Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Team Livestrong Challenge Davis Ride Report: Postscript

This post gives a little flavor of what I went through after I crossed the finish line at the Livestrong Challenge Davis.  Note that it is not exciting and I don't recommend anyone taking the time to read it, but I wanted to get it down just so I could remember the entire crazy day...

After crossing the line in Davis, I rode straight to the Team Fatty tents (we had two because of our fundraising prowess!)  Quite a few riders were chilling out, sitting or lying in the grass, including Fatty and The Hammer who both looked like they'd been there awhile (which I found out later they had with their ridiculously fast time).

I couldn't finish a Team Fatty ride without having some pie, so I took a bit of the chocolate cream.  It was exceptionally tasty, and I wolfed it down in a hurry.  Unfortunately, I had a lot of stuff that I had to take care of, so I pretty much left after about 10 minutes.

The biggest rush item on my agenda was to return my rental bike to San Francisco before the shop where I rented it closed.  Now a normal person would have checked up front or even called, but for some reason, I just decided in my head that they closed at 5:00 (the fact that my phone had died on the ride didn't help matters, by the way).  That gave me about 3 hours to drive all the way to SF.  Normally, this wouldn't seem like a big deal, but since it took me about 2 hours the day before to get to the shop from Pleasanton, and given the crazy traffic I'd hit on the way to Davis, I didn't want to take any chances.

Therefore, I headed straight to my car.  I did the ever popular change-out-of-your-cycling-shorts-in-the-front-seat-of-the-SUV trick, put on a fresh T shirt and socks (over my absolutely reeking self), shoved the bike in the back and took off.  I had a wicked case of helmet hair and an odor that could be smelled by drivers going to opposite direction on the interstate, but I had to get this bike back by closing time or die trying.

As I was driving, and especially after I hit the bad traffic trying to get over the bay bridge, I kept trying to think what I would do if the shop was closed.  This is because I was flying out later that day.  I'd have to call one of my coworkers and see if I could have them return the bike for me.

Anyway, I got into SF and was following my iPhone's navigation when all of a sudden I ran into the Pride Parade!  Now I've got nothing against pride or anything, but you can imagine how messed up traffic was in San Francisco during this event.  Fortunately, I figured I take The Embarcadero, and sure enough, even though it was slow it was at least open.  I slowly made my way up to North Shore, and found Blazing Saddles after what seemed like forever.

It was about 4:15 when I pulled up in front of the shop, but for some reason it looked closed.  I started to panic, but figured I'd driven all this way so I was not going to give up.  This is when I noticed that parking on a Saturday afternoon with no Pride Parade is a completely different situation than parking on a Sunday afternoon with a Pride Parade just wrapping up.  I could not find a freaking parking space to save my life.  I drove up and down some of SF's huge hills until I finally found a spot about 4 blocks away and on a 45 degree slope.

I pulled the bike out of the car and walked/ran down the hill to the shop.  I eventually found the place, and thank God it was open.  In fact, they were going to be open for another 2.5 hours, so I guess I could have hung around in Davis after all!

I finished up the paperwork, then set out to find my car.  Fortunately, I had noted the street I was on, and once I'd hired a sherpa as a guide to help me up the hills, I made it back to my car.

After that, I just needed to find a place to wash myself off before I took my red eye flight to Cleveland.  My wife had the brilliant idea of going to a 24 Hour Fitness where I have a membership.  I found one south of San Francisco, and got myself cleaned up with little drama except that I had to use my commemorative Livestrong T shirt as a towel!

After that I got some food, and since I'd burned close to 5000 calories, I treated myself to a turkey dinner at Boston Market, complete with mashed potatoes.

Finally, with literally nothing left to do I returned the rental car and went to the airport where I surfed the internet, drank some beer and waited for my flight to leave... 4 hours later.

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