The goal: 24hrs of riding as practice run with my support crew. We started in San Francisco, by the Golden Gate for a ride up the coast and back again. It sounds simple :-) I felt tired at the start not having everything as organized as I like at the beginning. Complications had lead to a later than intended start, but 24hrs can start at any time.
One mile in and the bump in my plan emerged, the road was closed bikes for an another event. Luckily I still had the option to walk it, which I did, but it didn't seem like a great start even though it was only a couple hundred yards. Before I knew it was crossing the Golden Gate, something I do very rarely. I headed over to Sausalito and promptly missed my turn to Highway 1. I realized that a couple miles later and that I'd lost the the only water bottle I was carrying which has flown on the back. Back on route I saw my crew and informed them I needed another bottle. Quick climb over Highway 1 ready for a nice decent, only to find road works and 5 minute wait.
On the coast now things were starting to get into a groove, I was battling a head wind but that was to be expected. The route I had picked and us going in land towards Guerneville, so there was at least hope later on. As we had started late, I told the crew to go on ahead and pick-up our final crew member for the day who was waiting in Petaluma. This was probably the biggest learning point for the day, be careful when you ask your support crew to abandon you. Due to very poor cell phone reception and an unfamiliarity with the area, it was two and half hours later till I saw them again. It didn't help when we finally got back in touch I managed to mis-drect them further.
Reuntited I had a sandwhich and continued on into the head wind. Due to the twisty road it is not a constant wind, but it is always wait around a corner like stalker. Relief came when it was time to head inland, rather than battling to maintain 15mph, I was crusing at 20mph. When we reached Guerneville, the crew asked "Where a we going?". Unfortunately printing directions at the last minute can be risky when your printer runs out of ink. I knew in general terms we want to reach Highway 127 going north but we had to now make up the rest of the route to get there. The crew did a fine job here of coming up with a impromptu route and navigated be through the towns.
Around 6pm we stopped and quickily got some dinner, before joining Hwy 127 for the final stint of heading north before the turnaround. Hwy 127 had a fairly long climb but my legs were feeling pretty good. Midway along Hwy 127, it got dark and I switched to my road bike for the nighttime portion of the route.
We reach Hwy 1 around 10pm and started heading south, it windy road with very little to see in the dark. The wind was now final at my back with a little push, but it has also started to drizzle rain. By 1am I was having a hard time focusing on the road, so decided to take my first break, I slept (well close my eyes) for 30mins. When I got out the van I felt a lot better, though the temperature had dropped as I added some layers before continuing on. It was still rain for the next hour but it was very light.
I ended up taking another quick nap around 5am, just before the sun came up. At this point I was starting ot move slowly on the bike, not helped by a few hills to climb a lon ghte road. The journey into Petaluma, felt a little grueling. Back Petaluma, we dropped off a the crew member would we had picked up the day before and plot the finla portion of the route out to Novato.
Sure enough there was more hills ahead of me, I whiched bikes to back to Tri-Bike as my road bike was starting to make excess squeaking noises. Getting rid of the sqeak helped me focus and when I got on the decent my legs came back and I charged up the next hill like I had just awoken from a good nights sleep. That might of had something to do with only having after twenty minutes left go, but it left great to power through to the end. We stopped a Gas station in Novato, I jumped in the van and called it a day, well 24hrs. A great ride with awesome support from my crew, can't wait to see you guys out there for the race.