Said good bye to Safi, Alyou and Yahsah and headed out with Mike to meet up with Brian and Mark and Beth at Inn at Sunset Cliffs. Beautiful morning for the beginning of our trip. Dipped the bike wheel in the Pacific Ocean and off we went. Not thinking about the climbs to come just enjoying the feeling of getting underway. I had been training pretty intensely and had confidence I could do this. The day was going well until about mile 30 when we really started some long steep climbs. My rear wheel shifted several times and would rub against the frame whenever I tried to power up a hill especially when I tried to stand up to pedal. I had to stop and reset the wheel and hope it would hold.
Just before Mike left us he tightened the quick release as tight as he could and the wheel held for a while. I felt bad that I was holding everyone up. The only way I could manage the climbs without the wheel shifting was to take the climbs nice and steady (and slow) in my lowest gear.
Lunch in Alpine was so needed after the tortuous climb into town. Then the real torture started. The winds were right in our faces as we headed to Pine Valley, our stop for the night. We later learned the winds were 29 mph with gusts at 35 mph. And it felt like it. One of the hairiest parts of that ride was on I8 crossing a bridge over a ravine with the wind blowing you, trucks and cars passing you at 70 mph ( because it’s an interstate) and a guardrail that was all of about 2 feet. I thought about stopping and walking across but that would take me longer to get across so I just kept pedaling and said some Hail Mary’s until I reached the other side of the bridge.
That’s when I just started saying prayers to get me through the day. The wind was blowing so hard you couldn’t coast down hills without pedaling. There haven’t been too many days as difficult as that one in my biking career. Thanks Brian and Mark for waiting for me at the top of the hills. Hopefully headwinds will not be a common occurrence.