I got an email from the sister of my former colleague, Dave. She lives in Arizona and had sent me this lovely long email listing all things to see and where to go in the Phoenix and Prescott area and, what blew me away, a detailed plan for my stay with them. This intense and unexpected blast of hospitality made my day. And it wasn't even 9am, yet! I can't wait to meet her and I hope that I will get to reciprocate it one day.
Two other people added to the good start of the morning: the nice guy who picked up my keys after they fell out of my pocket while I was sitting on the bike and helped me avoid an awkward bent over and the lovely woman on the phone with AAA who updated my credit card information after I, with the experience I have navigating websites, had failed to do that online (here's another job opportunity: Product Manager for AAA's online payments. Kaiser desperately needs one of those, too...).
And off I went. And I remembered a few more things about these trips that make them a bit inconvenient. Dealing with the luggage, as I don't have those boxes that attach to the bike and lock so you don't have to carry them with you into every restroom. And the dressing and undressing that leaves you drenched in sweat which again makes you freeze the moment you start driving faster than 40 miles per hour. Especially during bathroom breaks. But well, I'm sure that soon enough it'll be hot enough to wear less layers which will make the dressing part a bit easier. And the sweating part worse.
But then, once you're on the bike and you ride on roads like 166 or 33 north of LA, you don't care about that anymore. You don't feel the weight of the bags when you ride, the clothes are just perfect to keep you warm enough but not make you sweat and the bike is the sweetheart she always is when she gets enough attention and rides on roads she loves.
33 was beautiful but also very scary. I don't like it when a sign says the the road might be closed at anytime. Which would mean that I'd have to add 100 miles to my ride in order to get where I want. The dark clouds ahead above the mountains I was going to cross didn't help with that. The road was not exactly technically challenging. But around every second corner, usually a nice curve to lean in, I found rocks on the road from recent rock slides. Some of them huge. So I slowed down and managed to avoid them and I was lucky to not get hit by a bunch of rocks that were just sitting up on those walls on the side of the road, waiting to hit and kill or injure the reckless rider. Not me. Because I'm a careful sissy who does love her life more than a fast ride through nice curves.
Eventually, I made it down the hill and my feet and my hands in the thin gloves started to warm up. Because the warm gloves were still wet from the previous day, as were my boots and, consequently my socks and feet. But at least I was smart enough to strap the items that were still wet on top of my bag so they would dry faster. I wonder what people will say or think once I do that with my pink lace bra and panties ;-).
For the last few hours I enjoyed the view of the Pacific, given that I'm going to have to leave it tomorrow and won't see it for several weeks. Ventura reminds me a little of Alameda, just a bit warmer. Very different from LA. And now I'm alone in my hotel room. I need to charge on alone time, with several days of lovely company ahead.