Day 1: “Long and Winding Road” Beatles

San Diego to Alpine

35 Miles

2700 ft elevation climb

7-9% grade

For the title of my blog each day – I am going to attempt to use a song title that helps to define the day.  Remember – sometimes it is only the song title – not the lyrics. Today I give a shout out to the Long and Winding Road.  A great  fit for the start of a cross country journey.

First thought of the morning was a toss up between “Ready or not hear I come”, and who the hell is texting me at 4:00 in the morning?   I did sleep a bit – so that was good – as I was increadibly anxious – about well, most everything.  My first anxiety to overcome was that my luggage was well below the 50 pound maxium.  We are allowed 2 bags not to exceed 50 pounds, each bag not to exceed 30.   Ever the overachieving Girl Scout – I like to “Be Prepared” .  Phew, no public castigation.

Thank you to my send off team (again, you will tire of me saying it – but I will not be able to ever voice my gratitude enough.)……I have the best Village!!!  3000 miles away from home and from places in between, I had a hugging, cheering and picture snapping crew.  Thanks to Bryce, Dan, Matt, Teri, Brenda and Andy!  I thought I would be weepy – but was so intent on getting started – that after the ceremonial tire dip, photo, sand removal from feet, pictures  and hugs – I rolled out 568 days after I signed up for this trip!

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Getting out of San Diego – the first 10 miles or so was what you would expect navigating through a busy urban area.  San Diego is “bike friendly” with designated bike lanes. BUT that doesn’t mean it is easy to get through.  Busy traffic, lots of left hand turns, and lanes collapsing – we had to pay close attention.  Plus I am sure we looked like quite a sight – a gaggle of cycling geese in a single file pattern flocking East!   For those familiar with San Diego – we left from Dog Beach, and headed out right past the San Diego Charger stadium.

The group started to separate after the first climb out of  San Diego.  And that was for me a bit of a wake up call – There be climbing to do to get to Alpine and beyond!    All the training that I did to prepare me absolutely helped, but I felt quite a bit rusty not being able to  get out and ride my bike during our snowy winter.  I am not a fan of climbing – as a matter of fact it is my weakest and least favorite portion of cycling.  Which is a very tactful way for me to say – it sucks, big time.  I get to the top, slow and steady – but it is work.   I was part of a small group of 6-8 and we pedaled along and enjoyed getting to know one another when we had the chance.

The last turn on the cue sheet before entering the hotel – was not a welcomed one!  Take right on Alpine Road for 3.5 miles of steady climb.  UGH – Although it was only 35 miles today – relatively short all things considered – it was my first day out and I was beat. Climbing for another  3.5 miles was not something I would relish.  For those that know me well know that on occasion I have a penchant to drop  an “F” Bomb.  You all would be proud of me – I did not drop a single one.  (foreshadowing: I saved them for Day 2).


The final climb found our group shrunk to 4 then 3 then 2.  We worked together to stay positive. Resting, pedaling, drinking water.  It was a mile to mile kind of climb.  And if necessary, it would (will) be a mail box to mail box kind of climb.

The two of us made it to the hotel  together. Yay.  And that was when my second major anxiety (of the trip, not just the day) was overcome.  We were the last of the geese to trickle in – last.  And Nothing happened to me.  Huge moment for me.  I wil not lie – and when I got to my room, I did weep a bit then.

Most would suggest that I am a very confident person – and that is mostly true. But there is a big hole in that theory — when it comes down to it – I am very confident in what I know, what I do, what I am familiar with.   My confidence wavers greatly when I am trying new things that I don’t know if I am good at, or what the hell is going on!  I want to be good at it, I want to look like I know what I am doing, god forbid I look stupid.  But today, well, today, was the first of what I hope to be more of breaking down those fears and anxieties.

I was last today, And nothing happened to me.  Well, something happened and it was good.