Tina and I went down to Solvang last weekend. She was doing the Solvang Double Century, riding 200 miles in one day. I was there to climb Figueroa Mountain, a considerably shorter ride.
The wildflowers were the highlight of both of our days. I’ve posted pictures of my ride here, including some nice ones of the flowers that I saw.
Tina sent an e-mail to her friends describing the experience, and she let me post it here:
I’m home, exhausted but satisfied (I think). I finished the Solvang Double, 200 miles and lots of butt butter and even more advil. A complication was I got my period the night before. As you can imagine, this was less than optimal on a variety of levels—physical, emotional, time at portapotties, etc. The on-bike time was around 13 hr, but Steve (my very gracious ride buddy who stuck with me!) and I were on the course from 5 am until 9 pm. A very long day in the saddle. It took all the mental strength I had to hold myself together and finish with at least a shred of dignity, but I think I accomplished that, at least.
I learned from the experience that I was physically trained and ready for this, but mentally you never quite know what’s going to happen. The key is to stay focused, in the moment, be your own internal cheerleader instead of non-stop critic, and grind it out! I am stronger and more resilient than I knew :)
The best part of the day was WILDFLOWERS! They were everywhere—blanketing most hillsides and roadsides in vivid yellow, orange, purple, magenta. I haven’t seen this amazing of a bloom in over 10 yr, maybe ever. The privilege of riding my bike in the presence of their beauty overwhelmed me with joy almost to the point of tears! (Told you I was emotional) It gave me hope that we humans have not completely ruined the planet (yet). Mike was on his own ride (which had more climbing than my double) and got some great photos which he’ll post soon.
Enough philosophical stuff…Mike said minutes before Steve and I pulled into the finish, a SAG wagon pulled up loaded to the gills with bikes. He said it could have been a clown wagon at the circus with all the DNF riders piling out :) And all of them were guys…That image cracks me up and makes me even happier that I completed. It never was an option not to finish, in my mind.
Onward to Davis on May 17. I’m hoping for a shorter and less trying day, but I will deal with whatever comes down the road.
Tailwinds and cheer! Tina