The Grand Fondo

Sunday is Fun Day!

Sunday was another morning where the alarm went off before 5:00 a.m. I didn't mind getting up for something fun. I met Stacy, Mary, Beth and Elaine in Little Italy. Today was the Italian style celebration of cycling. Complete with Italian cyclists who spoke very little English. The ride was 100 miles. You wouldn't believe the amount of boys we dropped along the way. Remind me....I have a bunch of "I drop boys" stickers I want to share. Mary did a great job securing us a stellar 6:30 am meeting spot, her friend's downtown apartment. Who is so kind to let 5 girls and their bikes descend upon them at 6:30 in the morning? Did I mention that when I get together with the girls my voice gets higher,louder, and I giggle incessantly? Hope that guy is still Mary's friend.
We headed out to the start line at 7:00. They were releasing cyclists in waves.... We got stuck in the third wave. We were to busy chatting to push forward. Anyway we were just fine with starting in the back ...until we heard the first pack was being escorted out by Ferrari's and Ducati's. Beth was quick to note this was all wrong.... Certainly the five of us should be escorted out by the Ferrari's. What could they have been thinking? Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't follow us the whole time.
The ride was great conversation pace for the first 40 miles. Mostly, I kept asking where we were and if we were in the neighborhood where all the houses were on sale for half price? As if the half price sale would narrow things down. The beginning was a bit of uglyville. That was ok though; we had lots to talk about. Soon the scenery changed. We went through all these cool areas I had never been. There were new developments with well marked bike lanes and pavement smooth as a baby's bottom. One aid station was at the Olympic Training center in Chula Vista. I always wanted to check it out as I have an obsession with the Olympics. I thought about Mary's list of 25 random things and how she missed the Olympic trials for swimming by 2/100 of a second. Wow...what an accomplishment and a heartache. I love hanging out with these girls. I feel like even if we haven't known each other very long, we get each other. There is a lot of support and respect among us. Besides we share the same tan lines.
We left the Olympic Training center and the riding got even better. Soon we were at Honey Springs Road. I thought of Tim. He has been eyeing this road on the map for so long and wondering what it is like. I missed riding with Tim today. He was working. Tim's really good at picking up a map and inventing a new "epic" ride. I like to complain to him "I'm in pain because of you." Honey Springs road was a 7 mile climb and home of the KOM, technically the QOM...for Queen of the Mountain. Let me just say it was a hot climb. Especially for the first day of March and my water bottle was close to empty. Beth said it was 100 sure felt like it. I swear you could fry an egg on my face. We had decided that none of us were racing the climb as it was Sunday Funday. We didn't feel like doing any part of this ride as a race. However when all was said and done our "all girls tri team" dominated the boards. Had we stuck around there would have been prizes. We probably wouldn't have climbed it so fast if it wasn't for Stacy. She executed a high cadence climbing drill at the bottom for 20 minutes. Let me tell you for 20 minutes her legs spun so fast up that mountain I though my heart was going to come out my mouth. I was so relieved when it was over I didn't mind that we were only half way up the climb. We passed a fire station. I wanted to stop and spray myself with a fire hose. I thought the rest of the girls might find that disturbing so I kept pedaling. In retrospect they probably wouldn't have blinked an eye considering we all had ventured into the bushes a few miles back;)
We enjoyed water and ice at the top. It was fun visiting with others of the San Diego cycling and triathlon community....others of our kind. Elaine announced that she was in "Hell" since she hadn't been riding much since IMAZ.....She bought a house and caught up on work. We gals have busy lives. I told her "Hell" was at least 5 miles would be easier from this point forward. I am a big believer in relativity. Nothing on this ride would be more difficult than that and we survived. Mary and Beth seemed to have floated up the mountain and I don't think they even broke a sweat. It was Beth's first 100 mile ride too. These girls are impressive.
After the Honey Springs ascent we had a nice downhill and soon we were on parts of the Great Western Loop. I love the Great Western Loop. I know it backwards, frontwards and inside out but I probably can't name the names of all the roads I ride on there because I'm geographically challenged and I have exercise induced dementia. When we finished the loop, I knew the last 20miles would be through potholeville and stop sign central. We really worked together to keep each other sane and whatever we hadn't discussed in the first 80 miles we had a chance to catch up on now.
The ride actually finished at mile 98. Beth wanted to get 100 miles in to complete her first century. I admire that and was relieved Mary volunteered to ride with her. As much as I love to ride I was really excited to shed my salty attire sit down on something other than my bike seat.
What an epic weekend.

No comments: