Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Four Days of Insanity. Part 2: NCAC Day 2 (May 18, 2012)


From May 17 to 20, 2012, I rode 450+ miles in 4 days.  I rode in the NorCal Aids Cycle (NCAC) as well as the Davis Double Century.  The recap of my four day adventure will be done in four parts, one part of each day of craziness.  This is part 2...the second day of my crazy adventure!  enjoy!     


Early Friday morning, I wake up.  I had tossed and turned a lot in the night.  My back is sore from sleeping on the ground too.  My mattress pad is not very thick.  My legs are a little stiff too.  I think I may have ridden a bit too hard the day before.  Must go easy today if I plan to do a double century on Day 3.  I get my phone and see I got a donation to NCAC!  Woot!  I also get some nice messages from friends back home wishing me well in my adventures.  I like whatever crazy adventures I get myself into, I always have my wonderful friends following me in my crazy adventures and cheering me on in them.  

tweet: "awake early for day 2!  sleeping on the ground made me a bit sore.  but I woke up to see another donation to norcal aids cycle!  woot!"

I climb out of my tent a little after 5 a.m. and head to the bathroom to brush my teeth and change.  While in the bathroom, I hear someone singing in camp to wake everyone up.  A rather amusing wake up call for some I think.  A gal at the bathroom comes up to me and asks me if I am the one doing the double.  Still having random people come up to me.  I don't know how they know I am the crazy one out of all the people here.  

For Day 2, NCAC encouraged everyone to wear Hawaiian shirts of Hawaiian theme clothing.  Not able to find anything, I wear my Party Pardee jersey since it looks rather festive and colorful.  The other cyclists and crew members have on some fun jerseys or shirts on.  Some more decked out than others.  

I break down my tent and pack everything up.  I get my bike ready for another day of fun.  Then, I head to the cafeteria for an amazing spread for breakfast.  Eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, bagels, fruit, yogurt, etc. . . Practically whatever you want for breakfast, they have.  I enjoy a nice breakfast with some new friends I have made.  A lady comes around and puts leis on a bunch of us.  

tweet:  "packed back up and fed a great breakfast.  about to hit the road for another fun 100ish mile day!"

We all gather together and have a few announcements. We will finish the day in Williams, California but since it is at a school, we are not allowed to finish until after 4pm.  They tell us how the fast folks will need to not ride so fast or they will be held at the last rest stop for a bit.  This is good since my plan is to not ride so hard today.  

The cyclists all roll out shortly after 7am.  My legs and knees are sore as they start to pedal.  My bottom is a little tender too having to get back in the saddle again.  Somehow, I end up towards the front of the pack.  But, I ride behind Emily for a bit.  The crew vehicles are out along the course cheering us as we go by.  Many are decked out in Hawaiian clothing so that is fun to see.  After a bit, my cycling legs feel less achy and are able to spin alright.  

At some point, Emily and a couple others split away from me.  I ride along for a bit and then a decent sized train of cyclists come flying by. I hop on it and roll with them for a bit.  Possibly riding a little faster than I intended but it is fun company so why not.  

It does not take us too long to roll into the first rest stop, near Table Mountain. 

Tweet: "19.4 miles into day 2 of insanity!  legs and bottom were a little achy at the start but riding good!  having fun in the front pack!"

Same rest stop as one I went to when I did the Chico Wildflower Century.  Though, when I did Wildflower and arrived at this location, it was in the hot afternoon and the rest stop rather barren with hardly any food and no cold beverages.  A vastly different scene now.  Plenty of snacks and cold beverages for the cyclists.  Lots of happy, energetic people around.  

I see the front pack start to roll out but I decide not to roll out with them.  Going to try to be a little more mellow today.  I see Michael H. and we both roll out together.  He plays music when he rides so is nice to ride near.  

We roll out of the rest stop and go riding along pass Table Mountain.  Memories of Chico Wildflower come to mind.  Namely, memories of the crappy roads in Butte County.  But, I am in good company so having fun.  I chit chat with Michael for awhile.  He tells me how he got to doing NCAC and has been doing it for a number of years.  We have an enjoyable conversation all the way to the next rest stop at a Fire Station.  

Tweet: "33 miles in.  taking it easy now.  riding some of the wildflower route...man, the roads in butte county suck!  but i have fun company! :)"

At the Fire Station, we receive a nice welcome by the crew members cheering and clapping as usual.  I really enjoy coming into the rest stops. I like all the crew members are decked out in nice Hawaiian gear.  What also amuses me is when I get to the rest stops and staring at the food table, the crew members are always pushing food onto you.  "What do you want?  Oranges?  Bagels? Drinks? Etc?"  I eat some snacks and drink some sort of Apple drink that tastes delicious.  

