Another restful night and early morning start. I woke up bright eyed and in the words of James Brown thought…………”I feel good na na na na na na – I knew that I would……”. I was stoked and ready for day 3. Bring on the “HILL”!!!!! Though I still hadn’t found my flashlight, I was better organized to find my “Day 3” bag with my shorts, jersey, socks, and the “lubrication” I alluded to in the Day 1 posting – “Let the Good Times Roll”.
So what’s this about lubrication, and what’s the big deal? For those of you who have never spent 8-10 hours on the road you probably haven’t experienced “saddle sores” that can arise from friction between the saddle, shorts and tender skin. Though I have done a lot of riding in the past, I had not experienced this phenomena before. In the old days, biking shorts had real chamois lining in the crotch area. Today, many shorts have a synthetic lining with some sort of gel type padding for comfort. I learned that how the padding is sewn in, and where the seams hit on my anatomy made a huge difference in the comfort level. While I tried first this saddle than that one, I kept getting rubbed in the same spot under my butt cheeks. It finally dawned on me that the common denominator was the shorts! Sure enough, the seam hit me right in that fold that was getting rubbed. Bummer thing about it was that ALL my shorts and knickers were the same brand so ALL of them had to go.
So what about the lubrication you ask? They make stuff called “chamois cream”, “chamois butter”, “Hu Ha Cream” all basically the same stuff under various names. Amongst the cyclist it is usually just referred to as “butt butter”. You apply it generously to those areas prone to rub – women know those areas that are troublesome, and men have their own “set” of problems to deal with. If applied generously at the start of the day and as needed along the way, usually no worries about the dreaded saddle sores. As team HULA believes – Hydrate, Urinate, Lubricate Always……………….
So onward with the ride……….Day 3 is RED day. All the cyclist and crew wear red to honor those living with HIV/AIDS. One would think that a simple red jersey would suffice but NOOOOOOOO! These are people who like to have fun! There was a red sequined dress, red balloon figures attached to bikes, red streamers you name it. I wore my red jersey that said “Ride Like a Girl” and that I did!! This actually turned out to be my best riding day!
The notorious hill was early on in the day – around mile 10 it started and went on for 7 miles. The motocrew cheered us on and kept us motivated with their smiles and waves, silly dances and songs. Before I knew it I was at the top. I can’t say that folks had made a “mountain out of a molehill”. Suffice it to say, I was pleasantly surprised at my effort up the hill 🙂
The next part was the most beautiful part of the whole ride. We rode down into the Capay Valley along Cache creek through little towns like Rumsey. We had a nice rest stop in a grassy shaded park near the creek after several miles of rolling down the valley. Surprise beverages here were Starbuck’s Double Shot drinks!! Not the best drinks for one attempting to keep hydrated, though tasty and provided a little “kick” to just us on into the next stop for lunch.
All of the food for meals was catered. Lunches were sandwiches and chips or salad, drinks and usually cookies and fruit. These were not your basic sandwiches – portabello mushroom and roasted red pepper, roasted chicken with bacon and feta cheese. Yummy stuff! Tables were set up in the shade when possible for us riders to sit down and eat, and ice chests were full of ice cold drinks to rehydrate our bodies while we fueled them with food. Crew members filled our bottles with ice and water and never missed reminding us to wash our hands before we did anything near the food.
Our destination for Day three was Woodland High School and I arrived with my riding “mate” and Aussie friend Shannon, with ample time to get signed up for massages and chiropractic. The school was nice and new, and the locker rooms and showers were way above the previous nights accommodations!
I grabbed some water for rehydration and set up my REI Half Dome tent on the grass in close proximity to at least 3 others just like it. Peter who was crewing, showed up and drove Shannon and I to the market to get a nice cold one. Since we were on a school campus there was to be no alcohol allowed and a cold brewski sounded oh so refreshing!!
We had a nice dinner with lots of carbs once again. Some of the riders and crew had family and friends came to join them for dinner and the evening show. It was fun to see the children and spouses of the people I had been getting to know over the last 3 days. It added a new and deeper level of “knowing” who they were.
The evening speaker was a young man who was born HIV +. He spoke about what it was like to feel different and alone, and what it was like to sit in school and listen to what other kids said about people with HIV and listen to what was being taught about HIV and AIDS and how wrong the information was. He lost his mother to AIDS when he was a young teen, and he talked about what it was like to lose the one person he was closest to, could talk openly with, and who understood what he was going through. Listening to him speak was both touching and humbling, and reaffirmed my reason for riding – to support programs like Sunburst Projects which provides support services to families affected by HIV/AIDS. Each year they hold a camp for kids, and this young man had gone to that camp. “Camp Sunburst provides coping skills and support for youth as they face the challenges of growing up with HIV/AIDS.”
After the speaker there were awards and thank you’s to the people who planned and organized the ride and then a Drag Queen Show. It was a later night for us, and lots of sleepy eyes as the events wound down, and one by one we all disappeared into our nylon cocoons outside, or onto mats on the gym floor.
Another satisfying day………How quickly the time has gone! Tomorrow we ride into the Capital for the closing ceremonies.