Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 1: The Garden of Eden

100 miles down...4347 to go...

Travel:What a day! After dipping our tires into the Pacific Ocean, the seven of us tore off along the Pacific Coastline for an unpredictably eventful day. With family watching and Romy fretting, we biked along the scenic coast under overcast skies for a a few hours, attempted to follow scribbled directions provided to us by the ever-selfless Austin Keeley. When it became apparent that the directions were faulty (not to mention illegible) our team moved to a more modern innovation for navigational support: the iPhone. Despite an unlucky first hour that included four punctured tires (known as tubes) and a few wrong turns, the 2010 FACE AIDS Bike Team fought their way to the outskirts of downtown San Francisco by 12:00PM, and rode as fast as they could to Pier 41 to board the 12:45 ferry that would take them to Vallejo.

In the rush, however, our energetic team was accidentally split into three groups, one of four riders, a pair, and a lone wolf, all attempting to make the departure time. Granting new meaning to the seemingly archaic "trolley dodger" description from the Brooklyn of yore, Shane, Claire, Sanford, and Jason led the charge down Mission Street. Meanwhile, Kirsten and Mike chose to take a more scenic route of San Francisco, touring the city that our Stanford representatives have become familiar with in the past year. On his own was the indomitable Zane, who blazed his own path to the ferry via alleyways and rooftops. In the end, our heroes made it to the ferry with moments to spare, all reuniting on the gangway. Zane volunteered to be the afternoon's driver and he sped off in our white van known as the Mystery Machine.

After a relaxing ferry ride, we chose to bike 20 miles to Fairfield before breaking for lunch. With cows roadside and an awe-inspiring landscape to distract team navigators, we took a somewhat circuitous route to lunch, stopping on W. Texas road in Fairfield and chatting with extremely friendly locals enjoying cool refreshments. During lunch our adventurers ambitiously decided to bike all the way to their campsite in West Sacramento, a journey of 75 miles in the afternoon. Watching Zane drive away from the lunch break in the van was both sombering and exciting as we clipped in (or tried to) for the long journey ahead.

While extremely difficult and long, the afternoon ride proved to be the most rewarding of the day. Filled with intellectual discussion with the law enforcement and long, flat roads through the scenic California countryside, our team was able to take in the breathtaking beauty of the state Woody Guthrie dubbed the "Garden of Eden." Finally, with tired quads and without water, our team arrived at its campsite outside of Sacramento to the pleasing view of Zane preparing a burger dinner only fit for the likes of our Face Aids Team leader Dave Evans.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great Jason, burn off some of those excess pounds!