Apr 23 2006

Ride Across California – Day 2

Published by at 7:40 pm under Biking,Declan,Elaine,Erin,Family,Friends,Fun,Nathan,San Diego

The desert winds whipped the tent around all night, and the light pole right above our tent made it seem that it was morning all night. Sleep was fitful at best, mostly nonexistent. I’m so happy that Elaine arranged hotels for some of our future night stays.

ONE of us had a good night’s sleep:

Nathan got to sleep in the van, which was less susceptible to violent winds.

There was one working bathroom in the offices, so I thought I’d be clever and get up before Gary, the Pitt Boss, had revelry go off at 6am. Sadly, everyone else had this idea, so there was a line anyway. We all stumbled around, found bushes to water, then got in line for breakfast.

Here are the dead bathrooms, on the left:

The ocotillo is in full bloom, so I got a picture of one by our tent. My mother in law assumes all flower pictures I take are for her since she’s way into flowers and plants, and I’m happy letting her think that 🙂

Food was prepared for us at every stop. Breakfast was usually eggs and some bread substance.

This is Hailey, one of Erin’s classmates. Her Dad had to work until Thursday, so she hung out with me and Erin on the roads.

We were told over and over again that the kids were not to be riding alone, and it really mattered. The 153 riders could be spaced out over 10+ miles of distance, so a kid could possibly wander off the road and get lost. There were chase vehicles every 2 miles or so, offering water and great moral support. They did a pretty good job of grabbing orphaned children and hooking them up with adults. I do admit that one of the hardest parts of the ride for me was slowing my pace to stay with my daughter and her buddies, but I got it into my head that this was a ride, not a race. Staying together, despite the pain it causes and extra time it took, was more important than getting ahead.

Elaine and Nathan had to run back to San Diego, so we didn’t get a lot of pictures on this day. I’m hoping to collect pictures from the other families to fill in the gaps. The ride itself was very difficult. We had strong headwinds the first 15 miles which took us 4 hours to cover. Once we got to the 78, we had more of a tail wind and covered a lot of distance. One of the most striking features of the ride was crossing the Dunes on 78. It’s a comic book version of a desert, with long mounds of tan sand drifting across the distance. We saw a snow plow used to keep the drifts back from the highway.

After 54.22 miles, Erin made it to Pine School.

Erin was just awesome! She got her pace and just moseyed herself across the desert. I was keeping an eye on some stragglers, so Erin would often get ahead of us. This was a little scary for me, but the chase drivers were great about making sure everyone was ok. Erin did a lot of training with me for this ride, so she knew how to be safe and maintain a pace. I am so proud of her!

I arrived shortly after with Divia, one of Erin’s buddies:

This was a really hard day. It turns out it wasn’t the hardest.

Click here for more pictures from Day 2.

One response so far

One Response to “Ride Across California – Day 2”

  1. Nualaon 24 Apr 2006 at 6:08 pm

    Way to go Erin and Divia!!! You DID it!!!

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