Woke up this morning to turn on my email away message and then stuff my jersey full of assorted gels and bars, each a stinging reminder of Ironman days. Minutes later, I rolled my bike outside (oh yeah, it sleeps with me), to smell the unmistakable peace of the morning's ocean.
The 16 of us making this trip together posed for a photo on the beach. I took part in the traditional ceremony of "dipping your wheels" into the tide's wash. Then we were off. The goal? Ventura, CA a mere 76 miles away. We pedaled South along the beach for a while, glassy rights distracting me along the way. Soon enough, we turned left up into a farm belt, rolling past orchards of oranges and fields of ripe pepper harvests.
Our group has a handful of very strong riders and I was impressed by how hard some of them charged it today. You know me, I couldn't back off either so we took some turns pulling off the front and cranking 23-28 MPH. The route was well chosen and, at that pace, we were done quickly, allowing me to watch my beloved Buffalo Bills back in the hotel.
Fingers crossed that Advil works it magic and I find strong legs again with me tomorrow. But, for now, I couldn't be happier about how we kicked off this adventure.