Then, Michael and I get back on the road.  This next stretch is mighty windy.  Michael and I alternate pulling each other along.  Though, the wind really wears on me so Michael ends up pulling me a little bit more on this stretch.  My legs are getting a bit tired too riding along on the rough road.  

While it is only about 10 miles to the next rest stop, it feels a lot longer with the head wind.  I am happy to get to Durham, to a park.  The lunch stop.  Though, kind of early in the day for lunch.  I do feel sleepy though.  I could use a nap.  I did not sleep so well last night and I feel my eyes are a little heavy.  

Tweet: "made it to the lunch stop...tough riding on rough roads into headwind but mike helped pull me along...:)"

Lunch is nice again. Some really tasty sandwiches.  A bunch of us share some cheetos.  The cookies are really tasty too.  I think I eat about 3-4 cookies.  I see the front pack roll out.  I stay and hang out with folks a little longer.  Though, I feel like getting back on the road soon.  If I sit too long, my legs stiffen back up.  

So, after a bit, I get back on the road.  Before I get on the road, I see a comment from Javier (my cycling "father").  He had commented on my tweet about the rough roads and made a comment about doing smooth, circular pedal strokes.  As I get back on the rough road, I keep that in mind.  Smooth, circular pedal strokes.  This kind of makes things a little smoother.  It might be just mental but whatever works.  

I ride along all by myself.  I realize I am probably in between two groups.  Behind the front pack (which I doubt I will catch up to) but ahead of the next pack of riders.  I continue riding along for awhile, not seeing anyway.  The countryside is nice so I keep on my merry way.  

After a bit, I begin to worry as to whether I am on the right road.  I have not seen a pink arrow in a little while nor have I seen any of the motor crew.  I pull out my phone and check my gps and it says I am still on the right road.  So, I continue on.  

A couple miles later, I come around a bend and see three motorcycles to my left.  It's the motor crew!  How happy I am to see them!  A couple of them cheer me on as I pass them.  A couple pass me along the road but nice to know they are out there.  

I make a turn onto a country road.  I get a little tailwind now so picking up the pace a bit.  I see two yellow airplanes flying above.  Probably spraying the fields or something.  One flies really low in front of me.  Hmm.  I continue on.  

Shortly later, I hear the crew members cheering and clapping as I roll into the rest stop.  I tell them I think I am in between two groups so just by myself.  They tell me the other group just left.  

Tweet: "at mile 59.6...a bit lonely on the last stretch.  think i'm between two packs.  I'm grateful for an awesome crew out on the road cheering me on! :)"

Tweet: "thanks jav for reminding me to do smooth circular pedal strokes!  made the last section a bit easier! :)"

As I am sitting at the rest stop, I see that another friend has made a donation to NCAC.  Nice!  I know my friends are following my twitter/fb updates about my four day adventure as I have been getting comments in the past couple days.  So, it is nice that those updates has attracted a few additional donations.  

The day is getting a bit warm.  Warmer than yesterday so I drink some Gatorade and refill my water bottles.  I hang out for a bit chit chatting with some of the crew members for a bit.  There are homemade cookies here.  Chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin.  I eat a couple cookies.  Then, I find they have cold chocolate milk.  Yum!  I down a bottle and feels refreshed by it!  

I see a few cyclists roll into the rest stop but I am ready to hit the road again.  I get back on Georgie and we roll on out.  

Today's ride is rather flat.  So, just long stretches of country roads.  Since I am mostly riding by myself, I decide to put on some tunes.  I play some tunes on my iphone and pedal away, bopping a little bit to my music.  

At one point, I turn onto some country road.  There is a little tailwind so I am easily going 20+ mph.  I glance behind me to see a tractor.  It is a rather wide tractor and it is getting closer to me.  I really do not want to be passed by the tractor so I kick it up a little determined to not let the tractor pass me.  I hammer away for a few miles, glancing back.  The tractor came a little close a couple times but I stay ahead of it.  

Finally, I reach the turn and turn right.  Not sure where the tractor went but I beat it.  Hey, when you're out in the middle of nowhere, you have to find things to amuse oneself.  hehehe

Tweet: "raced ahead of a tractor on a country road for a few miles!  I beat it to the turn without it passing me!  woot"

As I ride along, I notice a nice pond area to my right with a ton of lily pads.  I remember someone mentioning something about lily pads.  It is such a nice sight that I decide to stop and take a couple pictures of the area.  

