Thursday, June 08, 2023

ALC Day 5: Santa Maria to Lompoc; Red Dress Day and a broken wheel

Red Dress Day! Day 5 was the day that I had spent the most time preparing for. And not for the 43 miles, but the clothes.

This was a reaction to my 2019, when I did not even know that red dress day existed.  I was surprised by the nail salon with people doing their nails in red or rainbow colors and then outrageous outfits the next day.  There is a presentation in camp after dinner each evening, and my picture was up in front of thousands of people as the person who did not get the memo.   Here's the red dress picture from four years ago.  I vowed that I would do a much better job this year.

Here's our team picture from this year.  A very different view. Joe was willing to do a dress, while Peter and Evan only went as far as a red tutu; Peter did go a step further, painted his nails red, and then spent longer than he would have thought reasonable waiting for them to dry.

My criteria for my dress and ensemble was:
  • It had to be red (obviously)
  • It had to be tasteful 
  • It had to twirl.  I got this from Claire, my daughter, who wanted dresses sho she could twirl.  If I was going to do it, I was going all the way on that
  • I wanted to be dressed in an elegant set, but tastefully outrageous.  Leopard socks with red roses fit the bill. The arm warmers were a later addition, brought on by weather.
  • My beard was going to be red
I met all those criteria in a $50 amazon dress in a 5XL size.  I had expected that I'd have to take it in at the bust, but nothing was required. Our speculation was that the audience for this dress was more likely men than women and was cut appropriately.

Back to the day.  The camp was a sea of red, with even the truck crews in red, or a bit less.

We left the Santa Maria campground together and went on some very rough roads. At mile 8.5, I hit a pothole and heard a sharp metallic sound.  As we pulled into the rest stop, I realized that my wheel was rubbing against the frame... badly out of true.  It took the bike tech a few minutes to figure out that it was not a spoke, but that the wheel itself was cracked.  Their advice was "do not ride on it...  if it breaks to the next level while you're on a downhill, you will wipe out. You're going to have to sag to the end, buy a new wheel and you'll be back on tomorrow."  See my nemesis below. So yes, I did sag 33 miles, but I was ready to do the full 43 in my dress that day.   I got a life to lunch, where I could buy a new wheel set and see the other red clothes

As I was working with the bike techs on diagnosis, I realized that I did not have a picture with Nikki, my cleat mechanic from yesterday.  We rectified that.

While waiting, I did get pictures of a few other people, including folks who lived within a few miles of me in Berkeley, the Pumadres club who had some of the coolest bike kit during the week; one part of that was their motto on all their gear "badassbikeb!tches."

And one of me in a twirl.

Lunch was what I was working towards, to see people coming in and their creativity. Here are a few of the pictures I captured.

Bertrand was a photographer who offered to take group portraits of incoming riders.


One of the ride staff as a Wakandan royal guard.

Doctor Strange was here as well. He was a real doctor and the medical director of the ride, so was in costume all week.  I told him that I was the Silver Surfer the day before and we had a long discussion of the Marvel Universe.

The sea of red at lunch, and this was still early.

Peter took a few photos as well, and you can also see many more, including team photos, in the video.  You'll see Mr. Blow Pop on day 7 with me.

I did buy new wheels from the shop on the road.  Here's my sales guy and box of Shimano wheels. Once I got these, I caught an Uber to the end of the ride where my bike and mechanics were. They were wonderful and my bike was ready to go by 5:00.

I did get a few more pics of my soulmate's dress (he worked at rest stop 3 and can be seen on the videos a few times).

As well as what I considered the most tasteful dress. They made a fabric of the AIDS ribbon and then made custom dresses for the whole team. It was great that one of the team members was a fashion designer.

One last note.  Peter joined me as I went to pick up my bike.  His rear tire lost a 3/8 inch circle of tread and was an accident waiting to happen.  I struck up a conversation with a guy who was waiting for his bike, talking about tattoos.  Rather than doing things that looked tribal or ferocious, he did items from nature that gave him delight. One that impressed me, especially as my team name at work is "Immortal Jellyfish" was a jellyfish tattoo based on drawings of a German naturalist, Ernst Haeckels.

I was dissatisfied that I didn't ride the miles and have the fun, but it was not my fault. I ended the day feeling satisfied that I did all that I could have done, and that I had worked to make sure that I was riding the next day. The lunch area was the place to be, and I had experienced a bit of it.


At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Ernest+ said...

Congratulations, Charles & Peter!!!
So proud of you guys!!!
Well done!
And looked like lots of fun, too!


Post a Comment

<< Home