It was my original intention to do these daily blogs while on the journey. However, with the long days riding, trying to eat and prep for the next day, and edit the vlogs for the YouTube channel, I just didn't have time to post. What follows will be my chronicle of the trip for your enjoyment.
FEBRUARY 24, 2023
The day before the start of Inspiration Ride 2023 Across America for Valley Children's Hospital began with rain forecasted for the entire day. In fact, it rained all day and shut down Interstate 5 over the grapevine into Los Angeles and Huntington Beach California which is the start location. The alternate route over Highway 58 and the Tehachapi Mountains were also closed due to snow. The only way for us to get to the start was by driving Highway 41 towards the central coast and going the the long way around using Highway 101 through Santa Barbara.
We picked up the rental car and then packed it it up and departed by 1:30 pm in anticipation of a long drive. It started out well, but then ran into very heavy traffic and construction zone from San Luis Obispo through Pismo Beach. This added an additional hour and a half to the already long drive.
With the bad weather forecast for the first day of the ride, I realized I would need some rain pants to go along with my rain jacket. I started looking on line to get some locally, but there were none available in my size. (I guess since Fresno gets very little rain, most shops don't carry them.) I found a pair at the REI in Huntington Beach which wasn't far from our hotel, so I called them and had them place them on hold for my arrival.
Well, as the day progressed, it was beginning to be clear that we may not arrive before REI closed. Fortunately, Darrellyn C. from Valley Children's Hospital was ahead of us on the road and would reach Huntington Beach before us. She graciously went to REI and purchased the rain pants and dropped them off at the hotel for our arrival.
With the deadline of REI closing behind us, we were able to relax somewhat and get some dinner before continuing to the hotel. We eventually arrived at the hotel after a 10 hour ordeal just to scramble to get everything ready for the 6:00 am start the next morning.
I had to prep the bike, lay out all the clothes, prepare the energy drinks, nutrition and all the gear that would be necessary to ride. We also had to repack the luggage, so we could quickly load up the car the next morning before I started riding.
We didn't get to sleep until nearly midnight and set the alarm for 4:00 am. Tomorrow will be a long day on little sleep. What did I get myself into.