Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 1 - San Diego to Alpine, CA

Fantastic. We had picture-perfect weather all day and a support crew second to none. We started off with the ceremonial trudge through the sand with the loaded bikes to get the wheels wet with the Pacific at Dog Beach. Todd managed to keep his feet dry, but Jay did experience the Pacific seeping through his shoe into his sock. At that point, we trudged back and got ready to ride.

We started off at about 8:20 a.m. We were on a bike path for a few miles, sharing the path with a small running event that was happening. We found the correct road when the path ended and began our trek through the San Diego streets. We were in plenty of well-marked bike lanes, but neither of us would really want to start this ride on a weekday! We crossed several on/off ramps (all safely, no sweat) but thought it'd be a challenge on a weekday.

At about mile 2, Jay turned to Todd and said, "this is the craziest thing I have ever done, and the bar is already set pretty high for me." Todd replied that yes, this was also the craziest thing he's ever done. 10 miles later, we realized that our job for the next 9 weeks will be to ride - - and noted that no, that really does *not* suck at all.

Once we realized that no, there'd be no pink signage, we settled into the maps and figuring out the vagaries of the waypoints we had loaded into the Garmin on Todd's bike. We had plenty of starts and stops to verify where we were on the map, and it paid off with no wrong turns.

We had our first real climb of the day at about mile 10, and then entered a fantastic park road through Mission Trails Park. Several people asked us where we were going, and we replied, "Florida," to which they replied, "no, really, where are you going?" We gave out several Cycling Semicolon postcards, which inform people about Crohn's, colitis, colorectal cancer, and ostomies.

We had a couple of long stops, and the day edged into the afternoon. The riding was pretty reasonably, and then once we exited Lakeside, we really began climbing. The grade was not extreme, the climbs just lasted for a bit. We were joined for 4 miles by Frank, a local, who gave us some tips and information about the road ahead. He said that the road would climb more steeply just outside of Alpine, and he was right!

On the ascent into Alpine, we saw a fire department vehicle parked off to the side of the road. Brad, our contact at the Alpine Fire District, was waiting for us about a third of the way up the hill. He said that they were expecting us, and that they were planning a spaghetti feed for us.

We climbed steadily into Alpine in bright sunlight, arriving at around 2:40 p.m., where we were welcomed and told to make ourselves at home.

The crew fed us well and we are being spoiled tonight with real beds and great company. Jim Smith checked our bikes before departing, and Tammy and Jeremy spent some quality time with Todd before taking off. (Kyle and Carol had already departed earlier in the day.)

We're not sure how often we'll be able to blog, so we might be posting several at once. We are working on getting the Spot Tracker to do its thing - - thanks for bearing with us on that! Meanwhile, please see the link below for a review of today's speed and elevation profile. It's funny to Jay that he can look the lower speed sections and say, "oh yeah, we were trying to figure out xyz street at that point!"

We are aiming to do about 60 miles to Ocotillo tomorrow - - we will have company for part of it - - and then we will descend into the desert and a completely different landscape.

Thank you for your words of support, both here and on Facebook!

Here is the link to see our ride for the day 1, To see our progress through the day, hit play.
Love the Garmin!!
Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Day 1 San Diego to Alpine


  1. Unscripted adventure is the only way to do it! You will meet wonderful helpful people along the way (and already have). Makes me wish we were on the road again. BE SAFE & HAVE A BLAST! TM

  2. I am really excited for you guys! Congrats on an awesome start!

  3. Diane (Kyle's Mom)March 21, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Jay and Todd You have no idea how you inspire those with a GI disorder and their families and friends . I rode a whopping mile from home to the firehouse in Middlebury! ... and you two are going how many miles to Florida!!! Awesome Godspeed and thank you.

  4. Great Riding with you today! Have a wonderful trip. I put the photos on my Facebook account.

    Robert Sigal

  5. Hope you guys made it down Mountain Springs grade safely! I hope you had spare brake pads to put on in Ocotillo! Ill see you Wednesday, hopefully in the State of Arizona!

  6. Now that you're safely on your way, Tammy told us that now she can go through all that old stuff and get rid of some of it while you're gone. Hope the flowers are a distraction....LOL

    Today's secret word: Moleskin