The photo of our wheel dipping is an impressive sight.Dave and I are third and fourth from the right. We all dipped our wheel at the same time since a wave rolled in.
Then we set off. The practice ride of the beginning of the route that scared me when we initially rode it two weeks ago didn't bother me. It did help to be in a big group and we were certainly very visible with our neon yellow.
Lots of climbing. It wasn't horribly steep except for one little section that I walked. I put my gearing in the "granny", lowest gear and the wheels went round and round...I wish it had been that easy.
Bubba provided a food SAG stop in a regional park, Father Juniper de Serro. It was pretty within the steep sided canyon. Hard to believe it was still in the city. Our next SAG stop was a "check in" stop. The staff keep good track of us.SAG stands for support. ..I'll have to look it up. (Support and gear).
After the second stop we climbed continuously for about 10 miles. Or at least it felt like 10 miles. Well, there was one steep downhill and then another climb to gain back what elevation we had lost. I was beginning to be overwhelmed after the climb continued after the town of Alpine. It was hot (high 80's) and I had a hard time drinking enough water since I was panting with the climb and didn't want to take my hands off the handlebars. I start wobbling at about 4 1/2 mph and I even saw my speed drop to 3 1/2. So I drank a big glass of tropical punch at the second SAG stop. It didn't sit well in my stomach at first, but when it finally moved beyond my stomach I felt a boost of energy.