How the hell am I going to do this? Ride my happy ass on a bike for 545 miles over seven days from San Francisco to Los Angeles? I’ve been laying in bed wide awake for a few hours trying to figure that out. The fact that I’ve done it twice before doesn’t really matter because I’m not entirely sure how I did it then. I just did.
Like anything I tackle, I break it down into smaller bits. Get up and get dressed. Make sure there’s water in my bottles. Tubes in my bike bag. Food in my belly and air in my tires. Then just go. But I don’t ride with my head down, pedaling as fast as I can to get to the next rest stop. I look up and soak it all in. The sights, the sounds, the smells. And I let it take me away. It really is about the journey and not the destination. Most days, George will be nearby. That will make me smile. If he’s behind me, I’ll hear him whistling. If he’s in front, I will lose myself in watching his beautiful muscular legs pump away as he rides. My other friends will also be nearby, telling stories and making jokes. I’ll share a laugh or a smile with a stranger as they fly by me going up a hill. There will be impromptu stops for coffee, ice cream, cinnamon rolls, cookies, artichokes, Otter pops and who knows what else. There will be the incredible smells of fields and fields of strawberries, ripe and ready to be picked. Ocean views that will take my breath away. Hills that will piss me off. Descents that will make me smile like a 10-year old. And there will be stretches of time to think about friends who are gone — Andy, Jay, Rusty, Kim, Michelle — who left me way too soon and wanting so much more time with them. And before you know it, I’ll be in LA.
I guess it really isn’t that hard. Just one pedal stroke at a time.