Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chasing optimism

There is always a low point on a long bike ride. On this ride it comes in the Alexander Valley, with the sun blazing overhead, marginal pavement, and the wind in my face.

Yes, on the 400K we had a headwind going the other way here. Life is not fair.

Can't remember why I'm doing this.

The heat and vibration from the road are causing my feet to swell inside my shoes. Bringing nerve pain into the mix. It gets so bad I have to clip out a couple times. Electrolytes. Start taking the salt pills.

Westside Road is misery, barely rideable. Untouched by road crews in more than a decade. I'm just making for the trees and the coastal cool as fast as possible. That's all I can think about. That, and whether it's really possible to recognize specific holes and cracks in the road surface... Maybe we should start naming them.

My left cleat is squeaking with each pedal stroke. What the hell. Don't have a fix for that.

In Guerneville the patches of shade do offer some relief. In Safeway I run into another randonneur! Then a few more show up outside. After riding solo for 8 hours and 115 miles, it's good to be in a pack. Some of us have had more sleep, some less. Eighty miles to go. There's still time.

More challenges lie ahead: Bohemian Highway, traffic and endless rollers on the coast, fatigue setting in. Passing by Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone without a sticky bun.

In retaliation I take photos only of things that actually ARE how I want them to be.
The one flat section of road on Highway 1 between Valley Ford and Marshall

Location, location, location 
Heartbreakingly, inconceivably real

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