For the fifth installment in my 2013 R12, I rode the Coastal Cruz route… for the fifth time! Yes, I like this route. It constituted a full third of my 2012 R-12, including a dramatic photo finish for the 12th installment. The third time I rode it was the first time John and I rode together (for the Santa Cruz Randonneurs Dart), sparking a flame that would turn into a full-fledged bicycle romance, which by now you are sick of reading about if you have been reading this blog. But something I discovered after completing this ride is that John and I have logged approximately 1500 miles together since that dart last August! Whew, that went by fast. Three camping trips, the fleche, the 400k, several 200k permanents, and other rides purely for pleasure, and all of a sudden we are racking up Big Miles. Go Team Poteman! or… Team Coltis? Anyway, John is a super guy and there are many reasons why we are compatible, but I will encapsulate the feelings I have for him by saying life and bicycling are better with him around.
I had resigned myself to this being my first solo 200k after hearing the tales from the 600k he had just finished two weeks before. I thought I had some difficult stomach issues on the 400k, but his were difficult-er, as he had to stop in the middle of a fast technical descent in the dark to barf by the side of the road. And then ride another 300k or so. Randonneuring is awesome, am I right? This kind of thing doesn’t happen all the time, but it does seem to happen to everybody at least once. When you do as many rides as John has done, it will happen eventually. I believe this is his 6th SR series (one each of 200k,300k,400k, and 600k). After our beautiful and worry-free, even barf-free, bike tour in April, I’m sure RUSA and ACP events don’t have the same shine for John. Even still, he rode along with me (though not for RUSA credit) for my R5. Yay! Check out the flickr set for the typical gorgeous views of the California coast, the lovely weather we enjoyed that day, and visions of the ever-popular Ugly Mug Cafe as seen by its piscine residents. I would consider myself blessed to ride this route five-and-twenty more times or more.