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DAY 7

[written on Day 8, Sunday June 11]

Adrenaline got me going on Day 7 after a rather anxious and impatient morning at camp (sorry Ben). It was the last day, and probably the most dangerous, riding for a good part of the day along Pacific Coast Highway from Ventura to Santa Monica. There is a very dangerous part through Malibu. Leaving Ventura, we didn’t really get organized. So I was a while behind Ben, and a little ahead of Scott and the "bunnies." Well, the "bunnies" caught me, I stuck with them, and we flew. It was frustrating that morning because the roads were so clogged. We got behind a lot of slower traffic and had to keep yelling, "On your left!" Pit stop 1 was packed and we all had to pee (a common topic during the ride … peeing) so we skipped the stop, rode a little more, and then en masse, suffered "mechanical difficulties" by a nice stand of bushes, "fixed our bikes" and continued. We had a nice paceline of about 8 – 10 guys ripping along the seaside, well over 20 miles an hour. Then lunch came and the day was, essentially, over. I took off along PCH to get through the yucky part. I was home now, streets were familiar, distances were known, landmarks recognizable. The route included San Vincente … a road I knew quite well from training. I got completely choked up when I started down San Vincente. I was home, I had just ridden all the way from San Francisco, and ridden hard. Plus the whole event is so emotional.

Day 7 Route

The "bunnies" regrouped at pit 4 (I think we were there for about 1 hours waiting). We started rolling the final bit through West LA. Thousands of bicycles in LA at 2:30 pm is not easy. We had come so far safely, and we had to be extra-careful not to crash. About mile from the end, Scott R. had a flat. That allowed us to re-group (again), and ride to the holding area together. We rode past lots of cheering folks, and into the holding area, and then parked our bikes. We were done (well, almost) and it hit us, again, what we had just done. More tears, much hugging, and a lot of whooping. A fantastic feeling. Then we ate and drank (because you eat like a pig and drink like a fish).

Finally, finally, finally all the riders went to their bikes for the closing ceremonies, mounted, and slowly rode down Avenue of the Stars. Both sides of the street were filled with cheering friends, family, etc. We got to where we could ride no further, got off our bikes, walked a little more, then stopped. And it hit me again. More tears, more hugs.

We met our friends, loaded Hanish’s car, and that was it. Sort of. I’m sure loads of things will come back at lots of different times.

So the stats, to be complete, were:

Distance – 66.83 miles (107.55 km)

Time on bike – 4:01:28

Average speed – 16.60 mph (26.72 kph)

Maximum – 39.39 mph (63.4 kph)

Day -1 Day 0 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

 

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