July 14: Death Ride & A Day Off

Saturday started with a gorgeous ride along the southwest section of Lake Tahoe from Meek’s Bay to Rubicon Bay to Emerald Bay and finally into South Lake Tahoe. The blue water rivaled Crater Lake in the mid-morning sunlight. I was stopping frequently for photos; had a great conversation at Inspiration Point with John and George, recruiter and assistant basketball coach respectively, at William Jessup College in Rocklin, CA. About 8 miles later, they passed me on highway 89 and did a hand off of a V8 Fusion drink.
Aftera bite to eat in Meyers, I climbed the steepest section I have encountered so far on the tour, following the Upper Truckee Rd. over Luther Pass. At the top of the pass, I met my dad and mom, Joe and Joann, and they leap-frogged with me to Woodfords, where they picked me up for a planned day off.
About six miles from Woodfords, at the intersection of highways 88 and 89, I unintentionally became part of a cycling event- The 33rd Annual Death Ride. This is a 129 mile cycling event with 16,000′ of climbing, going over and back on Monitor Pass and Ebbett’s Pass, then finishing with a fifth climb up Carson Pass. I jumped right into the roadies with my touring rig and got lots of thumbs-ups and did my share of shouting out encouragement as well. I just wonder if any of the riders thought I was actually part of the ride and doing it fully loaded- that would be truly insane!
At the Woodfords aid station, I pulled in and packed up my gear and headed off for a day’s rest at my parent’s in Placerville. We went to dinner at Sizzler (Yucaipa misses you, Sizzler!) and oh my, a steak and all-you-can eat salad bar allowed me to savor something besides freeze-dried dinners!
Sunday, we went to the worship service at Calvary Chapel Placerville and it was great to be spiritually nourished by a message from God’s Word. Our Creator made us body, soul, and spirit, and it is important to take care of all aspects of our person. This bike tour is allowing me time to get in great physical shape, to think deeply and plan for the future, but also to pray and meditate and read the Bible and listen to what God wants to say to me. I have visited three churches on my trip so far and I’ve been blessed by each message and the people I’ve met.
My day off is not over; dad is napping in his recliner, mom is going through ads in the Sunday paper, and I’m blogging and packing up for the next week of cycling. I’m looking forward to a visit from my sister Jennifer and her family and mom’s homemade lasagna for dinner! Then it’s a good night’s sleep and back on the road tomorrow.
The next week will be, I believe, the most challenging of the tour: Monitor, Devil’s Gate, Conway, Tioga in the first three days, then ups and downs of thousands of feet daily including a 6,500′ climb up to Sequoia and King’s Canyon by next Sunday or Monday.

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