Monday, August 17, 2009

The Faceoff: P2SF vs SC2S

Day 68 - Aug 10, 1 day late
61 miles. Auburn, CA to Davis, CA

23 miles of bike paths! Finally, an easy day. Rode with Meryl, Julie, and Lara along the most awesome bike paths for just about half the day which was incredible. It felt more like a bike and build reunion rather than a real day. I couldn't help but wonder "why aren't i miserable yet?" The mental break which the path offered was really clutch. Hanging out around tons of our cycling brethren rather than our motorized counterparts was delightful.

Now that i've pretty much mastered the handless cycling i figured it was about time to take it up a notch. I've been itching to try for a while, and today i finally gave in and tried to juggle(I'm pretty experienced) while riding my bike. After a couple of rogue apples flying left and right i held a solid pattern and even switched into a mills mess! which is a crazy arm crossing pattern. The only unfortunate part is mine and Meryl's approximately 6 failed attempts at capturing it on film. I mean its not like i did it just so i could have people know about it...

Came to this decent retro style commercial strip and had some Greek Fries at the Spud Shack, which had a pretty cool concept of having just dishes of french fries with different countries as themes.

Immediately got a good vibe from Davis, especially since we're staying right next to the college. Its one of the bike friendliest cities in the country and even has bike symbols on the trash cans! Almost everyone had a bike and there was so much good infrastructure. You could tell how engrained it was in people's way of life there. Davis and other cities like it are testaments to how effective and practical cycling can be in every day life. Its really possible. Especially in NYC and other cities there tends to be such a hostile attitude between bikers and motorists. Sure there are assholes on both sides who perpetuate a negative cycle but i truly feel that its the poor bike infrastructure which keeps pitting the two groups against each other. Hmm, the gov't splitting its citizens into two seemingly different camps and having them bicker. I'm sure glad that doesn't sound familiar... Fortunately there are many strides being made by advocacy groups and govt to make biking more mainstream and part of every day life as it should be and already is in places like Europe for example.

At the host i took a sweet nap listening to my chillout music which i haven't done in a while. Unfortunately i woke up a little off when people were being loud and when i went to eat pasta(what i had been looking forward to all day literally) i found that all the cheese was gone. Dono why but i was actually ready to punch someone. We spend so much money on stupid snacks and chips and we can't even have a single can of cheese to eat a real pasta meal like civilized humans. Thats at least what i thought at the time and i couldn't believe, nor control unfortunately, how catastrophically it destroyed my mood. Some food and good music later i managed too blow it off but its still kinda scary how much it just takes over me like that sometimes.

Then came the time of judgement. It turns out that the South Carolina to Santa Cruz route was staying in our city tonight and we were meeting up for some festivities. The first of these was an epic relay race consisting of eight activities representing a day in the life of bike and build ranging from packing up your sleeping bag to downing breakfast to hammering nails. Dan M gave us an initial lead and yours truly took over for the tire pumping. Please imagine kneeling down and having 64 sweaty insane bikers huddling around you and screaming their lungs out. Easily the most disorienting 20 seconds of my life. I've been to calmer rock concerts. Of course that tire didn't stand a chance against my up and down thrashing. Average roadmorph pumping time: 2 minutes. George's time: 20 seconds. Yea, i thought so.

It was a frantic stretch but team P2SF pulled out a stunning victory by a mile. It was honestly such a silly and ridiculous event but it felt awesome to win. Of course crazy screaming, jumping and psyching out ensued. Glorious.

But that was only the day's activities. At night we rejoined in camraderie for the Bike and Build wedding where saw Hillary leave our nest to join up with Meghan from their group in gender neutral matrimony. Yes, tears were shed but the ceremony was nothing short of beautiful with our very own kilted Colin Hood leading it. Of course the result of such an event was 64 outlandishly and probably inappropriately dressed kids all in the same place each trying to garner more attention than the next. Yea, fun is an understatement. Steven as the best man sure had a mouthful to say and show for Hillary.

While it was definitely awkward to interact with them as expected we chilled in smaller groups at night and had some fun conversations. Highlight was Sean trying to casually draw out of them how many mountain passes they had climbed and at what elevation. Hearing about the few 9,000 footers they had done compared to our several 11,000 ones probably completed Sean's life right then and there. In general, 'm always skeptical of inter-organizational groups mixing like that because the awkward dynamic is just inevitable. I think overall though the in-group, out-group differentiation ultimately makes each group bond with itself more which i guess is valuable in the end. Either way, who doesn't love awkward interactions?

But more importantly, guess who's sweeping tomorrow!

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