AIDS/Lifecycle 9: Day 6

Day 6- Santa Maria to Ventura

Photo: Jason Samia

Everything was slower on day six.  Again, I groaned a little bit while getting ready in my tent and again my neighbors asked “How’s it going Fivestar?”  I said “good, but stiff”.  It had all just hit me.  My body finally realized what was going on.  I wanted to leave early but I kept forgetting things.  I left my helmet at the port-a-pottys before walking all the way across camp to roll out at the medical tent, I left my helmet in front of the medical tent after walking all the way to bike parking.

Camp is a big place and takes time to traverse (especially in cleats).  I started hearing warning yells “camp is closing in 30 minutes”.  Tired and optimistic, I hopped on my bike and began to ride.  I was focused, thinking in segments.  “15 miles to rest stop 1.”  I didn’t really have the energy to think past that.  Then at the stop: Port-a-potty, eat, stretch, port-a-potty.

The day felt long but the scenery made it all go down easier.  For a good deal of the ride, we rode along the coast.  I took a really long break taking in the Santa Barbara beach.  It wasn’t far from an unofficial stop on the ride, Paradise Pit.  I wasn’t planning on stopping at the pit, but the signs leading up to it enticed me to stop and eat some vegan ice cream.

Woah!  What a mistake.  I reached a sugar crash about 5 miles after the cone.  I slowly and deliberately made it to the water stop.  While there, I ran into someone I knew from the group rides who had to sag due to pain from the saddle.  Ouch!  I worked hard to convince her to try, what I believe to be THE BEST SADDLE IN THE WORLD!, The Selle Ldy.  I realize now that it’s probably not good for every person and we all have different anatomy, but it was suggested to me with enthusiasm and I can’t help but suggest it with enthusiasm (though I realize it may seem pushy).

I finally made it back into camp and couldn’t think of anything else but food.  Every day up until Day 6, I’d go back to the tent, shower do laundry before eating.  Day 6, all I could think to do was eat.  So I listened to my body and ate a couple of servings of food.

I took care of the rest of my routine and ran into another training ride buddy.  She came up to me celebrating that we were almost done.  I felt her joy but at the same time was too afraid to celebrate.  We had 60 or so more miles to go and that day was hard.

Photo: Mike Casas

I rushed to get ready in time for the candle light vigil to honor those we lost to HIV/AIDS.  Everyone held a candle and stood silently in a huge circle on the beach.  People began to walk towards the waves and lay their candle in the sand letting the water kill the flame.

After this, I went to sleep, but only after using the foam rollers.

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