Jetlags can be a good thing. Woke up at five AM, which allowed me to leave before six AM, more than necessary on the first day: 232 kilometers with almost 4000 meters of climbing were waiting. Basically uphill all day.
In the first couple of hours I kept asking myself if I hadn’t planned to much for the first day. Can I do this? What if something happens? The same insecurities as with my first Middle Distance races for instance. The remedie was simple: just keep pedaling.
The traffic was quite heavy during the first couple of hours. So many cars. Some share the road, some really don’t, just like home! The further I got, the quieter it got. Although I never really exited population, the area is just one huge city, with some little open fields in between. This allowed me to have second breakfast and lunch whenever I pleased. Choosing what to eat is made really simple in the USA: they write down the amount of calories at every menu option, I just choose whatever has the most calories.
Then the climb up to Big Bear. My. F-ing. G. That climb just takes for ever and ever. When I measure from actual bottom to top its 58 kilometers with almost 2100 meters of ascent. As a bonus I also got my first flat during the climb. This is also when you realise you have limited resources and you’ll have to use them really well. Normally when you find the cause of a flat you continue. Not today though. After removing the first thorn I later discovered two more. Imagine flattening three times. That would have been really bad news.
The delay also meant I’d be finishing my first day in the dark. For some reason I couldn’t really care. I was just so happy this first and maybe even toughest day was over. On to the next!