Monday, June 13, 2011

ALC......DAY THREE 6/7/11

At the top of Quadbuster!
 Day Three is a 67 mile ride but unlike Day Two it has quite a few hills to deal with, including the infamous (at least for ALC riders) "Quadbuster" hill that comes up at mile 10.5.  Quadbuster is a 1.3 mile climb with a steep steady grade that challenges all but the most conditioned of riders.  My strategy for these kinds of hills is to put my head down, keep peddling, and don't look more than about 8 feet ahead.  By keeping my eye on the immediate I don't become intimidated by what is to come...just deal with the immediate.  This works well because no one is speeding up this hill.   Steady and slow, I arrived at the top feeling pretty good.  Gathered on the shoulder are riders that have already made the climb who cheer as other riders arrive.

One of the nice things about a big hill is the downhill ride on the other side which in this case is a really fun ride that allows the rider to cool off and at the bottom of the hill the terrain is fairly flat all the way to rest stop two on the grounds of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
What does a line of porta-pottys says about the church and the world?

At mile 41 our route heads onto the shoulder of Highway 101, a freeway with a whole lot of traffic.  After just a couple of miles we leave the highway for the little town of Bradley.   When the freeway was built, Bradley pretty much dried up as a town but there is still a little Roman Catholic Church, a post office, a few houses, some buildings that once housed businesses, and there is also a school.  The parents and children from the school raise more than $10,000 by selling ALC riders hamburgers and drinks. This is their major fundraiser for the year and provides money for extras not funded by the school district.  This year we were greeted by red AIDS ribbons on the old bridge that leads to town.  
This part of California is hot and dry during the summer time.  This year though, just as on the entire route, the weather was unseasonably cool.  From Bradley we rode on another 12 miles along 101 on some of the roughest road shoulders of the entire ride.  Long time ALC riders refer to this section of road as "The Jackhammer."  It feels almost abandoned, much as the old military base, Fort Roberts, appears.  After these very bumpy miles, we exit into the little town of San Miguel where rest stop four is located on the grounds of the lovely, and shady, Mission San Miguel.

After another 12 miles riding along the upper reaches of the Salinas River that has a very wide river bed but not a whole lot of water in it.  Finally at mile 68 we rode into the Mid State Fair Grounds in Paso Robles.   This was to be the last really sunny day before heading back to the coast so a lot of riders took the opportunity to do their washing, the old fashioned way.
The route for Day 3

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