Friday, May 23, 2014

Day #26 - How many Selfies can you take in one day?

Day #26
Hermosa Beach to San Clemente

Today seemed long.  It is really interesting to me how every day is different along this journey.  Not just the scenery and the route but everything else that is involved.  We have been working on the planning of this ride for well over a year and each of us had different responsibilities.  Since I did not plan the route I think when we said we were riding down the Pacific Coast Highway, I took it literally.  But in actuality we are using that as a general guideline, keeping the ocean to the right, but getting off the PCH as much as we can to make it easier for the bicyclists.  Makes complete sense in retrospect and I am much more comfortable with them being on side roads and bike trails (as I am sure they are too) but it is SO much more work for SAG than just staying on the PCH all the way.  Which brings me back to my point of how each  Some days we actually were on the PCH the whole way and my biggest concern those days was 'how far am I going to drive before I pull over and enjoy the ocean while waiting for the riders?'  (and take another selfie- I think this is the week for selfies for me.  I took one at every beach.  Ha ha.  At least I am not in the bathroom in front of a mirror making duck lips, right?)
Just one of the Selfies along the way today….

Days like today when we are completely in town all day are a lot harder with no down time for Kyle and myself.  We had 3 pages of turns today.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but it is different.  A bit more work to make sure one of us gets to the next turn to get the riders on the right road.  I tried really hard to stay focused and not let Kyle down today and I hope I did OK.  I did not get lost nor did I get any of the bikers lost.  (I did run a few ‘pink’ lights trying to keep up with Kyle- I think he was trying hard to ditch me ;-)

So, let me backtrack….we left Hermosa Beach this morning and are very grateful to our hosts for the evening, the Hope Chapel.  We had a big room that we each staked out a spot in.  We gained a rider first thing in the am….welcome to Galen.  And had a temporary rider mid day as Leisa hopped on the tandem with Carl for an Anniversary Celebration ride.  And at lunch time we also picked up Joey for the rest of the ride.  We gain quite a few more tomorrow.

Getting out of town was slow.  In fact, there were so many stop lights that the bikes were keeping up with me.  That actually worked pretty well since we could tell them where to turn out the window.  I think Hermosa Beach has more stoplights than Phoenix and I am pretty sure I stopped at every single one of them.  I also noticed a very large number of McDonald’s today.  I have not seen that many in one day since we were in Canada.  I should have been smart and used one for their bathroom but that would have been too easy and then I would not have been able to tell you about one of the grossest and scariest bathrooms I have been in in a long time.  When we dropped the riders off on a bike path, Kyle and I detoured to find a bathroom.  We stopped at a 7-11 in Long Beach – no bathroom.  We went across the street to a local store – no bathroom.  So we saw a park and decided to use theirs.  It was not only dirty but someone had actually stolen all the doors to the stalls.  I am super glad I had Kyle waiting outside because I am pretty sure we were not in the best of neighborhoods.

Which brings me to another thought I had today.  (Today is my day to go off on tangents because I only have one more blog after this and I am sad and reflective tonight)  Over the two weeks I have been along, I have found myself on the side of the road by myself a lot - Either waiting for the guys to show up so I can supply them with food and water or waiting on a corner for them to show up so I can send them in the right direction.   There have been a few places where I would never have been by myself in any other situation but I never, not once, felt unsafe at any point.  I find that very interesting and am going to have to ponder why that is.  Any ideas?  (It is not just because of the knife Shane left for me in the center console either.)

We drove through a lot of beach towns today.  Remember yesterday when I said that I found my retirement community in Manhattan Beach because it was chic yet unpretentious?  Well, if I win the lottery and decide that pretentious is really what I’m in need of, I found that ideal retirement area today.  Oh my gosh, Laguna Beach is spectacularly beautiful.   Even the picnic area was ostentatious.  It had an amphitheater style picnic areas so that all tables had a clear view of the ocean.  Oh my goodness, it was gorgeous.

We were going to finish the ride in Dana Point tonight but they were covering so many miles in such good time that we went all the way to the San Clemente Pier.  Joey is a triathlete and finished way ahead of everyone else.  Keith would have also but he decided to ride a few extra miles out and back when he got lost at the end of the day.  We had some ice cream on the pier and then headed to our host church tonight, The Heritage Christian Fellowship.  I apparently had a little miscommunication with my contact and so he was not here and no one here knew we were coming.  We chatted over the phone and he gave me the rundown which included making ourselves scarce until 8:30 when the two activities going on here finished up.  I was a bit miffed about this and felt badly for everyone else as we had to go locate and pay for showers.  We went to dinner, got more ice cream and did our grocery shopping for tomorrow before heading back.  After talking by phone to Toby again, I felt a little more comfortable with the housing situation and we got settled for the night.  Everyone who is here is very nice and gracious and we so appreciate that they are letting is stay in their beautiful church.

Once again everyone else is sound asleep and sawing logs as I type this but I made a commitment to myself to not get behind on blogging this time.  Shane asked me an interesting question this morning as we went to get breakfast at the “Best Donuts”  (they might not have been lying.  And “haven’t you heard, never rob a bank across the street from the world’s best donuts?”)  He asked me if I am always up so late and awake so early - I am also the first one up every morning so that I do not get in their way as they get ready.  I do stay up late at night and get up a lot earlier than I have to for work but I think the reason it is so extreme on this ride is that I like to reflect during the quiet time. (although it is NOT quiet - there is stereo snoring going on.)  I am so energized by this experience that I am not tired.  I do not want to see it end tomorrow but I do know that the memories and things I have seen and learned will carry with me for a long time.

On that note, I better get this posted and hit the air mattress that we finally figured out my ‘sleep number’ on for the last night (84.)

See ya at the Beach!

San Clemente Pier

Happy Anniversary Carl & Leisa!

SAG Selfie of the day!  Kamrie joined SAG for part of the day!

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