just a little bit. Yesterday I met up with a group of posters from Bike Forums for a ride from Irvine to Oceanside. When I saw the weather forecast a few days prior to the ride, I started my whining right then and there. They were calling for 94 degrees in Irvine and needless to say, that's entirely out of my comfort zone for sedentary activities...I couldn't fathom what it would be like cycling in it. Not wanting to be a wuss and back out, I decided to give the ride a shot and I'm glad that I did.
We met at 9:45 a.m. at the Irvine Amtrak Station and quickly started introductions. I knew that I would never be able to keep all of the usernames and real names straight, but I tried my best. I was thrilled to see that one of the forum members had brought his wife along and that another poster had brought another female friend. Nothing against the guys, but it somehow made me more comfortable to know I wasn't the only girl out there on the ride.
At 10:00 a.m. we were off and I soon realized that this ride was not going to be like any other ride I've done. It was fucking hot and only getting hotter. You have to understand that I'm a total wimp and that I normally avoid the heat entirely by riding at 5:15 a.m. More than once, the thought that I bit off more than I could chew crossed my mind. Of course, my ego was able to quiet those thoughts and I kept on pedaling, downing more water than I thought was humanly possible. At the time, had I known that it was hovering somewhere around 104 degrees while we were riding through Camp Pendelton, it probably would have killed the ride for me. I'm glad that I didn't have that confirmation until the ride was long over!
The promise of ocean breezes and cooler temperatures carried me through to Oceanside where we stopped for lunch and contemplated our next move. Some of the guys were planning to turn around after lunch and ride back to Irvine and two of the guys who rode up from Oceanside to meet us in Irvine were calling it a day. My original plan was to take the Amtrak or Metrolink back from Oceanside, but it seemed as though most of the group was going to continue on to Solana Beach. It was so much cooler in Oceanside and the rest of the ride promised oceanfront views and breezes, so I decided to keep on going after lunch. Our food choices in Oceanside were pretty limited, as not many places had outdoor seating that could accomodate all of our bikes. We finally settled on Dairy Queen, but not being able to stomach the thought of consuming actual food (if you can call it that) from there, I snuck off to the Mexican restaurant next door to grab some good food. One other rider had the same idea and we were thrilled to grab some yummy carne asada burritos, which we brought back to eat at DQ with the rest of the group.
After refilling our waterbottles for the second time, we were on our way to Solana Beach. The ride was gorgeous, though sketchy and unnerving at times with all of the cars parked alongside the road. I was feeling good up until the very last stretch when I thought to myself "I'm DONE!!!" Fortunately, the Amtrak station was a mere block ahead, so we really were done...with riding that is. We arrived at the station and had logged just over 62 miles for the day. It was my second longest ride so far, but with the rolling hills and the heat, it was by far my most challenging. By the end of the ride, I was a human salt lick.
Amtrak was having "issues" with a train and they were running behind schedule by several hours. When they finally got the train up and running they told us that no bikes would be allowed because the cars were full and that another train would be along shortly...of course, that didn't happen and we were finally allowed to board the third train. It was after 10:00 p.m. when I finally arrived home, exhausted and glad to see my kids who thought I had abandoned them.
Thanks to The Fixer who was our official photographer on wheels. I swiped some of his shots to add to my flickr site.
A big thanks to all of the riders yesterday who kept me going with their encouraging comments. It was more than a little intimidating to know that I would be riding with all of these experienced riders, but they made me feel very welcome.