Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Shelley's First Century
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Shelley accomplished her first 100-mile bike ride yesterday at the 10th annual Cool Breeze Century!

This route runs along the California coast from Ventura to Santa Barbara and back, sometimes on the Pacific Coast Highway, sometimes a bit inland on pleasant hillside roads that wind among mansions overlooking the Pacific. About 1,500 people ride in it.

The weather stayed cool and overcast the whole day, making for perfect temperatures, if a bit on the dull side, but that's better than the heat we usually get down here in the Valley, so no complaints. The organizers put on a good show, with all the usual yummy snacks and food during the five rest breaks on the ride.

We started a little before 8:00 am and ended a little after 5:00 pm, with actual riding time clocking 6:44 hours, which met our goal, the rest being used at break stops eating and stretching. And one little incident.

About 25 miles out from the end, Shelley's rear tire blew out with a loud bang! Thankfully it was the rear tire and not the front one, and it happened just as she reached the top of a hill crest and not at some point where she was zipping down a hill. It also happened in town, not out in the boondocks.

As we stood there considering whether the tire would hold with a new tube (it was actually the tire's sidewall that gave out, making the tube blow), a ride support vehicle appeared about three minutes later. Yay for SAG! (All good rides have "Support And Gear" volunteers who drive around helping with trouble like flat tires.) The SAG put our bikes on a rack and drove us to a bike store about three miles away in Santa Barbara, where we got a new tire, and quickly back on route.

Our Google jerseys attracted about as many comments as usual, but most of them weren't as simple as "nice jersey" this time, but more like "did you buy stock?" or "did you sell your stock?" or "IPO!"

We ended the day with leg massages at home and ordered out for pizza. A very good day!

Full of can-do attitude at the ride start!

Stretching at the first rest stop. A pod of dolphins put on a show down in the bay here, which is totally appropos for the day, because the organizing club has dolphins in their logo.

Shelley bought one of the attractive ride jerseys to commemorate her first century!

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