Day 1 San Diego to Julian CA

Winner and loser

Saturday ended with the Flat Pool being filled with $22, to be split by the first and last persons to get a flat during the PAC Tour. Enough to be fun, not enough to make anyone cheat.

Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast in the hotel parking lot – cereal, oatmeal, bagels, bananas, the usual biker food, preparing for the first day, 76 miles from San Diego to Julian. We rode though about 15 miles of strip malls and constant red lights until we finally got into the hills. It was there that Jim won half of the flat pool, shown here with Fast Eddie, a rider from Belgium who has ridden Paris Roubaix twice. I’m not worthy! Not shown is Frode from Oslo. Off to see Sauron!

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We rode higher and higher and even did a 3 mile section of I-8.Here we are at Vista Point on the highway.

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The sun was relentless and I was starting to get cooked. Eddie wisely left us slow guys behind so we connected with Lynn, a Manhattan judge. Then I got a flat and she dropped us too. So the two guys from Boston had problems with under-inflated equipment today – imagine that!

Now the real climbing started, at 4000 feet and no shade. My heart rate stayed high, even when we stopped twice. Jim is a fantastic friend and stuck with me, mile after mile as I rode slower and slower. Finally, 3 (uphill) miles from the lunch stop I was done, barely able to stand up. Jim called in the support van. While waiting I slorped down a chocolate Gu, basically frosting and caffeine. Then I felt a little less bad and decided to ride a half mile until the van showed up. Clouds blew up, giving us our first break Then a mile. Susan came up with a cup of Coke, which I skipped. The grade let up a little and soon we were in Cleveland.

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The support staff set up a great lunch in the forest at nearly 6000 feet and we were soon recharged. “20 miles to Julian, all down hill,” they said. Well… 80-90% was downhill, but there were a few climbs left up in the high desert hills. Which hurt.

Now we are in the little mountain town of Julian, contemplating dinner at 4:30pm or maybe 5. Long distance cyclists like the senior citizen discount, especially since we are head to bed by 8pm.

Tomorrow we head to El Centro (a real armpit I hear) and were told that the first half of the ride is all downhill. Yeah, right.

Please support my ride to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chris Spear