Wine country (Day One)
One of our sponsors (Nuun) makes great products. Electrolytes and energy – can’t beat it! Also, they have some great flavors. But, there is one flavor that they shouldn’t try: Bug. I ate a bug today (against my wishes) while moving at a really strong clip in a Napa Valley descent. Suffice to say that while ‘Bug’ might carry some great proteins and nutrients, it’s not very tasty. Avoid ‘Bug’ flavoring at all costs. Today we got a little turned around and wound up with a longer, steeper route than planned. Instead of a flat 58 miles, we enjoyed 77 miles with a short but steep(ish) 3,000 foot climb. We were at mile 50 when we realized our mistake. I’m glad to say that we found it funny and pushed on without turning ‘wine country’ into ‘whine country’. Kevin was…well, Kevin, because he started cataloguing the benefits that the miscue will have later on in the trip. What I remember most is him being sure that we’ll A) trust our intuition more than our GPS devices and that B) we’ll know how to deal with these things with a positive attitude in the future. I hadn’t told him about the bug yet, though. I bet he would have said the same things, though. Always does.
My favorite parts of the day involved two motorcycle-related incidents, and both involved them giving us shout-outs in different parts of our day. Both interactions were driven by our Stars and Stripes gear. A) Late in the trip, a guy riding a ‘crotch-rocket’ came up behind us, gave a loud yell, then popped a wheelie, and then rode it out for like 500 yards. It was impressive, especially since I can’t do that on my road bike. And B) THIS was really cool. Kevin and I were pulled over, trying to let the support crew know why we hadn’t arrived yet (we had just realized our mistake, route-wise) when two Hell’s Angels bikers came thundering up the hill that we’d paused upon to stop, figure our mistake and let the others know. As they rode past us, they both gave us very demonstrative ‘thumbs-up’ gestures. There was no doubt that it was because of our gear, and I for some reason doubt that they’d seen us on the news the day before.
Lessons learned on Day One: A) keep your mouth closed and bug-free during rapid descents and B) sunscreen is never a bad idea, even if it doesn’t feel hot out. Yes, burned already. Aloe, bring it on.
For the Families of the Fallen, we’ll keep going To the Limit!
Care Creates Community,