Another amazing dinner. This time at Hoppe’s Garden Bistro. They actually made a welcome sign for us. And we gave the owner a Fireflies book to thank her for her support. I had the butter lettuce salad and filet mignon with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. More meat. I’ve been trying to mix it up during the day, but it’s hard to resist after putting in so many miles. We’re eating a lot on this ride.
This morning started out with humor. Bryan Farhy came by the room and told me that there was a funny picture of me that I needed to see. He wasn’t lying. It was a picture of me in an 80 year old woman’s camera with my shirt off before getting in the shower (see below). Here’s the backstory. A group of women between 75 and 85 have held a reunion at the Cayucos Beach Inn for the last 32 years. The same place where we were staying. Yesterday when we got in, they were apparently pretty excited. Bryan went across the way to talk to them before dinner. He introduced himself and told them about the Fireflies. My 80 something “photographer” proceeded to say, “I’ve been taking pictures, naughty ones.” We got a kick out of them, and they obviously did of us. They even donated to the cause. I think I earned it on this one.
Before leaving town, we took a team picture in front of a church in town. The same one on our City of Hope donation page. We also took a shot with the hotel owners. They donated and were terrific hosts. We then headed South towards Morro Bay. The ride there was not spectacular but Morro Rock is worth checking out. And apparently it’s a pretty cool surf spot. After Morro Bay, we rode about 40 miles through big agricultural land en route to our lunch spot in Santa Maria. While the riding was not as awe inspiring or challenging as the day before, it was a good reminder to buy local and organic. The smell of pesticides was unmistakeable.
We hit Red Robin for lunch in Santa Maria and then set off for Solvang. At lunch I was told that this part of the ride was like fresh powder for cyclists. That motivated me. Mick, Jason, and I, got out in front of everyone else, eager to finish the last half of the ride. About fifteen minutes in, we got passed by the hard chargers. Jason and I kept up with them for a few minutes but got dropped. We kept a pretty good pace through the end of the ride and the scenery made you say wow. I’ve never been to wine country in California. I’m definitely coming back with the family. A lot to be inspired by on the second half of the ride.
We rode 97 miles today. Longest ride yet, and I felt much stronger. It’s clear to me now that my training was insufficient prior to the ride. I feel like I’m just starting to get into riding shape. It gives you respect for the level of fitness and endurance of the folks on this ride. Tomorrow we get to sleep in a little and then climb to Ventura. Two days to go. Please donate if you haven’t yet. We’re still not at our goal of $250K. These dollars really do matter. As a reminder, you can also follow the action via #fireflieswest on Instagram.