Both Marketa and I were quite busy with preparations for the April 21-22 weekend: her mostly dealing mentally with tapering before the San Louis Obispo Marathon, which meant no running for three days and worrying about various body parts that gave her trouble on past long runs. It also included a hope that her new Hoka One-One shoes, tested on one 24 mile run, will be a smart choice for 26.2 miles of pavement.
My anxiety stemmed from the fact that I had just one chance to test my road bike touring setup, which I intend to use in second half of May on a multi-day tour through California and perhaps even a bit of Oregon. I chose a Topeak aluminum rack and two yellow waterproof Ortlieb panniers. The mounting system on Ortliebs is very clever and worked as advertised. For tires, I used 32c Vittoria Randonneur, mainly for their triple puncture protection, but they barely fit through the brake calipers. And as the picture below shows (taken with a flash), they have reflective walls!
So off we were on Saturday, driving south on 101 in a 95F heat. The weather was supposed to cool down somewhat on Sunday, but this was the first heat wave of the year and we both worried as we have done no training above 70F. But on the marathon Expo grounds in SLO, it was pleasant 75F.
The plan for Sunday was for Marketa to hop on a bus shuttling runners to the start and me leaving the car at a hotel nearby the finish, then taking off on the bike. Meeting point: Monterey's Cannery Row.
We are both up at 1:30AM, then again at 2:30AM. We make coffee (the Vagabond Inn variety, yuck!) and she is ready for it at 4AM (two hours to the start).
I got going around 6:30, wearing all warm accessories I brought for this trip, except a Gore rain jacket. In fog and drizzle, I stuffed my dark sunglasses in the jersey pocket, thinking that by the time I get to the coast, it will be sunny. Fourteen miles later, at Morro Bay, I'm soaked, water dripping from my helmet, and I am cold. Highway 1 north towards Cayucos is almost flat, so no hills to warm up. I pass a town of Harmony, pop. 18, as well as Cambria, resisting to check out the huge Cambria Bike Outfitters store, on my way to San Simeon.
Then all of the sudden, just north of Point Big Sur, the fog clears, opening beautiful views of the coast.
I arrive around 5:30PM, after 150 miles and 9500 feet of climbing, ready for a nice seafood dinner.
Marketa's marathon time was 4:28, way to go baby!