After this, I ride along.  I see a few crew vehicles pulled over and cheering us on.  A couple gals are jamming tunes, dancing and waving around signs for us cyclists.  Very to fun to ride by them.  

At one point, I see the familiar gray truck (Jerry's truck) roll by me.  Though today, I see there are quite a number of bikes on it.  Aww.  Looks like some people needed to get SAG'd in.  

After pedaling for a bit and kind of dancing a bit to my tunes, I finally arrive to the Nature Preserve, the last stop of the day.  

Tweet: "my legs got a good groove going & spinning strong!  made it to the last rest stop - mile 78!  there's yummy pie here! mmm!"

This rest stop is awesome.  Since we cannot get to Williams until after 4pm, they have made this rest stop extra nice so we can hang out here for awhile before heading to the finish.  I park my bike and take off my cycle shoes then lay down on the ground, in the shade.  I am sleepy and my back is rather sore.  It feels nice to lay down.  

After a bit, someone tells me there is pie here.  I drag myself up and wander over to check out the pies.  Not only do they have pies, which all look amazing, there is chai too.  I drink a cup and eat a slice of black berry pie. Both yum!  

I then wander towards the back benches to find a few other cyclists hanging out in the shade.  We are all told to stay here for a bit as they do not want any cyclists finishing before 4pm.  So, we just hang out and chit chat for a bit.  I get to know a few more cyclists.  

Someone gives us cyclists ice cold towels to put on ourselves.  Oh, it feels great!  We then get ready to roll out as they tell us we are allowed to ride again (so we finish after 4pm).  Two of the guys find out they have flat tires so we wait as they each fix their flats.  One guy jokes that he's just making extra certain we arrive after 4pm.  

Tweet: "I have to say the NCAC crew and rest stops are just the best! makes for a great ride!"

A nice group of us then roll out of the Nature Preserve towards Williams.  Shawn pulls us all at a rather brisk pace.  I hang out for a number of miles but my legs are just too tired to keep that kind of pace up so I slowly fall back.  Tara and Jason hang back with me.  Jason ends up pulling Tara and me.  Still a brisk pace but not as brisk as Shawn.  The three of us ride along but it is getting mighty hot.  

We pass a SAG vehicle and look to see if they have water for us.  The crew members are cheering us on and very peppy but we see no water.   We ride a little bit before seeing another crew vehicle pulled over.  She has water for us, thankfully!  We stop and refill our bottles before continuing along our way.  

In a bit, thanks to Jason's nice pull, we roll into Williams and arrive at the high school right at 4pm.  

We ride out to the back near the gymnasium.  The gym is nice and air conditioned.  Feels nice to sit inside there.  I see the moving truck has started to unload some of the bags onto the grass.  The others start getting themselves set up for the evening.  I start getting together some things ready for my double tomorrow.  

Tweet: "finished day 2!  99.14 miles today!!  so 201.44 miles in 2 days...tomorrow, I'm going to double up! woot!"

Tweet: "was in a nice, fast paceline for most of the last stretch!  thanks Shawn and Jason for pulling us! :)"

So, 200 miles so far in 2 days.  On day 3, I am going to literally double that.  

I hang out for a bit chit chatting with some of the others.  My friend Tawny arrives to take me back to Davis.   I get together my bike and some gear.  I leave my duffle bag and tent to be moved to the next location.  I say goodbye to a few of my new NCAC friends.  I am going to miss them and all this fun in the next day.  But, I look forward to my return after the Davis Double.  

Tweet: "tawny just picked me up from williams, ca...heading back to Davis so I can check in for the double century tomorrow..."

Tawny drives me back to Davis after we stop to pick up some food to eat.  We arrive in Davis and get checked in for the Davis Double.  I get my bib number #305 and route sheet.  

Tweet: "is missing my new NCAC friends but I look forward to returning to them tomorrow after my double insanity! :)"

I arrive back at home.  I take a much needed shower.  Then, I get my gear and bike ready for the big day tomorrow.  I am so exhausted from two days of riding and not enough sleep in between, I relish being able to lay in my own bed.  I fall asleep rather early that night.  I definitely need a good night's sleep in order to pull of the craziness of day 3...the true day of insanity!  

Strava 05/18/2012 NCAC Ride Day 2

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