Riding through familiar entrails, tentacles included….

June 19, 2010

This is an updated/additional version of the post below, meant to include some extra stories and photos of the first leg of the trip with Jess down around the bay.  As you can see from the blue sky photo below, I left on an amazingly beautiful day.  My dear friend Liza escorted me up the very familiar Tunnel Rd. with my extremely heavy and oddly packed bike.  Of course, I had not really tried to actually put everything in its proper place in my panniers up until the moment I was leaving that morning, so my weight was all askew.  As heavy as my bags where, nothing could compare to the heaviness I felt in my heart leaving everyone behind.   The Bay Area has been AMAZING to me these last few years and I feel so deeply rooted with my life and friends there.  It is most certainly where I call home.  So….perfect time to leave and have an adventure!!

I met Jess out on the other side of Palomares, where she handed off a warm burrito fresh from International Blvd., and we continued on together to find an old campsite I had stayed at before just outside Sunol.  The next day we leisurely spent drinking tea in the morning and getting our girl talk on, before heading out through Sunol and up over Calaveras Rd, definitely a highlight of the Bay Area as far as roads go.  I was spoiled to the max with Jess’s muffin spouting bag and constant reminders to stop and eat and drink.  My nervous and excited energy just had me wanting to ride, ride, ride.  We snaked through San Jose and made a late stop at Mike’s Bikes in Los Gatos so Jess could swap some very well-loved and worn down cleats of hers.  From there we made our way to the outskirts of a reservoir and bedded down in a grove of Eucalyptus, set with an insect orchestra.  I don’t know what I get more excited for these days…to sleep or get up and ride the next morning!

The next day was oh so glorious, riding on new roads up and over to Capitola to stay with a friend.  Matty and his roommates were the most excellent hosts and after a (naturally) debaucherous evening of drinking and card games, sure as the sun, Jess and I were up and on the road heading down the coast on the 1…well, after we took many side detours up and around some strenuous Santa Cruz hills and neighborhoods, where we eventually had what would be my first of several bike escorts to get back on track.  I love the bike community!  Our plan was to ride down the coast and meet Lauren, where I would have to hand off Jess and give some final squeezes for a while to familiar bodies…that is if all of the strawberry, brussel sprout and other various produce fields would stop distracting us!

The day ended with Jess, Lauren and I on a beach, eating some traditional Greek food Lauren had learned to cook up down in Santa Barbara.  We lingered as the sun went down… swimming, laughing, smoking and tackling one another into the sand like 8 year olds who don’t know what to do with all of the strange energy and emotions coursing through, quite appropriately.  Eventually I had to make the break and use the last little bit of sunlight to head further down the coast.  I was followed by the black bug back to the 1, Jess out the sun roof, blasting tunes that we have sun along to together for years.  Yes indeed, I was choking back tears and singing at the top of my lungs AND riding at the same time.  There was a brief stop at the corner, where I grabbed an extra bungee from the trunk and they slipped some mase into my bag (I’ve never carried something like this before, but want for me to carry it), then I turned right heading south.  I rode on into the night, truly feeling for the first time no one hugging me, no one holding me, no one calling after me.  I felt ready and incredibly free, all of my preparation seemingly coming down to this very moment.  It felt perfect and right.  I knew right then and there, this was exactly where I wanted to be…on my bike, heading down a road unknown.

The very lovely Lizabean...

Santa Cruz

Strawberry patch...don't mind if I do!

Beach time...

We were heading in the same direction...

Jess and Lauren

There won't be a day that goes by that I won't think about you. I love you Lauren.

Soup: carrots, kale, onions, dried Mongolian goat. Yes...dehydrated Mongolian goat, a gift given to me by Lauren's student Ponga. The entire goat fit in one ziplock bag and weighed very little. Ponga says it is filled with all sorts of vitamins and protein and is easily boiled down into anything. It is....gamey. But delicious with hot sauce.

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