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.
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.
That crosswind today called for teamwork and I’m happy to say day 3 of #raphatoc is in the books!
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.
Rapha TOC Day 1
Just a few quick notes on today…
- My legs are tough, my shoulders are weak.
- My Domane descends incredibly and I love the Decker Canyon descent.
- Those who longboard down mountains simultaneously terrify and amazing me.
- These women are amazing.