Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Never Pass Up a Clean Bathroom

The Beginning

The seed was planted in the summer of 2005. E-mails back & forth. Where to go? Across the country? Sure, but who has 4 - 6 weeks to kill?

Tour de California pops up on the radar screen. Landis kicks ass. Great photos on VeloNews.com. Light bulb goes on. One Gear One Coast. San Francisco to San Diego. Scratch that. Los Gatos to San Diego on our single speeds. Airline tickets bought in March 2006. All systems go.

June 2006 (six months later)

The team - Kelly, Tom & Chris. Tom is on a triple crank, but we still like the guy. And plus, he's one heck of a navigator. Kelly & Chris are on single speeds. Kelly rides a 44 x 16 & Chris saddles up to a 42 x 16. We all meet in Los Gatos, crash at DT's house. DT has 6 bikes & 4 sets of skis & thighs like the mighty Redwoods.

Monday

Chilly temps blow in from the Bay. DT leads the boys out of Los Gatos for the first 30 miles or so. We pass a pissed-off bike messenger. He must have flunked out of art school, too bad.

DT turns left & is homeward bound – he’ll meet us later for lunch.

The team cruises through fields of veggies. People working the land - rough life.

Need to eat - find a roadside roach coach.

Come across a large troop of Boy Scouts cycling towards Disney Land. God bless them. However, we had to teach them the lessons of the road at a young age as we blow by them.

Coast into Monterey Bay. Long live John Steinbeck. DT shows back up in his Ford F350 monster truck. Eat lunch surrounded by fat tourists. Talk about cycling. Stand & jam our way out of the bay.

Ocean on the right, sun is shining and the boys are turning the cranks. Meet a charity ride sag wagon parked along aside of the road. Of course, we eat their food - always hungry.

You're riding single speeds? Yes. Are you nuts? Yes. Where's your stuff? I point to small backpack. That's it? Yes.

Hey, ho, lets go.

Reach Big Sur Lodge. Ice cream, beer, shower, dinner, beer & sleep.

Tuesday

Spring classics weather prevails – dense fog -can't really see much. Up the big hill. Stop at a road side shack. Eat breakfast burritos. Burrito power forever. Up another big hill. Burgers at Ragged Point.

Next, we dump into the coastal plains - nice rollers.

Chris bonks in SLO. Eats a pizza pie, blood sugar levels are back up and then hammers to the next motel.

Shower, Mexican dinner, beer & sleep.

Wednesday

A real honest breakfast at Mary B's. The Mexican dinner from last night decides to re-visit us for a second, third & forth time. Thank God for a clean and well-ventilated bathroom at Mary B’s.

More farm land & a few more hills. The team is maintaining a nice pace line.

We fight our way over the last big hill against a nasty head wind. This sucks - low point of the trip.

We finally break free of the wind and mountains and head out to the sea. Beach time - bike paths - single speed heaven. Sand, ocean & girls in bikinis.

I love LA.

We put down the landing gear in Ventura & crash a friend's house. Shower, home cooked meal, beer, wine, massage & sleep.

Thursday

Sun shine, sun screen & dark sunglasses. Ride along the ocean. Surfers & beachcombers are all about. Expensive houses falling into the road side. Malibu is so over rated.

We enter the heart of LA. Urban. Cars. Our single speeds dart in & out of traffic. Man, I wish I was a bike messenger. The team is now drinking ice chi latt├ęs in order to fit into the Southern Cal crowd.

We meet another buddy in LA. He has a beer cooler in the trunk of his car. Of course, we slam some beers in a parking lot next to West Coast Chopper - feels good. Eat 7-layers bars & push on thru to the Best Western.

Buddy with beer cooler meets us again at the hotel. Swim, beer, hot tub, shower, 4 deluxe pizzas & sleep.

Friday

Homeward bound - summit fever.

Breakfast at Denny's. The team is now hammering its way towards San Diego. No maps needed here. The sticky buns are kicking in, the pace line is flying.

We come across two Lance Armstrong wannabes. They accelerate, thinking they’re hot shit. The single speeds dig deep & hammer them. Don’t screw with us pretty boys. We spanked them so hard that they were crying for their mammas.

It’s all a blur at this point.

Trying to make the 2 pm ferry. Flying thru traffic at + 20 mph, spinning like mad men.

Urban bike rule number one - never look back.

Missed the boat by 10 minutes. Shit, so close. Relax for a bit. Hop the 3 pm ferry. Cruise the Strand.

Arrive at home. Loves ones (including the dog) are jumping up and down for joy as the team heads to the refrigerator for a frosty one.

550 miles - 5 days – 1 speed.

Keep it street level.

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