Sunday, January 4, 2009

Harvest Ride for Literacy - October 4, 2008

One of the really nice things about getting places by bike is that you get to see some really pretty places - you see them so much better than you do when you're speeding by in a car!

In October, Mel & I and a couple of her friends participated in the Harvest Ride for Literacy.   This was a 30 mile ride to help raise funds for adult reading education in Ventura county.  A pretty cool cause, I think.

The trail went along the Ventura Coastline - an absolutely beautiful area:

When you go on these organized rides, there's a route all planned out for you.  They give you a sheet of paper with directions, and they also paint little symbols along the route for you to follow - like this:
Our route took us along the coast, riding up Pacific Coast Highway for a ways, and even getting onto the 101 freeway for part of the ride!   That part was really scary!!    We rode past the La Conchita landslide area.   It was so strange.   People still live in the community, so it looks like it's part ghost town, part still lived in.   It was kind of creepy.    I hadn't been up in that area since the landslide happened, so this was the first time I had seen it.

Our halfway point was at Rincon State Beach.   There was a nice rest stop set up for us, with snacks and water.

This is Louise & me at the rest stop.

The view from the rest stop was beautiful - right out over the Pacific Ocean.   It was a gray and gloomy day though, and visibility didn't go out that far.

As we turned around and headed back for the last leg of the ride, disaster struck in 2 forms....   First, it started to rain.   We expected maybe a little drizzle, and had jackets for that.  But this was a DOWNPOUR.    We were getting pelted - and since it was also slightly downhill and we were riding pretty fast, those rain drops actually stung!     And then, Louise got a flat tire.   Now she's had lots of flat tires (I keep telling her she needs to slime her tires!) so she can change them pretty fast, but nothing seems fast when you're getting soaked!     She got the tire changed, and off we went again, then we found a family from the same ride sitting along the side of the road.   Apparently Junior had crashed and had a skinned knee.   Well, since Mel is a bit of a klutz (she admits it!), she was well prepared and she gave the family some Neosporin & bandaids and they got Junior fixed right up.    Off we went again...   within one mile - Louise got another flat!

That was IT!    We called SAG support, which are very nice folks who ride around in real cars and help the bikers who have trouble.    The vehicle that stopped only had room for Louise & her bike, so Maureen, Mel, & I were preparing to finish the last soggy 7 miles of the ride, when finally another SAG vehicle stopped and offered us a ride.   After a very short battle with our pride, we very gratefully accepted the offer!

So we didn't finish the whole 30 miles, but then this is supposed to be fun, right?   And we decided getting pelted with rain, soaking wet and cold is really not that fun.    But we're still planning to sign up again next year.....

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