Thursday, March 27, 2008

Having A Good Time

It's Thursday, and today was a long 69 mile ride from Brawley to Palo Verde. Tomorrow we head towards our last California stop, the town of Blythe.

So far I am enjoying the adventure. I have been basically riding each day with the same four guys. We seem to ride at a similar pace. The youngest guy in our tour, I would say around 38 yrs old, from England, flys right by everyone when he rides and is always the first to reach our destination for the day with the five of us following behind him.

The ride has taken us from the ocean over the Laguna Mountain range dropping down (at approximately 70 mph) to the flat desert terrain to the town of Ocotillo this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, another mishap occurred on the big downhill, where the lady from Chicago pulling a bob lost control as the bob started swaying and crashed. After being released from the hospital later that same day, she decided to stay back and rest up and hope to catch a ride to meet up with the rest of us.

Top of the big climb out of San Diego

Rolling hills after the Laguna Mountains

Leaving Ocotillo yesterday to our next destination, Brawley, we rode pass sand dunes parked with RVs with ATVers having a blast over the dunes and through an agricultural area of wheat and corn watered by the Colorado River via canal.

That night in Brawley, it was my turn as the cook for the group and they wanted Chinese food. Was that on purpose since I am the only Chinese in the group? Thank goodness they let me off easy, and we did take out from a Chinese restaurant. WHEW! That was a relief.

Being out in this desert terrain with 90 degree temps, majority of the group is having a hard time with the heat as they are from areas with colder temperatures than Sacramento. So we start our days very early to avoid the heat as much as possible.

Unfortunately at this time I am unable to post any pictures that I have taken. That's it for now......... Need to rest from today's long ride.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

First Ride Day, San Diego to Alpine

We all had our bikes loaded and ready to go by 8am, and enjoyed a pancake breakfast before hitting the road. To leave San Diego, we had our first climb of the ride, and the temperature was in the 80's. It fell quite hot to me since we have been in the 60s and low 70s back in Sacramento.

At the Point Loma Youth Hostell getting ready to start the ride.

It was a long day and we had two mishaps during the day. One cyclist's chain broke, and another cyclist had a difficult time with the climb but was able to hitch a ride from a nice samaritan.

After stopping at a grocery store to purchase items for dinner and arriving at our campsite around 6pm, we did enjoy a delicious dinner of salad, roasted chicken and mash potatoes.

Tuesday morning we head out and have another long climb and head to Ocotillo, which is approximately a 60 mile day.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Quick Tour Update

So far, so good today. Everyone is very nice and seems to want to work together as a group. It's interesting as the different personalities start emerging. Today, we had an easy ride around the city and visited the Point Loma Lighthouse area. We also did the tradition of dipping a rear wheel into the ocean, but we only used one person's bike and took group pictures. Yesterday, it was very cold with the ocean breeze, but today was a very nice southern California day with warm gentle flows. We are all looking forward to our start tomorrow. My group gear is the cook stove. More to come!
Visiting the beach before the official start.

Andy, the rider leader.

My Arrival in San Diego

After an early morning flight on Saturday, I am relieved to write that both my bike and I landed safely in San Diego. After spending two hours at the terminal unboxing the bike, loading up the panniers, and talking with curious passers-by, I was ready to go.

I rode off to meet up with the other members of the tour at the Point Loma Hostel where we are spending the weekend until we actually take off Monday morning.

After having lunch, I rode to enjoy a view of the ocean. In the evening, the entire group met with the ride leader, and discussed the protocals and how the group will operate together each day. With answers to my questions, I can now relax and start enjoying this adventure.

Majority of the other tour members also arrived on Saturday. As some of you may know that I had a hard time deciding which bike to take on the tour...recumbent (for comfort, but tough on the hills) or my tour bike. There are two recumbents on the tour, making me wish I had brought the recumbent....oh, well.

Today was a day of group discussions and a Shakedown ride through San Diego. Tomorrow it is Hit the Road Day. I'm excited.