Day 1, Sunday May 14

So, Dwayne and I woke up (far too early for me, but that was soon to change) at about 5am -- actually, Dwayne'd been awake for a couple hours already, but that's just Dwayne *smile*. We get a ride over to Fort Mason from my friend, who will take my car over to his mom's place in Moraga for safekeeping for the next couple weeks. I'll be going up there for the Memorial Day weekend, and will at that point retrieve the car. Well, we make it into Fort Mason with our bags, in the morning rain/mist, wave goodbye to car, friend, and car/house keys (that was realized at a later point, however), and move off into the Festival Pavilion, to get breakfast and the bikes. Breakfast consisted of (and continued to consist of for the next week) eggs, some form of hash browns/potatoes, sausage/bacon, oatmeal, dry cereal, bananas, melons, bagels/muffins, and yogurt. I quickly developed an oatmeal/muffin/coffee morning routine (the bagels were pretty dry on every day but the first). I then participated in the 7am aerobic warm-up class (dwayne has an aversion to hamstring curls and knee lifts in public), retrieved my bike, and rejoined Dwayne as we all lined (well, in this case, it *wasn't* a line) up to exit the Pavilion during the Opening Ceremonies. So, as we start to exit, somebody puts on that 500-mile song (you know, the "I will walk 500 miles and I will walk 500 more just to be the man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door, da-da-da-daa, da-da-da-daa, da-dada-dum dada-dum dada-dum dada-dum dada-dum....), which is on it's 3rd or 4th repetition by the time we get out the door. By which time, about 7 people have fallen because of the slick ground and the train tracks that cross right in front of the Pavilion. However, we make it out of Fort Mason w/o further incident, and stop 1.5 miles later for a staggered start (much less dangerous!). This is a 93 mile day, the longest and by most later accounts, the hardest; firstly because we're not used to the hills and the long hours, and secondly because of the weather and city-street combination. However, we wind our way around the city for a while, getting cheers from many watchers, and eventually make it out through south San Francisco, down the peninsula. It didn't take us long to realize what kind of hills we're in for that day (which they kindly didn't tell us about on the rider maps! *grin*). SAG 1 was at a hotel parking lot, no port-o-potties. Hmmm! As we soon learned, those are only found at camp and lunch (and some construction sites!) So, we overran the Jack in the Box's (across the street) bathroom, and soon the Chevy's in the same center offered the use of their facilities. Very nice of them, really. SAG 2 was at Crystal Springs Resevoir, close to our turn onto Skyline Blvd. We rode along Skyline to Hwy 92, and took a *nice* long downhill into Half Moon Bay, where we turned south along Hwy 1 to San Gregorio State Beach for lunch/SAG 3. Lunch was turkey sandwiches, couscous, a candy bar and some grandma's cookies...the "trade box" was quickly established as those who didn't want some things traded for others. We then continued on Hwy 1 through Pescadero, Ano Nuevo, Waddell, and Scott Creek Beaches. Many hills and many miles later, we drag into Santa Cruz (Soquel, actually), and start learning the routine of making camp. First: drop off bike in bike security, telling the people there your rider number (so they know you're not still out somewhere on the road, and send the troops out to find you!), get your tent, get your foam pads, set up tent, get your gear, put it in tent, and decide if you're going to eat, shower, or stand in line to make an appointment with a massage therapist or chiropracter first. Lise gets in before me, but not by much (we all did leave at close to the same time that day), and we set up the tent together with no problems. Not only is this thing fool-proof, but it turns out the two of us are rather compatable. Coolness, I got a great tent mate! And no, I didn't get proved wrong later. Dinner was BBQ chicken/tofu, salad, and some vegetable that neither Dwayne nor I can remember just now. Yum yum! the tofu was actually better than the chicken, but the chicken was really good (for having been cooked w/ the skin on..*grin*) I showered after eating, and decided that the next night, I'd shower first. Unfortunately, it started raining *again* that night, and our entertainment (pianist??) was cancelled. No problem, we were all so tired we just crawled into the tents and went to sleep. Oh...camp was on a couple of baseball fields in Soquel; our tent was pretty much at second base.

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caetta@holonet.net