Abby Watson's avatar

Abby Watson

Portland, OR // Riding bikes, playing outside, Z dogs, painting my nails, eating good food and drinking too much coffee.

Rapha TOC day 5

We were all braced for the worst today. The thought was that we’d be fighting a headwind the full 105 miles from Cambria to Monterey. Much to our collective relief, the wind was calm. It was there, but not in the oppressive soul crushing style of yesterday’s wind. In fact, it even shifted into a bit of tailwind for the last 15 miles. In short, today was awesome. I’ve never had an easier 100 mile day on the bike, the scenery was unreal, and the group worked together really well. We needed this day and the moral boost. Now for tomorrow… It’s supposed to rain, and we’re climbing Hamilton and Diablo. Suffice to say, I’m nervous.

These guys make long days on the bike so much better

Day 5 of #raphatoc was pretty simple; keep the ocean on your left and don’t forget to enjoy the views

Here goes #raphatoc day 5, Cambria to Monterey. I’m dreading the headwind, but excited for the views

Rapha TOC Day 4

Today was tough. I’ll put it out there - my dog died this morning; I got a frantic call from Greg, who had just been there with Zeppo as he died, and proceeded to more or less cry for the hour plus drive to Santa Barbra. I watched the other women get excited about the day, the weather, the sun, the ocean, their coffee; I went through the motions of getting kitted up and getting on my bike all while feeling vacant and crying behind the safety of my sunglasses.

We got on our bikes and I sat in the back. I basically thought that was going to be what I did all day: check out, move my legs, get lost in thought, grieve. Then we hit the first climb and I knew I want to work fucking hard and to feel pain that I was in complete control of. It helped that the climb was fun, and that Julie went with me. We punched it, and it felt good. That effort helped me focus, and I was able to control my emotions and engage with the group (all of whom road awesome today). I got through the day, the terrible headwind, and the sketchy roads, but I’m sad, and I miss my buddy, and it’s hard to be away from home.

#raphatoc day 4 is finally in the books. 100+ miles into a headwind wasn’t ideal, but this group is strong.

Today is for you buddy

Rapha TOC Day 3

Today was eye opening. I came into this knowing day 3 would be hard, and it was. It was awesome in so many ways, but not without challenge. Our group is diverse, and we managed to work together really well today, but it was taxing, and we have to improve if we’re all going to be able to finish some of these stages.

All that aside, holy shit was today breathtaking. We went through pretty much every kind of terrain and climate this part of California has to offer and finished in the snow at 7,000 feet. The last mile of the climb was the highlight of my day and I finished feeling better than when I began. Tomorrow we have a really early wake up, then we drive to Santa Barbra to ride 110 miles. Here’s to hoping for a tailwind and some good luck.

Today’s teamwork included the Rapha crew going the extra mile in support of the ambassadors riding #raphatoc

@kimhcross is my hero of day 3 of #raphatoc

That crosswind today called for teamwork and I’m happy to say day 3 of #raphatoc is in the books!

Day 3 of #raphatoc is going to be tough, but @krasniakjulie is looking calm. 90 some miles and 13,000’ of climbing here we come!

TOC Day 2

Today felt easy despite the 78 miles and 6,700’ of climbing. My body felt good, spirits were high in our group, and conditions were, for the most part, the definition of perfect. My mind was really quiet and I felt strong and confident. We finished by descending Angels Crest highway, which was cool to ride again. Despite a headwind, it was equally as wonderful today as it was during the RGR. Today’s confidence is overshadowed a bit by the elevation profile of tomorrow’s stage, but I know I can ride 90 miles and I know I can climb 13,000 feet. This is all such a great experiment in doing new things and pushing my limits and I’m excited to see how I hold up. 

Riding a steady wheel with a tailwind made the first portion of today’s climb feel like a dream

Day 2 of #raphatoc is in the books! @raelambo is out here riding by day and studying by night to finish her MBA in May. She’s a badass who somehow does it all with a smile.