Today was off to a rocky start, even though I had planned everything out the night before. I was meeting the team, Suzi, Sue, Noreen, Gail, and Dave at the BevMo in Camarillo. I had my clothes ready, my bag ready and I checked my directions so I knew exactly where I was going. And we weren’t meeting until 9:00am, so I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get there. According to WAZE it would take a little under 30 minutes. I woke up in plenty of time, so I had a little breakfast and then headed out. Everything was perfect. I even found a quicker way to put my bike in the car. I got on the freeway and I was off. And then someone started honking their horn at me. At first, I thought it was the cops and then I looked and it was a guy in a white pickup truck who was waving frantically at me. And then when I looked in the back seat I realized I didn’t have my tire with me, the front tire that I took off so I could fit my bike into my car, but this guy was honking at me to pull over. I pulled over, jumped out of the car even as he was motioning for me not to. I ran to his passenger side and said, “I can’t talk to you, I have to go back and get my tire.” And that’s when he said, “I have your tire in the back of my truck. I live in your building and I saw you leave, but your tire must have fallen out. I grabbed it and followed you.” I was so relieved. I had my tire and I wouldn’t be late. I thanked him profoundly and asked him what unit he lived in. “352,” he told me. That was good to know. I wanted to know where he lived, so I could give him a gift card. Then I grabbed the tire that was in the back of his truck and got back in my car. I no sooner took off when I looked down at the floor, “Oh, no, oh, no! I didn’t have my helmet. How could I have forgotten my helmet!!! Then I knew I was going to be late. I texted the group and told them not to wait and then headed back to get my helmet. I had Camarillo in my head, so I still planned on going up there. I would find a bike path and ride it alone or maybe there would be the remote chance that I would run into the team.
Knowing that Karen had her bike stolen when she left it for just a few minutes when she went into Ralph’s to get an apple, I wasn’t taking any chances. So, I took my bike out of the car, rolled up the convertible, carried my bike upstairs, grabbed my helmet, went back downstairs, got to my car, rolled down the convertible, put my bike back in the car and then started out for Camarillo. It was 8:50. I was supposed to be there in 10 minutes. But I did get a text from Dave to meet up at Point Mugu. I was saved! I could still ride with the group. Once I was on the freeway, Suzi called me. She had forgotten something too. I told her I would meet the group at Point Mugu. I drove out to Camarillo took the Las Posas exit and headed straight to Point Mugu.
I passed BevMo and I even thought about stopping, but I didn’t want to make them late. So I kept going to the Point. It was about 7 miles and I felt badly that I couldn’t ride it, but I was happy that all was not lost. I got to the end of Las Posas, parked my car, got my bike ready and then waited. Suzi called me to tell me to be on the lookout for Gail. She forgot something too and she was meeting the group at the Point too.
And then the team arrived – Suzi, Sue, Noreen, and Dave. Then we headed down the coast. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride down the coast. Before I never liked June gloom, now I love it. It’s perfect weather for a cyclist.
We rode all the way to Neptune’s Net. I had never been there before. They have the best New England Clam Chowder and I should know, I’m from New England! Then we got back on our bikes and headed back to Point Mugu. I rode a little over 26 miles, making a grand total of 76 miles for the week.
And I am really blessed by this whole experience. Noreen had a pair of shoes for me, the fancy kind that help you ride better and Sue told me that she would order the pedals that go with the shoes. That is in addition to all the jerseys, windbreaker jackets, socks, bike paraphernalia that Gail and Sue had already given me. And I can’t forget the food, too! And Suzi helped me get my tire fixed! This is really an amazing group of people I am riding with. What did I do to deserve it? Every time I ride with them, I am overwhelmed by their generosity and kindness.