Riding from King City to Paso Robles is short, 63 miles, but challenging for two reasons: “Quadbuster” and the heat. Attempting to avoid either giving me too much trouble, I woke early at 4:15 and was able to be one of the first 20 riders out of camp. Shivering in the cold and foggy pre-dawn air, I was reminded of my stiff legs, stiff after almost 200 miles in two days in the saddle. For a number of reasons Day Three can be brutal.
I also posted a thread to Twitter for today with more pictures
Last night I was considering a tweet I had posted a week ago. My fundraising had stalled at 11k and I wanted to raise a little more in the last week before ride out. With my training this year, I figured I could do Quadbuster multiple times, I suggested that I would do it up to five times.
I did not expect my friend Harley to come through with rallying a lot of last-minute fundraising on my behalf, which bumped me up to over 17k.
I pondered whether Harley’s fundraising meant that I should or should not keep to my original solicitation.
I remember Quadbuster being brutal during my first year, and the subsequent heat of the day making the day just awful. I decided to try it at least two times and see how it would feel.
I ended up doing Quadbuster five times, adding 13 miles and a bit over a thousand feet of elevation gain.
The climbs weren’t that bad, but the last climb I started to feel just like I did in 2019, it was tough. Yes I committed myself to it, but I realy ended up doing the climbing for me. Quadbuster was so intimidating to me, I was genuinely concerned about the climb. I wanted to conquer Quadbuster for me.
With the climbing complete, I screamed down the other side and cranked along to Rest Stop Two where I ran into my team mates Jens and Ulf. They laughed at my self-inflicted challenge and told me I shouldn’t be such a cheap prostitute and next time require $1k per trip up Quadbuster. We rode out of Rest Stop Two together and after a while together I pushed on ahead. The cool breeze was getting warm and the heat of the day swiftly approached.
Rest Stop Three was uneventful, I lathered up in sunscreen and rolled out into the heat.
The special thing about Day Three is that we stop in Bradley where the local school works with ALC to do a fundraiser for the students. They offer a veggie burger option which pairs nicely with shady spot against a wall. I chatted with some folks from Team Colorado, where I inquired as to how well fundraising out of state goes. Eventually my lunch had all disappeared and I had to lumber back to a standing position before trundling off into the ever rising temperatures.
The stretch between Bradley and Rest Stop Four traverses a military base which is interesting but the US Army has definitely not optimized their roads for bicycle use. The bouncing around and gravel made me concerned about getting a flat, so I spent much of the stretch thinking about whether you can actually stop to change your tire on the base. My question was answered when I saw a guy changing a tire underneath a tree, with a small white base security car and a man in camouflage looking on.
I never skip a Rest Stop so I rolled into Rest Stop FOur for some ice, fluids, and pictures with the Spice Girls. The first time around I sat at Rest Stop Four for what felt like a half hour feeling like a shit sandwich cooking in the sun. This time around I still felt like I was cooking in the sun, but had a bit more confidence that I was going to swiftly make it back into camp. From Rest Stop Four there are pleasant rollers, light tailwinds, and some nice scenery.
Much of the scenery went unnoticed in 2019, this time around however I can really enjoy the sights much more as I hammer down the road.
Closing in on Paso Robles I ran into my tent mate Kohsuke and we were able to finish together. Despite the extra climbing, heat, and general leg stiffness, I proudly arrived into camp as the 168th cyclist.