Today has been pretty fabulous, I woke up today around 4:45 in the morning. Didn't really sleep to well in the tent, but with a little coffee in me and a meal, I was good to go!
We headed out around 6:45, we were leaving Santa Cruz and then we came across this place called the Ugly Mug in Soquel that offers free coffee to riders, at least one day a year! And, apparently it's the cafe owner's favorite day of the year, so there was some coffee and some dance music going. I probably killed an hour, actually, between coffee & waiting for the toilet.
After that I tried to make up for lost time, and I was cruisin'. Today I broke the 2000 mile mark on my odometer, that's over 2000 miles since January. Today was 107.5 miles, and did that in 6.5 hours, an average of 16.5 miles per hour, which is actually my fastest ride ever, but I think I'd have to put an asterisk and a "wind assisted" next to that time if we put it in the record books, because it was quite windy out there! Yeah, and that was definitely helping out the second half of the ride. I was easily, you know, pedaling more than 20 to sometimes mid-30's miles per hour just on the flat ground. It was a pretty flat ride actually.
Got in to the campground 5:25 which is a little bit later than yesterday, but for reference I spent the same amount of time in the saddle today as yesterday and biked an extra 30 miles.
So, another treat today was deep fried artichokes, which were really good. It was just a gorgeous ride today, riding through strawberry fields which smelled so good, and cabbage fields, artichoke fields, vineyards, mountains, everything!
So, as for the themes of the rest stops: rest stop 1 was a good morning/sleepover kind of theme. rest stop 2 was Muppets, in space perhaps? Lunch stop had a farm theme, everyone was dressed up as farmers, which was appropriate. Rest stop 3 had a Pan-Am/ALC airlines/flight attendant kinda theme. The water stop at Mission Soledad, where they had Auto Pops, was a burning man, kinda raver theme, and rest stop 4 was a jail theme.
There was also an informal stop at mile 89, with a "cookie garden" where we could get some cookies and milk that some people made, and that was pretty awesome.
One thing that's true is that kids love the riders, there were a group of kids in Santa Cruz that were giving us all high-fives on the way out. And some people were giving us Twizzlers in Salinas, I think. Anyway, there's definitely a lot of love for ALC Riders.
Another cool thing is there's a rider I met yesterday named (Bru?), who is riding from the Ivory Coast, and then today we found out that there's a contingent here from the Ivory Coast here that's learning all about the logistics, and they're trying to set up a ride in the Ivory Coast in 2010 called the Hope LifeCycle, which is a pretty cool thing to check out, and something to think about for the future.
I think that's about it, so tomorrow we're riding...”
“The one thing my tent-mate & friend Kate mentioned earlier today, at the beginning of the ride really, was that in previous rides on this day she came to rethink really how she treats food, especially produce.
That's something that I noticed today also during the ride, watching the strawberry pickers hunched over in the fields pretty much all day. Strawberries, cabbage, artichokes, these are all different kinds of produce that can't be machine harvested like corn or soybeans or wheat, it's a manual process, so the farm workers are paid very little, so it makes sense not to waste your food.
You think of strawberries that tend to go bad pretty quickly, someone worked pretty hard to pick those strawberries, you have to be sure to appreciate them all you can. But also these are farm workers who might have to be working in plants that were sprayed with pesticides, and assuming they work all day for several months of the year,
working with those pesticides can't possibly be good for you, or good for them anyway. So I think it makes sense that even if you don't think that, if you don't care what chemicals go into your body, you might think of the chemicals that are going into other people's bodies because there are workers who picked it. So it's a good case for eating organic fruits and vegetables.”