Saturday, March 7, 2009

Journey to Jacumba

Today we went from Alpine to Jacumba, both in California. The ride was in the beautiful, but dry and stark Southern California mountains. Lots of long uphills, with a headwind most of the day. Made my glad I drove the sag wagon today!! When driving the sag wagon, you have to keep track of all 21 bicyclists so that you can be sure to set up your stops ahead of the lead riders, when possible. Some riders started out at 7:30, the last not until 8 a.m.

The first rest stop was around 9 miles into the ride. I stopped at a park-n-ride, next to which was a staging point for an antique car club's Saturday ride. There were lots and lots of fun old cars. I thought it was a great spot to have our first sag for the day because people could take a break and check out the cars. As luck would have it, the cars left for their ride just as the riders started arriving. Oh well. The first rider got there around 9 a.m. The last one around 10:30. Then I drove back and found the last, last rider and gave her a ride for a few miles to the diner which had great pie. Bought a piece of apple pie to go for my lunch. It lived up to its billing!

My second sag stop was around 30 miles into the trip at the top of a very long grind. Connie (on the left) and Laurey (on the right) were comparing culinary skills with peanut butter and bread. No contest - Laurey won best presentation. Of course, given my distaste for peanut butter I thought they both needed more work.

Finally ended the sag day around 4 p.m. Thought I was done earlier after taxiing two tired souls to the hotel, but had to then find a gas station to fill up Little Bo Peep (the name of the car), and on the way back to the hotel had a call that one of the last riders had a flat about four miles from the hotel. By the time I got there, Ann (yesterday's sag driver) had come across Robin and was helping her learn to change her tube. My major contribution was to hand Robin the floor pump to use to pump up the tire (anyone who has used a frame pump knows how exhausting it can be).

Jacumba is right on the border with Mexico. In this picture you can see the wall protecting us from ......... what. I won't extemporize any further. Those of you who know me know what I think about this national shame.

The hotel is funky. There isn't much to Jacumba except the hotel, grocery store, school and library. The hotel has a huge hot tub (which I just don't have time to enjoy) and funky stucco walls and ledges instead of end tables and dressers. We had a mexican-style dinner cooked up by Linda, cook extraordinaire and Lois, sous chef supreme, both of whom rode during the day (Lois was in the lead pack). Dinner is served buffet style on two long folding tables, and we grab white plastic resin chairs and sit in a semi-circle. After we eat, we wash our dishes. (The other sag drivers share pot and pan scrubbing duties.) Michelle, our trip leader, then hands out the next day's maps and gives us a brief rundown on what to expect. I then tried to auction the various articles of clothing left in the sag wagon, but was set upon by the owners of the items. It is quite chilly at night and I guess they wanted them back. Oh well, maybe next time.

Will end now and get ready for the bike to Brawley tomorrow. It's supposed to by 66 miles, mostly downhill or flat, with a headwind.

I miss Peter and Brody. Both are home and enjoying (?????) mud season.
I miss my dad too.


Thom Kelley said...

Are you in Kerrville yet? Hope the ride goes smoothly tomorrow!
I'm loving hearing your adventures. Mom is enjoying it too. I'm sure you've gotten emails from her.

I miss dad too. :(

Irene Gaffigan said...

Not to worry Nancy, it is snowing today - 4-5 inches. Mud season came and left.

You miss your dad and I miss Jim.


Margaret said...

Hey Nancy - I have been sitting on my gel bike seat and thinking about you. Maybe for my birthday I will get a bike. Love your pictures and please keep up the mileage reports.
Jich is looking over my shoulder he said GO GIRL!

Love Margaret