Conclusions - BayCycle 2009 - CycleBlaze


I wish we were able to ride longer.

My challenges were these:
- rethinking the tour from unsupported to supported, from traveling alone to traveling with spouse
- relaxing enough to fit in time to ride with MBW instead of just cranking out the miles
- relaxing enough to enjoy the time with my friends and family (F&F) as we encountered them along the way instead of longing to be out on the road.

Once I figured out that my priorities had changed, and that what I really wanted to do was ride with my honey and visit our F&F around the bay, then that made all the difference in my approach to this tour. I still got my touring miles in, time by myself, met some interesting people, had my near-death experience on Hwy 116, and the sublime times in the vineyards and the rural roads. I got in all the rest of the good touring stuff too. Bonus.

MBW and I didn't know how the logistics would work out. We started by trying to plan where we'd meet up along the day's route and see if we could ride together somewhere. At one point on the first day MBW went ahead to our next meet-up. She ended up being there for 2 hours before I arrived, which was about an hour longer than I had anticipated. So she made the rule that she'd always lag behind, entertaining herself, until it was meet-up time, and that I'd check in with progress reports. She also stopped driving along my exact route and taking freeways were possible to reduce the wear and tear on herself. That all made her happier.

It didn't matter how many miles I put in during a day but rather the number of hours I was on the road. I was as tired after the 26 miles to Albany as I was on the 51 miles the day before. So I made a rule to be off the road by 6pm. Plus, leaving it even that late made for short nights, what with all the cleanup from the day and prep for the coming day, plus satisfying that hard mistress, the journal.

A lot of the route was familiar to me. I'd ridden it before or knew the neighborhoods really well from my years living around the Bay Area. But in those parts that weren't familiar, I got lost a lot. I relied on my unreliable memory of the map to take me to places. When I got stuck then I'd have to stop (oh no!) and take out the map. That's when there was a sense of exploration and discovery. Uncomfortable at first, but then really fun.
Even though a lot of the route was familiar, it was still great to ride it. It was like rereading a favorite book or watching a movie that you never get tired of. And even though it was so well known to me, I realized that not everyone knows this place and that it might be a good idea to take photos to show it to any random person who might read this. That made me look at the Bay Area in a new light. Always a good thing.

Cupcakes? Almost forgot about those. Of course they weren't the real reason for the tour. If we came across them, then great. But by the end of Day 8 I'd had enough, and we only had them 3 times. We should have made it the french toast tour, because that's what one of us ate most days.

I wish we were able to ride longer.

Read MBW's blog for her conclusions.

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