a-potty and fell on the floor. Yuck! Needless to say, I never carried my CamelBak into the port-a-potty again.
Good thing that the port-a-potty’s were probably the cleanest I’ve ever experienced. I used some anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, handy wipes and water to disinfect my mouth piece until I felt secure about it. I got so focused on disinfecting my mouth piece that I forgot to refill my water!
I was about 15 miles from camp and all I had was half a bottle of Powerade. I tried to convince myself that it was going to be okay. If I really needed to, I could flag some other rider down for water. Chances are they may have more than what they needed. There were also rumors about a magical tail wind on the last 10 or so miles. I was optimistic.
The tail winds were real and I was flying down the road at close to 30 mph on the flats. Four miles from camp, my left foot started cramping. I’ve been experiencing foot cramps on some rides over 80 miles. Usually I just stop and stretch or massage my foot and I can continue. I absolutely had to stop to stretch. Other than my foot and lack of water, I was feeling great and ready to get into camp.
After parking my bike at camp, I immediately asked people where to find water. I got pointed in one direction and when I made it there, they pointed me back in the same direction. I really really needed water. So I pointed at a random gallon of water and someone just gave it to me. Phew.
Now for the approximate rolling into camp routine.
- Park bike.
- Inflate tubes with air. (A tip from Lynn, so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning).
- Use port-a-potty.
- Go to tent and get stuff for shower. (Most days the tent was pitched by my tent mate who was a roadie and got to camp early. I usually packed up the tent since she had an early shift to work.)
- Wait in line to shower/shower. The showers were designated as either women’s or men’s. I didn’t see any option for people who would prefer a non-gendered shower, though I didn’t ask. I can’t say they didn’t exist for sure. The lines for the women’s showers were long but moved pretty quickly. Once inside, the showers were divided into little curtain closed stalls. The hallway outside the showers is where we had to get dressed. This was the biggest challenge… putting your clothes on and not getting them wet on floor. Gross.
- Do laundry. The first day I did my laundry in the sink. This was actually against the rules but there weren’t signs on every sink. The easier (kind of) thing to do was use the assigned laundry setup with buckets, laundry detergent a hose and a drain. I had 4 pairs of shorts for the ride and I didn’t feel like recycling them without washing them. The challenging part of doing laundry on the ride is drying your clothes. Day 2 I was definitely not back in camp in time with much direct sunlight left. So drying usually took me 2 days.
- EAT! The veggie line always shorter than the meat line. Dinner tasted great (even though they were a little heavy on the fake meats and pepper). I always went back for seconds.
- Camp news. Always very funny but always too long.
- Got ready for bed. Prepared everything I was going to wear the next day. Put in my ear plugs and passed out.