Day 4- Paso Robles to Santa Maria
I remember waking up on Day 4 and thinking, “Am I really going to do another century (97.7 miles) today?” The strongest impetus for the day was reaching the halfway point between San Francisco and LA.
A few hills carried a bad reputation on the ride. Thanks to training in Marin and climbing Twin Peaks, I took the hills quite well. I was so well prepared, I even forgot to mention the “Quad Buster” on Day 3. Myself and many of my San Francisco ALC group training ride friends considered the name “Quad Buster” a bit of an exaggeration. The CATSeries training rides consistently lead us over hills of equal or greater difficulty.
Day 4 lead us to the legendary “Evil Twins”, two hills right before the halfway point from SF to LA. I noticed the first hill, climbed steadily and found myself at the halfway point asking “where’s the other evil twin?” I expected another climb just as difficult, but it was all over.
Everyone stopped to wait in line and take the infamous “Halfway to LA” picture. Whoop!
There were, however, some difficult hills that escaped the rumor mill. Day 5 would bring the most challenging hill that I would personally experience. Probably because we had been riding for so many consecutive days. The climb was painful and the downfall so glorious. I never before understood the definition of glory.
I never completely bonked on the ride but came close on Day 4. I know that most of it had to do with not eating at Rest Stop 3, the stop right after lunch. I didn’t want to eat a snack, so I didn’t. Probably a mistake. They always say “eat before you’re hungry.” Maybe I was sick of the snacks or just too full from lunch.
I started to bonk about 5 miles to Rest Stop 4. I decided to get off of my bike and eat a Cliff Bar. (I brought my own Cliff Bars on the ride to insure that I had a snack that I actually liked to eat.) I made it to Rest Stop 4 pretty exhausted. The theme was “Hotdog On a Stick”, which is apparently hotdogs and lemonade franchise. Rest Stop 4 served us gummy hotdogs and lemonade! The lemonade brought me to life and “The Hotdog Dance” helped raise my spirits.
I remember talking with a training ride buddy about how the miles were catching up with us. We chatted with some veterans and apparently there is an unofficial cinnamon bun stop between rest stop 3 and 4. According to them, the bun really doesn’t taste so good but the sugar carries you through the 20 mile stretch. We sat in the shady grass until the rest stop roadies yelled that the stop was closing in 30 minutes. I jumped up to grab my bike from bike parking. Eek! In my bonk-hazy state, I accidently parked my bike in the “Bikes to be Sagged” area. Thank goodness it was still there! I headed back to camp rejuvenated and ready to ride the next day, Red Dress Day.