I had a great time on the Lifecycle this year. I was significantly faster than last by about a half an hour a day-- all my training really worked out for me. I can't imagine that I'm gonna see similar gains next year, but we'll see how I do. I liked tenting by myself but it wasn't as much fun as tenting with Wanderson. I was up and gone before any of the people tenting around me were up so it was kind of isolating. Thankfully, it's hard to be alone on the Lifecycle so that didn't last too long. I've already registered for next year and I'm looking forward to it. I've got a lot of training to do.
I think I hit it too hard out the gate and felt it for the rest of the day. Rest stop 1 didn't have the snacks I wanted and the substitutes had a lot fewer calories and that threw me off too. They have these peanut butter and jelly graham cracker sandwiches that I've only seen on the Lifecycle and are pretty much genius. They have so many calories and they're so easy to eat that you can get down a 200 calories without even needing a drink. The roadies who work the rest stops call them 'crack bars' and I'm very, very attached to them. I tried not to let me inner rage surface as I coughed down some Clif bars and got back on my bike. Thankfully, they had them at rest stop 2 so Christmas was saved. I was 2nd in after Elliott at 12:15 (I think). I threw a huge fit in bike parking because they put the fast riders the farthest from the start which was a potential disaster if a lot of riders showed up really early. I'll freely admit that I'm more than a little afraid of being in the middle of a huge pack of bikes in a city with a lot of turns and stop signs when it's wet. Thankfully, Christine didn't bitch slap me. We headed into town for lunch and had burritos which were awesome. It's gay pride weekend in Santa Cruz and it puzzles me that the Lifecycle doesn't do anything with that.
Elliott came in first on Day 1. Here he is delighted about it:
I managed to get out early on Day 2 and I was happy about that because there were many accidents in Santa Cruz on Day 2. Rest stop one once again didn't have the snacks I wanted so I decided to not stop at rest stop 1 anymore. It's so early in the day and I haven't needed to stop there for a long time but it's something I've been doing forever. 2014 is this year I let go of things that I don't need and rest stop 1 is one of those things. I went off on some rider who had done something super dangerous and the problem with that is there aren't so many riders at the front of the pack so I had to keep seeing him all day. And he tented by me. Awkward. But I didn't feel bad about it because the fast riders tend to start acting like I'm on their bike team and that isn't the case. I've got no patience for their crappy riding style at all and I'm not gonna apologize for that. I had dinner and went to bed. Long ass day. I took more pics on Day 2 than I did the rest of the ride. It's hard to take pics on the Lifecycle. Everything happens too fast!
I like Day 3 and was pleased how well I did on the big hill. I skipped the first rest stop for the first time ever and thought that it worked out really well for me. I got in and headed for lunch and then checked in at the hotel. After we got out luggage I headed for the pool and realized that when you're asking yourself if you're too old to wear a particular bathing suit than you already know the answer. I managed about 20 minutes with way too little coverage for age 43 and then changed into the backup suit I'd wisely brought.
I felt great and was like a rocket up the hill in the morning and was the first to the top. I was strong for the rest of the day and was in camp at 12:30. I went and got some lunch and waited for camp stuff to open. I snapped at the kitchen manager which I only sort of regret. I asked what was vegan and that turned out to be a surprisingly complicated question. No shade, but the kitchen guy sounded like Big Gay Al from Southpark. The first time he said "What a great question! Thank you so much for asking!" I thought he was making fun of me I think that might not have been it. He said it again and I told him he needed to stop that immediately. He looked shocked/hurt but who the fuck talks like that in real life? What was that? sarcasm? was he hitting on me? what? I made a mental note not to ask anybody about anything in the food lines again. Also, I concluded I'd barked at enough people for one Lifecycle and I needed to keep my mouth shut.
Me in Santa Maria on Day 4:
I wasn't crazy about my day 5 outfit of red shorts and jersey. People go to a lot of work on theirs and I did not. Also, I didn't have red leg warmers which was a mistake because it was very cold. I wore the black ones which was a fashion disaster. I need to up my game in 2015. I wanted to linger and take pics in camp but it was so cold I got on my bike and started moving. Rest stop 2 was also cold so I headed into Lompoc and was there by 9:30. I hung out at Starbuck until Wanderson and Bill showed and we had lunch. I picked up some food before heading back to camp and I was glad that I did because dinner was a complete disaster and the only thing I could eat was baked potatoes with A-1 steak sauce on them. A little grim, but I've had trouble finding food on the Lifecycle before. I've discovered that in fact you can live on the pretzels stuffed with peanut butter. Good to know. Some of the other vegans were super pissed but I think it's on them not to be prepared given the choices we'd had all week.
Everything went pretty well on Day 6 but only just. I almost had a bad accident out of rest stop 2 and managed to not go off on the idiot whose water bottle flew off his bike and hit me. I got in nice and early and got into the hotel and went out for lunch and then hooked up with Wanderson and Bill and then met Elliott for drinks. It was a fun day. I love day 6.
I felt great and had a good ride. I got in at 9:30 and got my shirt and put on headphones and ran every stop sign on my way to the Hertz in Westwood. My first choice gym to get cleaned up was closed so I went to the one at West Hollywood and then went to lunch> Here I am looking glazed and embalmed:
I headed back to the VA and picked up my bags and then parked at the Grove, which is a crappy shopping center, and then went to LACMA. I love LACMA and had so much fun walking around. I think I like the architecture there better than any of the art. Here are some pics:
My favorite thing of the day was the gloriously wacky Japanese Pavilion which is imaginative and fabulous and crazy and I loved it:
Me at LACMA:
I loved LACMA. When compared vs getting on a shuttle at the close and going home, renting a car and spending the day running around LA is insanely expensive. But I had so much fun I'm totally going back next year. I wasn't as crazy about the shopping and am thinking about skipping that next year and just doing the museum stuff. Or the Getty or the Getty Villa. I got to the airport about 7PM and as much as I love Southwest, I'm never flying them out of LA again because the terminal they are in has terrible food choices and I needed to eat pretty much constantly. I got home at 10:30 and Mr. Poe picked me up. We went home and went to bed. The dogs were happy to see me and I was happy to see my bed. What a week!.