Dan's AIDS/Lifecycle 8 Pictures
Day 6 (Friday 6/6/2008) - Lompoc to Ventura Beach

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Day 6. Lompoc to Ventura Beach. 86 Miles.

The weather for the ride DID affect the ride however. In my tent in Lompoc in the early morning of Day 6 at about 1am, I heard some rain drops. I thought, "uh, oh...". And it got heavier. As I tried to go back to sleep, I made a point not to touch the side of the tent. The tent's that are supplied to the riders (we are not allowed to bring our own tents) are not the best quality. Code for they are barely water resistant. When I did wake up at 4:05am, I found I was not totally successful. There were small puddles throughout my tent. GREAT! As the rain had slackened a bit I decided to head out to breakfast. I'd rather sit under a big dry tent than in my wet tent. My plan was to ride out at 7:30 am instead of my usual 6:30. That is because the CHP hold us at Rest Stop 2 until 9 am due to them closing highway 1 to allow us to safely cross a narrow bridge.

So, I went to breakfast and took my time and talked to some fellow riders. The rain was coming down quite hard at times. Man, this was going to be messy! Daylight started to show around 6 am and we saw very cloudy skies with showers all around. I went back to my tent then to find a wet mess. I crawled in and put on as dry clothes as I could but basically all my stuff was damp or wet. I knew that once I was dressed and ready to ride, it would be better. Day 6 is my absolute favorite day as we go through Santa Barbara on the way to Ventura Beach.

After I got dressed and packed away, I felt better. It had not rained at all but looked quite bad to the south where we were headed. Actually, it looked down right nasty in  that direction. I did not see why I should hurry up to get to Rest Stop 2 and wait an hour like I did last year. No, my plan to ride out at 7:30 made solid sense.

Standing at my bike at 7:10, we got word that the route had been closed for the moment due to weather. It would open in a half an hour. Great. Now this was cutting into me getting into camp early like I had everyday.

Finally at 8:30 I think, we were told the route was closed for the day. All riders who had taken off before 7am and who had reached Rest Stop 1 had been held up. No one had been allowed to continue because after Rest Stop 1, a four mile steep descent followed. Also a major accident (not involving a rider) had closed the highway totally. All riders at Rest Stop 1 were given the option of riding back to Lompoc (15 miles) or taking the bus back or forward to Ventura. Many riders decided to come back to Lompoc as that would have given them at least 30 miles. Now, I wish I had ridden out early! Riders started returning telling us it was real nasty at Rest Stop 1. Cold and wet. The Medical crew handed out the thermal aluminum foil blankets at Rest Stop 1 to everyone. So, that was a badge of honor so to speak. In a way, if one had a blanket, they were immediately considered bad ass by some of us. In a good way of course.

We were told our bikes would be shipped to Ventura by the gear trucks after they had taken the gear to Ventura 80 miles away. Also we would be bused to Ventura...eventually. Problem was, the organizers had only three or four coaches. Getting 2100 riders 80 miles would be a tough thing. So, we had a lot of waiting to do. So, that we did. Funny thing is, the weather became gorgeous. We heard the weather south of us was bad though.

So, we sat around. Around 12'ish, we were told the lunch stop in Santa Barbara would be coming back to Lompoc to feed us. And that they did. When the truck came, quite a few riders chipped in to help unload the food truck including myself.

After a lengthy lunch, we decided to head back to bike parking. We saw a line forming for the buses. Then we saw school buses. A rider who was an official for the Santa Barbara School District made a few phone calls and secured 18 school buses. I'm not sure if it was for free, but whomever did that, they did us a great service!

The gear trucks finally arrived. Many of the riders started helping load bikes. Problem was you could only load them so fast. So we helped as best as we could. In the end I finally got to camp around 5:00 pm. I knew Kathryn would be flying in and we'd be staying in a real hotel for the night.

All in all, I have to commend the ride organizers. They obviously had a contingency plan and implemented it well. Thankfully the riders were cooperative and understanding. I didn't hear a complaint all day. Awesome!

Wet morning!

Waiting to head out and then we got the "word"

Sitting around waiting for lunch to arrive. Some people really made use of this time!

Lunch has arrived. Many would lend a hand to help get lunch served quicker.

The line that formed after lunch to take the bus to camp Ventura.

The gear trucks that had returned from Ventura to ship 2100 bikes back there. The last bike would arrive in Ventura at 7:30pm. Riders again pitched in to help load bikes on the trucks.

The school buses are queued up in the background.

Finally, I boarded my school bus at 3 pm. Chicken Lady came aboard to cheer us on. The last shot is a picture out the rear of the bus (I was in the back row) of the route on the way to Ventura... There's always next year!

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