DAY ONE – SAN FRAN TO SANTA CRUZ

Quinoa with banana breakfast

After a good coffee and quinoa with banana in the van, I set for Rapha to start the first leg of my Pedal All Day adventure. This first leg of 7 (which I did in 6), was a solid but gentle 135km ride. A few inclines, the greatest only 200m, was a nice rolling leg turner. But I diverse..

outside the RPAHA Cycle Club in San Francisco

outside the RAPHA Cycle Club in San Francisco

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Rapha was the perfect spot being close to the Golden Gate Bridge and central. It allowed me to skirt west of the City to follow a coastal Road. But other than a few pieced memories of our hectic ride the day before, I wasn’t exactly sure how to get onto that route.IMG_0585IMG_0584pedalalldaysanfran

After our brief 60km exposure to the highways of San Fran, the idea of exiting this fog filled City really freaked me out. Our RV site hadn’t had any wifi the night before. And I technically couldn’t download maps onto my Garmin 800. As always, I was completely ill prepared when it came to having a set direction. This tends to ignite drama to my gasoline tank of crazy experiences in life. In any case, on this trip through the misty wonderland of San Fran, I was really riding blind. Luckily my pigeon beacon set fire, and I was born to the outskirts of San Fran.

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IMG_0593san francisco beach bike

It took a good time to get out of the city but eventually I followed the beautiful Pacific Coast. Easily the most spectacular, and moving ride I had, at that point, ever had the fortune to ride. I certainly did not take my sight for granted as I soaked in as much as my eyes could take. The experience of navigating these highways and solo riding along this massive incredible coastline. The scene along the way was littered by pumpkin farms collected for Halloween. Id forgotten about this event. But i was quickly brought up to speed by the sheer abundance of pumpkins and pumpkin paraphernalia.

ride to santa cruzlighthouse san fransisco ridepumpkin halloween usa bike ride

Finally I made it, without too much drama, turmoil or pain, into the depths of Santa Cruz. This City was surprisingly easy to melt within and the night was spent relaxing with beer, a most amazing David cooked meal, and me looking forward to riding the start of the Big Sur the next day. Finished day two at Santa Cruz

map san fran to santa cruz

Nothing New for Race Day – Excluding the New Dedacciai Super Scuro

I know the term ‘nothing new on race day’ makes utter sense. But when you’re offered an incredibly beautiful and phenomenally awesome Dedacciai Super Scuro, sense does not enter the equation.

Please welcome the new Dedacciai to my family. Being in the workshop as David built her was better than watching the candy maker. This Italian perfectionist had the Scuro ready for the next days ride.Image

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I can very gladly say, this bike provided the most incredible 115km through the 3 gorges of Sydney yesterday because this bike is a beast! My brief description is based on this route that offers some steep descents and long winding climbs. The highway is fast, straight, with quite a few hills and dips. Firstly, the bike doesn’t like potholes or lapping asphalt. But if I cared about that Id ride a sprung & padded seat. So, moving on, the main highlight was a strong connection with the road Id never felt before. It takes a bit for me to adjust to the speed of a new bike down steep and sharp-turning roads. But the strength of that tapered head tube when you move your weight down low, allows you to quickly fuse to the bike. The stability is unreal.

I confess I took this bike nowhere near its potential. The excitement of knowing it can do so much more than me leaves me wanting to build a relationship with this incredible machine.

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Its hot. I could be that infamous model from the latest string of repulsive cycling adverts, wearing stilettos with pants so tight Id split them mounting this bike, but I doubt anyone would notice me. Because its all about the bike.

Descending those twists down Galston Gorge was exhilarating. The transition into each opposing corner was super smooth and I can’t help feeling guilt at not being able to put in the power I know it was made for.

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This image is of 4 of our amigos team (kev is taking the photo) amking a quick ferry dash over Berowra Waters before the climb up, up & up.

Thanks to David, Im super excited to get that bike packed and ready when we both hit L/A in two days time. If you missed the news, Dave is my mechanic, cook, and personal motivational coach for the 7 days of riding I’m doing for Macular Disease.

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This is the RV he is driving. Dave really will be doing it tough in the air conditioning, while I sit back and relax into the 800km ride. Ive done road trips in New Zealand with these RV’s and I’m looking forward to spending my nights in a familiar room, as opposed to turning up in a motel and relocating my stuff. Our first night will be spent near Malibu as we drive to San Fran and survey the coastal route which I’ll be returning on the Dedacciai. I may be spending some pre-ride time in the van, but my mind will be totally on the Scuro and what promises to be an incredible first-time experience for both of us.

Festive Feast and Raffle Time

If we need an excuse to party like its 1999, raising funds & awareness for a worthy cause is a good one. A few nights ago a festive feast was held at the Sydney Cycle Club in Sydney to raise support for those with Macular Disease.

Talking has never been Paul's IssueMy friend BigMan Paul visiting from New Zealand – the night could not have had a better MC

The best of cooking was performed by Kate, Betti, Klara, Dora, Paul, Ben & the unforgettable chocolate cakes by awesome Shaun. Everything was vegetable oil free & home-made. Unbelievably good!

Lots of raffles were given &, thanks to Bondi’s Kemenys for their amazing discount on alcohol, we had excessive drink to finish. A return party is required to complete this mission.

Norwex Winner! (with Dave)Norwex Winnings!

Bikebug were truly fantastic supporters. Every gift bag included a bikebug.com $20 voucher, not to mention SIS gels, Farmer Jo muesli & Allpress Coffee. Why did I pick these companies? Because they are my favorites. Local maker Farmer Jo does the most incredibly yummy organic breakfast cereals, including the gluten-free option – scrummy with fresh yoghurt and bananas. And, as a supplier of coffee for Rapha, Allpress Coffee is seriously the finest Bean Roaster in town. I have a few packs of their beans to get through customs & I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

BigMan Paul MC

BigMan Paul MC with Gift Bags

Its been a hard few days to get over the event and back into a routine. So this post has been sadly delayed. My lovely friend Libby deserved an immediate thank you for her eloquent speech on Macular Disease, its prevalence, and the needed support for the MDFA.

Abby, Libby & James

Abby (Lululemon Yoga Mat Winner!), Super Lady Libby & James

The best supporters helped the night’s success, and I would be amiss to leave out their names: Bikebug, Westfields Bondi Junction, SpecSavers Randwick, BikeLab, Bondi Bikes, Allpress, Farmer Jo, Kemenys, Norwex, Vision Personal Training Bondi Junction, Lululemon & Libby Design. Thank you for the warmest, generosity of 50 guests, and the awesome Rapha Team who held the event – who served, cleaned and provided the best hospitality I could ever have wanted. Klara, Matt, Lina, Shaun & Danny – you are absolute gold. xx

Spreading the word about Macular Disease has never been more important and, if I succeeded by having every guest talk about it beyond the party room, then I feel very satisfied indeed.

PEDAL ALL DAY – Looking after the Legs

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Time ticks as my deadline to leave 15th October quickly approaches. With a few hundred clicks in my legs this week, those lunges and squats get harder every night.  But I know they’ll pay off. On the 5th or 6th day of my ride I expect my legs to turn into hard lumps of lead. Being seated for hours on end isn’t natural. Depending on legs to move your body weight for days isn’t normal practice either. So my packing priorities include ‘deep-heat’ & a fantastic set of compression pants. After all, looking after your legs is important – we only keep moving when our legs keep turning.

Now I’m stretching to prepare for another 100 return to Bobbin Head tomorrow.  Such a beautiful place with beautiful climbs.