Wednesday, June 14, 2006

AIDS ride Day 1 San Francisco-Santa Cruz! 6/4

Up at 4:30 am. D and A, just back from their night out are still in their party clothes, including my brothers very hip utilikilt (see earlier Sam Maloof entry for more info about said kilt).
They take us to the Cow palace, the city is suprisingly clear and warm. We get dropped off in the middle of bicycle chaos. Heads whirling we drop our bags off at the gear truck, realizing we shoulda got duffels with wheels.
We are given Red helmet covers that say, "not another 25 years" and we bike out of the Cow P en masse at 7am.
Again we are gloomy to note that our bikes are big, our tires are big, we don't have clip in shoes and our clothing is thrift store chic, as opposed to the truly fantastic and glam assortment of bike wear. Several Colombians are spotted. We meet Jose, a sweet guy, HIV+, whom we love because his bike is as unwieldy as ours AND he's wearing sneakers! He's been on the ride before and he utters the immortal line, "I just never learn from my mistakes." He gives T a clip to hold his map to his bike.
THE RIDE OUT! The roadies are dressed as cows and are waving cow bells at us. Tons of people on the street are waving and hollering. Adrenaline is moving us on until... FOG! T has to stop every couple of minutes to wipe his glasses, he strikes up friendship w/ "Lenny" a man who has to be just under 7 feet. The riding is exhilirating, through the heart of S.S.F and into Daly City.
The first rest stop is soothing, except for the loud disco music that is playing and that turns out to be playing ALL the time. T is challenged, he is allergic to Cher. We apply loads of squishy Butt Butter and are introduced to P'nut Butter and jelly graham bars.. yum yum.
We keep riding through fog and make it to rest stop 2 just as it's closing (a tradition for Team Goober, as it turns out) We fill up the Gatorade tank and start up a scary hill into Half Moon bay nicknamed Carback Mountain. Traffic is constant and there is no shoulder. At the crest of this switchbacky hill there are Koto drummers (inspired) and red vines (soothing) T meets a lady who is terrified of going downhill and quits the day tthere and then... boy is she in for a few surprises! Down hill like a roller coaster and such a reward after the uphill.feels like it takes about 2 minutes to go 6 miles on a %7 grade. A little reckless, but very fun. We land in pretty valley, again with too much traffic, T is almost crushed by an RV..
We land In Half Moon bay. Lovely coastline, no nasty McMansions blotting the sea, just a few farms and lots of pretty dunes.
More Travel... getting so tired the miles just begin to blend...roll, roll, roll, spin, spin, spin.... and into Camp 1.

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