Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day #2: Kicked Arses

Today's Route: Jamul, CA to Pine Valley, CA (51 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 81

Simply put: Today's ride kicked our arses.

Let's start at the beginning of the day, with breakfast.

Munching down on some hearty oatmeal.

The first 18 miles of today's ride led us to the official start of the ride, at the border crossing in Tecate.

Welcome to Tecate.

Me, at the border crossing.

As we were taking photos, a couple approached us and asked if we wanted a photo together. Sure! They then gave us their business card and asked if we would be passing through Ramona. If so, we were welcome to stay with them. Unfortunately, we don't plan to stay in Ramona, but we were thrilled to have received the offer.

Alex and me at the crossing.

There wasn't a whole lot in Tecate, aside from lots and lots of Border Patrol vehicles. We took advantage of the opportunity to have a snack. I've found a new favorite--a grape tomato wrapped in a piece of mozzarella cheese. I suppose I should add some basil leaves to make the snack more colorful and more gourmet for bike touring.

My new favorite snack.

We didn't spot any roadkill today, but we did ride past a patriotic monkey. He was caged in a tree on the side of the road, just outside of Campo.

A monkey, caged in a tree.

Today was a bitch of a ride. I'm blaming it partially on forgetting how best to eat/hydrate and partially on the fact that I didn't train for the ride. But, really, I must give credit to the fact that today's ride involved nearly 4,000 feet of elevation gain, many which were into a nasty headwind.

Post-ride weather research indicated that southwest California had a high wind advisory. (We guessed as much.) Winds were 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. Yikers! The winds were pretty shifty. In all fairness, the wind was at our tails for awhile. But it was definitely the winds at our heads that deserve mentioning.

A nice shoulder, on a quiet road.

We decided to chicken out and get a motel room for the night. No complaints on my side.

After taking a hot shower, I decided to make a good dent in the mostest bestest treat ever -- Speculous (aka "Cookie Butter"). I justified the dent by figuring that the more I ate, the less weight I'd have to drag up the big climb tomorrow morning. Let me reassure you, ladies and gentlemen, that jar of Speculous ain't exactly lightweight.

The mostest bestest treat ever.

You may recall from my last trip that chocolate milk was my drink of choice for energy replenishment. Since last year's trip, I've discovered that drinking milk makes me feel sluggish, and it makes my throat seem to tighten a bit. I tried a chocolate milk after yesterday's ride. Indeed, the experience wasn't so wonderful. No more chocolate milk for me. <Insert frown here.>

Alex was a great sport today. He's been quick-to-learn touring technique, and he and I share the same philosophies about riding styles, rest breaks, etc. It's really great to have Alex along for the trip. Today's ride wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without him.

Alex has taken up blog writing. His blog can be found at ReroutedHeart.blogspot.com. It's interesting how Alex and I have been writing about different aspects of the day. To get a more comprehensive view of our tour, I suggest reading both blogs in tandem.

Before I sign off for the night, let me reassure you that I will be popping an ibuprofen before I close my eyes. The kicking of my arse on today's ride will definitely result in some inflammation of numerous body parts, and I'm all about reducing swelling.


  1. After a year in central america, I used Tecate border to come back to USA. If you ride 30 miles into mexico, you will find the Mexican wine country and the wines are as good as in Napa... Wow... 4000 feet of elevation is pretty impressive.

  2. I wasn't aware of a wine country in Mexico. Beer is popular near the border, though -- saw many, many discarded cans near the side of the road.

  3. ahhhhhh! i'm so excited and upset about this at the same time. you do know that i grew up in Jamul, right?????. Please stop for pies in Julian if you make your way North of Pine Valley. And please let me know if you need a place to stay in Jamul! Probably too late...but worth the thought. The lilacs should be in bloom and

    1. Michelle, I didn't know you grew up in Jamul. Too funny, as you are about the twentieth person to mention the Julian pies! :)

  4. Ahhhh! You do know that I grew up in Jamul. You could have stayed with my parents instead of a motel. Grrr.....I hope the lilacs are in full bloom and that oak trees come into your path just in time for a shady break. Take care...enjoy socal!!

  5. Climbing 4,000 feet into a headwind! What a second day, congrats. You earned that ibuprofen. And the Cookie Butter :-)

    1. Thanks, Ocean. That makes me feel better about downing half a jar (of cookie butter--not ibuprofen). :)


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