Thursday 3 October 2013

Day 6 into The Mill LA

Leaving the beach for our final FFW day...
We headed off across the last patches of agriculture to the Santa Monica mountains and our last stretch of PCH. Mostly stuck together as a team, final perks of spending 6 days together, our ranks swelled in numbers by guest riders joining for the final day. Tara and Rani came to join the fun :)

And with all the chit chat (and a nature break!) we were soon at the turning off PCH for the Mulholland highway and climbing upwards into the heat. Tara and I took it slow and steady, clicking off the miles and marvelling at the beauty until we topped out and it was time for the fun few miles of steep descent down Kanan Dume and into lunch at Paradise Cove. Followed swiftly by more PCH rollers and bike paths along Venice and Ballona Creek through LA to Father's Office, our meetpoint for beers and ice creams all round before the final roll into The Mill.

Smiles all round, we rode, we made it. Time to party. Thank you to all my supporters. Please continue to help us towards our $250,000 goal to help those who suffer.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Day 5 into Ventura

O.M.G.- a day 5 to live and love forever. The climbing from Solvang was amazing, the old Stagecoach road hosting us winding stream of red blood cells ever upwards. And then the San Marcos descent, looking down over ranked decks of agriculture to the sea - that was amazing too. As was the twisty, turny Mountain Drive route across the top of Santa Barbara and into Montecito. Great fun day.

Then it was FF Dinner time - where we show why we are doing the ride. Can't believe it's almost over... :( We celebrated little 14 yr old FFW legacy Lucie, the daughter of my FFW friend Mick, who rode her first full day with the Westies. We cried, we sang, we had our hearts in our sleeves. Just got the last "For those who suffer...we ride!" morning chant to go....

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Day 4 into Solvang

Again, bountiful sun aplenty...sense a theme here?!

We rode out of Cayucos a neat, tight unit after the Hope chapel photo call... A bunch of old ladies were pretty good to the cause in the breakfast room, giving checks and cash to City Of Hope and waving us off.

And then it was another beautiful ride - through farmland and up into wine country, taking in canyoned hills, seeing a tarantula on the road, and even stopping just outside Solvang for a celebratory tipple.

And then it was steak time at The Hitching Post. To bed happy and full!

Monday 30 September 2013

Day 3 into Cayucos

My oh my what a beauty of a day. Last year the weather was all fogged in and we couldn't see a thing. But this year...glorious coastline in full view. Wonderful rolling climbs, a waterfall, sea lions barking, elephant seals lolling on the sand at San Simeon... A perfect day on the bike. It was hard to justify our 'suffering' tag today, but the people I am riding for were in my heart as my mind got blown by nature.

And when we arrived in Cayucos, our biggest fan was waiting at Hoppe's bistro with her handmade sign - waitress Anita Chanel. What a legend.

Saturday 28 September 2013

Day 2 into Big Sur

Another beautiful day in cycledom! Rollers and ridges through Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea to the amazing place that is Big Sur.

It was hot and somewhat breezy at times, so there were some sketchy descents, but everyone was safe and well.

Frederic started the day with the basket award for some heavy drinking last night! And Rose didn't have cause to use her pig honker today...

Day 1 - let's roll

To Goodby for brekkie.  1st hill climb - California St! (Photo credit: Warren Kommers)

We have awesome kit this year...great jerseys and caps by Mick H, plus natty socks! And we ride with our loved ones' names in our back pockets.

(Photo credit on me: David Weiner, support van legend)

The weather is stunning, and the rolling day to Santa Cruz included hungry cyclists' pizza lunch rewards, plus a strawberry stop...

A delicious day one... :)

San Fran

Locking and loading - riding up with the support vans this year...

The great valley road up, the I-5, with a lunch stop at Harris Ranch, home to a lot of cattle!

And then finally SF loomed into view across the Bay Bridge :)