Hard to believe it’s finally here after all these years of carrying around the “someday I’ll ride my bike across country.” “Someday” was today.
And today felt surreal. As I started riding, I had to remind myself numerous times that I was actually in the process of riding my bike across the country. Here’s the recap of Day #1 adventures:
We set up the Moxie Ride RV in the parking lot of Sports Basement across from Crissy Field in SF. Fabulous friends and family came to see me off, including my mom, Allan, and my cousin Lynn from Chicago, and my husband Rob from NJ. We had champagne and they all cheered as I rode off toward the Golden Gate Bridge! What a wonderful send off!
Cousin Clare gifted me with a flower-adorned helmet. It was ridiculous (as you can see), but it had moxie all over it, so I loved it! I was greeted with smiles, waves, thumbs up, honks, and “great helmet!” the entire afternoon. Thank you for the moxie helmet, cousin Clare!
The Long Way to Novato
Novato is 24 miles from SF. A short ride seemed like a great way to kick off a 3,700 mile adventure. The day was beautiful, the hills were rolling, the wind was light. But the route was not – my bike GPS routed me all over Marin until my 24-mile ride became 50 miles! ugh. Physically I was fine, but mentally, I needed to recalibrate – I had been aiming for 25-30 miles.
Randy and his 100-lb Bike
On my way up a hill, I met Randy, a 67-year-old who is riding his bike (saddled with 100 pounds of stuff!) from LA to Canada to meet his 90-year-old parents. A year ago he was in the hospital on his deathbed. He vowed if he lived he would do this ride. O.K., I thought, what was an extra 26 miles on Day 1?
As I took off, my friend Jenny invited us to join her for dinner at her home in Novato. How serendipitous – we were headed that way. When I finally made it to their beautiful home in Novato after 4 hours with only a granola bar, I was famished. Fortunately, John was testing out his new smoker, and a magnificent BBQ awaited. I was greeted with smoked ribs and pork, salad, whole wheat pasta, and red wine. I inhaled until I could barely move. What a feast! And a total treat for our first night. Thank you Jenny & John!
Looking for Tomorrow’s Route
And now Jenny, John, Justin, Rob, and I are all scanning maps and on-line bike route applications to find out if tomorrow’s ride will be 40 miles or 80 miles. We’ve even been texting Chuck in NJ (who is up texting us back at 1:30am EST!) for his advice on the map-my-ride application. Tomorrow is bound to reveal different surprises! Stay tuned…