October 10, 2006

The Good, The Bad And The Chafing

My butt hurts. I've got chafing in places I'd rather not discuss in mixed company. In fact, I'd rather not discuss my chafing in any company. Suffice to say, I just made a substantial investment in Talcum Powder and once I'm able to sit in a seat long enough to type out a letter, I'm contemplating starting a class action suit against the Chamois Butt'r company. Exhibit A, I'd imagine, will be my ass, which may finally be my chance to pull down my pants and use the copy machine without getting myself banned from Kinko's.

Here's the thing, I've ridden quite a few centuries over the years, more than I can remember (though let's keep in mind that I don't have a great memory). Some of the finishers medals I think are still in my closet include the Cool Breeze, Tour de Palm Springs, Solvang, Cruisin' The Conejo, numerous days on the AIDS ride and, of course, Ironman Lake Placid. That doesn't even take into account the 100+ mile days during Ironman training, including a 118 mile jaunt that, if I remember correctly, segued into a five mile run or something silly like that. My butt hurts even more just thinking about it.

My point here is that I'm no stranger to 100+ miles on the bike. Yet for some reason whenever people have talked to me about riding from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, it always seemed so gosh darn overwhelming. Santa Barbara?! I'd exclaim in an over-exaggerated type of way with the hopes of convincing them not to go and thereby preserving my machismo. Are you crazy?!

Santa Barbara is only 90 miles - a mere piddly 90 miles - away from Los Angeles. But Santa Barbara isn't a weekend bike ride! For goodness sakes people, Santa Barbara is a multi-hour drive that requires an enormous amount of eating and shopping before tackling the hellish traffic for the drive back to LA.

Bike to Santa Barbara?!?! Ni**a pleeeeease!

So you can imagine my dismay and disgust and dis-[fill-in-the-blank-with-your-own-suffix], when my new-to-the-sport-of-biking friend suggested we ride up to Carpinteria (just south of Santa Barbara) on a Saturday, hang out at his sister's swanky beach house and then bike back to LA on Sunday. Sure, I said in my best sarcastic and patronizing tone, how about after you spend the next three years training for it.

I'm not sure whether I'd offended him or if he just took that as a challenge, but he started building up his miles pretty quickly. A few months ago he was doing ten mile jaunts as I encouraged him to keep up the good work and the next thing I know we're out on 60 mile bike rides, after which I would go home and give my best impression of the third deadly sin (that'd be gluttony) while he jumped off his bike and went for a run. Damn, I'd think between chews, this guy is really serious about biking to Carpinteria.

As you can probably guess, Catherine, Paul and I decided to make the trek this weekend, a mere five or six months after aforementioned friend Paul became serious about biking. It was a lovely 84-ish miles from Los Angeles to Carpinteria on Saturday morning, followed by a brutal headwind of an 84-ish miles back down yesterday (Sunday).

All in all, it was pretty amazing. Sure it was tiring, but nobody ever said 170 miles of riding isn't tiring. But it was beautiful, especially since most of the ride was up the coast, with mountains on one side and the eternal stretch of the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Sure I've ridden further than 84 miles in one day more times than I can ever hope to remember. But on Saturday night, as we sat in the Adirondack chairs nestled into the smooth white sand, the waves rhythmically washing onto the shore as the orange and purple glow of the sun quietly laid itself to bed beneath the horizon, I couldn't help but feel proud. Not only did we ride our bikes to the edge of Santa Barbara, but we rode ourselves beyond the limits of my expectations.

The mind can be our greatest enemy and our strongest prison.
This weekend, I broke free.


Celebrity Spotting Of The Day
: Kate Hudson and her son whats-his-name (truth be told, I didn't really spot them though they walked right by me. Catherine is the one credited with the sighting.)

: Starbucks, Malibu

What She Was Doing
: Dragging her son around and, one can only presume, getting a cup of coffee. Or tea. Maybe even a scone. They have good scones at Starbucks. Especially the blueberry one. I really like their blueberry scone.


E-Dub said...

I love her!

triathlonmom said...

3 things.
first i'm embarrased to say i thought you hadn't updated your blog in a while b/c i didn't page down! lol. Trying to be sneeky, huh. I know you've been wondering why i haven't commented in a while!
second that sounds like a dream-come-true ride. in fact i've been dreaming for years of just driving the coast, but now i have a new dream.
three as a former *$ employee, i just want to say that Starbucks blueberry scones are the bomb. and i don't even like scones.