Lighthouse Century

So I signed up for this century ride (choosing the metric century as my goal), thinking that the cost and deadline would get me out biking to work up to a point where I could ride 65 miles in one day. And this definitely worked -- getting me out on the road three times a week, including progressively longer rides on the weekends, as described earlier.

I also knew that there was a risk I'd not be able to actually do the ride because I had a gig in Denver during the week, ending on Friday. My task was to finish the class in time to get from Denver to Phoenix in time to take the last flight from Phoenix to San Luis Obispo.

I didn't have much trouble getting out of class. It was a good group of hackers and they picked up things more quickly than I'm used to. So I got up to the airport to find that my flight was delayed. Since SLO is such a small airport, there really aren't many options for rerouting. But the flight was only delayed enough to make my connection time (assuming that nothing else changed) be about 15 minutes and the planes were actually scheduled so that I'd land at B1 and leave from B2.

Of course it didn't work out that way. The delay didn't get worse, but the SLO flight was moved to a different concourse. After we landed, but still taxiing, I checked my flight information to find that USAir had rescheduled me for a flight first thing in the morning!

Still, I'd been upgraded to first class from Denver, so I was sitting in 1A and I bolted up the jetway and over to the gate where my SLO flight was. And I made it! They had scheduled a flight for me in the morning so I'd be guaranteed to have a seat just in case, which really would have been good had it been needed. So I got home on the late flight and was able to get about six hours of sleep. And in the morning, I drove over to Morro Bay to register.

It was a gorgeous morning.


The sun is rising from the right direction to shine onto the Morro Bay power plant.

I got my number:


and I bought a jersey:


I love the zebra stripes. The zebras today were on the north side of San Simeon. A couple on the trip told me that they also saw whales crest during the ride. I saw the swarms of birds that usually mean whales, but I never saw them.

Other free stuff included a rubber bracelet, the patch in the picture above, and a wristband for the BBQ bash after the ride.

The ride had three rest stops. The first and last were in a park in Cambria. Lots of people the first go around. They provided an awfully good variety of snacks:


But the main reason for that stop was to get a chance to refill water bottles and just sit in the shade. The view of the ocean from the park was popular.


The second rest stop was at the turnaround point, which was a lookout spot from which you can see the lighthouse for which the ride is named. There wasn't much shade, but it was fairly crowded. (The lighthouse is in this picture, I promise.)


And this is the point at which we really started to spread out in terms of speed. By the time I got to the final rest stop, the crowd had thinned quite a bit:


And then from this point on, I never passed another person. I was passed quite a lot, of course. I wasn't the last one back to the school, but I might have been the last metric century rider -- the 85 and 100 mile riders mostly beat me, too.

But the important thing is that I made it. I hadn't ridden my bike hardly at all this year until I decided to train for this in August. And with living in the mountains, it's been six or seven years since I rode more than 10 miles in a day. So I'm pretty proud to have made it through.

The next thing is to see if my weekly biking sticks. If I still get on the bike on Tuesday to go have dinner at the Wee Shack, it will have been worth it. Maybe if I work at it all year, next time my bottom won't start hurting in the first 20 miles.

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