Day 6, Friday May 19

This was our second-longest day, 90 miles (the Day 1 was 93 miles). We rode *down* out of Lake Cachuma, back west along 154 to 246 (the hwy that Solvang is off of), because the 154 east of where we were is known as "Death Alley". For some reason we weren't allowed to ride on that. While long, this was a nice day; a bit cool and not very sunny, but perfect riding weather. The downhill out of the Solvang hills was *great*, but the highway shoulders were not always..existent. There were 5 bridges where the shoulder became about 2 inches wide, and we were instructed to stop and wait for any large trucks which would pass us to pass before starting to cross the bridge -- a *very* wise idea, as I noticed how close normal cars were coming. yikes! We started riding on the shoulder of Hwy 101 at Buellton, up the Gaviota Grade (a 4-mile hill, just at the bottom of my 1st gear luckily). That was *tough*, but do-able. We then had some rolling hills through Refugio Beach and El Capitan Beach State Parks, which flattened out as we approached Santa Barbara. Lunch was on the campus of UCSB, and I managed to hit that during the 15 minutes that the sun *was* out! The campus has great bike paths though, and we completely overloaded them. We rode through Santa Barbara, stopping for SAG 4 at Chase Palm Park, then along side roads which are slightly above the freeway, through Summerland and Carpinteria. SAG 5 was on the Rincon Parkway campgrounds; we were in the parking area along a wall which went straight down to the water, and the spray from the waves hitting this wall occasionally came up higher than we were (not an insignificant height!!). That of course generated a lot of "ooooooh!"s. We then rode along Hwy 1 for a while, then took the beach bike path into San Buenaventura State Beach, in the city of Ventura. It was great to get back down to the beach; the allergies of the last few days completely disappeared! It was windy and a bit cold, but still a great night. This was our Talent Show night, and after the normal 7:30 announcements and route report for the next day we saw several acts...Most of them funny, most of them actually requiring some talent! The MCs were a couple of comedians on the professional circuit, and were quite good. Also, Pat Christianson (Exec. Director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and fellow rider) spoke, as well as Jeffrey Goodman's parents, Jeff's brother (also a fellow rider), and Dan Palotta, the man who first envisioned putting this ride together. Dan is always a very impassioned speaker, very moving, and Pat is a very down-to-earth, wonderful (and funny) woman. She told us that she had overheard a couple riders at one of the SAG stops talking: the first rider was telling the second that a "breeder" had been riding with them for a while during the last leg. "Really! wow... how many of them do you think there are here??" "Oh, I don't know... maybe about 30 or 40?" "Hmmmm, I think it's more than that...maybe even about 20 percent!!!" "Wow! They're *everywhere*!!" (laughter from the audience). heh heh. I also just about embarassedd Lise to death....she, Kitty, Linda, Julie, Angie, and I were talking about how close Lise and Judith Light were ("we're like *this*! (fingers crossed)), but how Lise wasn't going to go up and hang out w/ her just now because Judith was kindof busy with all these other people around her. So after about 5 minutes of this I get up, go over to Judith and tell her that I've got a friend at the next table over who would just about die if she went over to her, put her arm around her, and said "where have you been, I've been looking all over for you??" Well, Judith was getting her leg/knee massaged at that point (no, not in the masage tent, this is at dinner), and really couldn't walk anywhere, but she did say that if my friend came over she'd be happy to say hi...Note: Judith did the whole ride, every mile I believe, but she really thrashed her knees doing it, as several people did. So, I went back to our table, and by this time they all had realized that I'd gone over to talk to Judith, and were just about doubled over laughing, trying to guess which one of them I was going to try and pull over there. Of course it was Lise, but she, well.....deferred. She claimed that after all that they'd been saying for the last 15 minutes she couldn't possibly meet Judith and keep a straight face. *grin* So I went back over to Judith that said friend of mine was a little too close to "dying" to come over just then, so Judith offered a standing invitation of "well, whenever she's ready, just tell her to come on over!" *grin* I got whacked when I rejoined the group...*bounce*.

Back to the ride report