Friday, May 21

More Light Than Tunnel, at least right now...

Women's Clinic Update: 101 happy participants! Sunday 75+ gals went on a supported 15 or 40 mile ride loop here in town with sag vehicles and ride guides! 20 went to the Ontario Crit, putting 40 girls in the cat 4 womens field! That is so awesome for this region!

I was pretty bummed to be so tired the whole time. With minimal sleep, pre-5am wake up calls day after day, I was off my A-game! All good though! Here is my little intermediate group! We worked on shifting, pacelines, double pace lines, eating and drinking on the bike and hill climbing! So much fun! And they all had a blast! And that was just the beginning of their fun day!

Big Bear Update: Dan Rendler saved my day Friday by delivering these to me at Women's Clinic Signin! They phonetics is hilarious and the notes so funny and kind! Kids writing thank you notes are the best! I sure hope they can get over to the finish of the ToC stage today and get even more excited about riding bikes!
Saturday night, i had to skip an important bday party to spend 2 hours at the grocery store finalizing my foods for the trip! I realized I would be driving the Uhaul truck to Morro Bay with all the kids junk in it, so why not throw the Mountain Bike in?!?! PERFECT!!!!!


Sometimes I act out of character. and the kids LOVE it! I wanted to make shortcake from scratch but come on, its a bunch of 10th graders, really. So I fillet Twinkies for Strawberry-Twinkie-Cakes!!!
I also got the kids to eat Family Style, like on HOOK!
Monterey! I loved the aquarium! Sea Horses were rad, with their Male-giving-birth way of life, the Otters were out in full force, and the fact that I was NOT racing the Sea Otter Classic...made all ok. Just kidding. But the fact that I have raced all over the Left Coast, made my navigation skills come in quite handy. Who would have thought!
Mountain Bike Trails! I totally picked the CORRECT bike to bring with me! The trails could be seen from camp, and as soon as I had breakfast cleared and packed and lunch prepped, I was able to head out, two different days, to check out the goods! An intricate system of trails between the State Park and Montana de Oro welcomed me. With no maps, no computers, no info, I just had to follow the trails. Somewhat like Blue Diamond by Vegas, I could see where the trails met and intersected. Smooth switchbacks, nice rock drops, techy ascents with flowers on all sides made for an excellent experience! And it was reassuring to know I can still ride the MTB :)

Kayaking! Justin Mace, great pal since high school, taught me how to kayak in 1998. And I haven't really done it since. It is interesting to learn, however, that those long ago learned skills, come back with a snap of the finger...
This outing turned out to be the most exciting of the week. With a Small Craft Advisory in effect, gale force winds, huge swell and strong current, the kids were sent two by two to their deaths. I mean, on a kayaking voyage to the sand spit. Well at least some of them made it.
Here's the quick and dirty. Sometimes, you should pick your kayaking partners based on skill and strength, not based on whether or not they are in your top five. A few of the kayaks got stuck, pushed out towards open water and were getting stranded. So I jumped in the single kayak to go and tether them and paddle them to shore. The two girls I got to looked as if they had been under a whales blow-hole, they were drenched with sea water. Extremely fatigued and frustrated, they were sitting ducks. I tethered them and in a move I have not pulled in 7 years of teaching, I yelled. I had to. I had to get them to understand that we in fact, will need to suffer. That pain was the only option and that working together would lessen my pain, ever so slightly. I started to paddle and seriously, it was like i was moored to a dock. No progress. I was working at above full capacity and the girls were trying there best.
Whenever something is hard, I think about Boulevard and freezing rain, pain and suffering, and slog on know that this pales in comparison. The poor girls however, do not have that frame of reference, and I was afraid I was freaking them out, so made sure to just keep talking to them and keep them calm.
Enter, harbor police. Yelling, gesturing and other antics ended with the girls and kayak being loaded, along with another kayak with a parent and male student. I had to get back to the other shore to corral and guide the 25 other kids back to the dock, so the police opted for me to hold onto the side of their boat, while they towed me to the sand spit.
Well in a small single kayak, going 15 mph, my grip on the rope to my right really sucked. The waves were big and I was getting pummelled. The nose of my boat kept getting pulled hard left, and I was about to let go, and someone grabbed my arm. And that was that. Full barrel roll in the fridged open ocean. Here is where Justin's lessons came in. Flip boat. Empty water. Rest on the bottom of it. I kept telling the police I was fine, because I was and they were yelling "GET IN TE BOAT NOW> GET OUT OF THE WATER!" Calm down alright! All is good, just gotta get in!
They wanted to take me to the dock but I was like um hello, I have other kids to save! Just kidding. But that was that. Pretty exciting I guess. Got the kids corralled (in a very odd Babel-like trudge through sand barefoot searching for them across the dunes) and back, just in time to make dinner.
Always remembering to keep things light and carefree! NEON day at school...


And Dez and I showing how to be friends on the bike at the clinic. I am very grateful to my solid, great friends right now that have really helped keep me on my toes, see things in logical perspective, and teach me how to race my bike, and be a good influence on others!

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