For me it was Angels.
This would probably be my husband's version of Angel...mine is below.
My friend Orietta and I were signed up for the California Triathlon Angels and Demons ride - 78 miles from the Anaheim Amtrak Station to Solana Beach, then a train ride bike home.
My angel was watching over me and at the last minute my guy (who was scheduled to work) decided to take the time off and join us on the bike ride.
Orietta's daughter is pregnant and Orietta is going to be a GRANDMOTHER at anytime. So on Thursday night's bike ride I told Orietta that she probably shouldn't go on the Angels and Demons ride because she would be away from her daughter for HOURS with no way to get back.
And if her daughter had her baby while she was bike riding, I know she would feel terrible for missing it.
Knowing that Robert was going made her backing out of the ride easier for her.
I guess Orietta's Angels were watching over her, too!
Orietta with Robert and me. Does she look as if she should be a grandmother? No, she looks way too young.
The California Triathlon Angels and Demons ride started at the Anaheim Amtrak Station.
Yes, I am in the picture somewhere there. Robert is NOT! He was in the porta-potty. Priorities.
We rode from the parking lot at the "A" on the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) to Pacific Coast Highway. We were passed by several of my peeps from Triathlon Connection out on the SART doing training for various triathlons.
When they sped by, at first I was a little bummed that I wasn't riding with them. Then on second thought, I knew I couldn't keep up with their speediness AND I have wanted to ride through Camp Pendleton for a long time AND I had my guy riding with me.
So all was right with my world.
The first part of the ride was FOGGY.
I had to take my glasses off so I could see.
It was so foggy that I had water dripping off my helmet and my handlebars were wet
We got to the end of the SART and regrouped and took off down Pacific Coast Highway toward Newport Beach. It was within 1/2 miles that one of the cyclists in front of me went over his handlebars and crashed.
Several of us rushed to him and got him out of the road and on a nearby bench. I checked his pupils and made sure he could move his neck. He had some road burn on his right leg and knee, but it was pretty superficial.
He'll need a new helmet.
He said he was calling it a day and was going to call his girlfriend who lived in Huntington Beach to come and get him.
(oh, come on, that is totally Angels - I mean, how lucky was he that he only had some superficial owies and he was so close to his girlfriend's place and now she was going to take care of him? I bet she even gave him chicken noodle soup.)
The next part of the ride was ANGELS!!!
Okay, I just threw that pic in to get your attention. But this is how I envision my Angel. It works for me!
I loved riding along PCH in the fog.
I had my back flasher on and there wasn't much traffic.
I felt safe.
Love this flasher!!!
These flashers are better, but they don't fit on the back of my bike.
We rode through Newport Beach and got on the ferry!
Getting on the ferry from Newport Beach to Balboa Island.
Maybe no one will notice my eyes are closed because the Ferris wheel is in the background?
It was foggy.
Now we are off the ferry and waiting for the bathroom.
The next part of the ride was lots of miles just riding, riding, riding Pacific Coast Highway...some up and some down.
I loved riding through places I had ridden before and some I had not. The cities flashed by as we went through them.
Corona Del Mar
Crystal Cove State Park Beach (I love staying there).
I thought about my friend Patty as I rode by Crown Valley Parkway....I know she lives up the hill somewhere.
San Clemente (just an aside...the drivers here were the rudest and several honked at us and acted as we shouldn't be on the road. Sorry, but Robert and I looked at each other and said, "DON'T EVER WANT TO LIVE HERE!"
For rudeness to bikers - Laguna came in second.
SAG stop outside San Clemente.
Let me add, SAG stop with no bathroom. For the guys it was okay, because they were just going behind the building, but for the few women (I think less than 10), we just had to hold it.
Eventually I found a bathroom at a state park!
Riding through Camp Pendleton was great!
There was hardly any traffic and the roads were great!
I got a kick out of the signs we passed.
There was also "Troop Crossing" signs and several Artillery signs.
We made it through the base without any MPV's stopping us.
I am sure it was thanks to my Angel.
Just thought you may want to look at him again. My Angel Rocks!
And we continued on through Oceanside.
We had one guy in our group fall over in the road in Oceanside. Clipping issue, I think. We blocked the road from traffic while he got up.
Towns that LOVE cyclists?
Well, soon we were in those towns.
Carlsbad, Leucadia, Encinitas, Solana Beach.
I am getting pretty good at riding 18 mph and pulling my guy along while taking pictures over my head.
These are my favorite places to ride.
We did have one horrible incident in Leucadia.
I don't know all the details because I am not a 20-plus mile-an-hour rider, but one of the riders got his arm caught on a rack on the back of a truck that was parked on the side of the road.
By the time we got there, police were blocking the road. The cyclist was already gone in the ambulance.
The group of people we were cycling with were in a parking lot, many of them in shock.
I am praying for the cyclist.
Last I heard, he was in La Jolla at the trauma center.
I have never been on a ride where someone has been seriously injured.
We left the scene and finished off the last few miles of our ride.
As we did, Robert and I talked about keeping ourselves safe riding on the streets. We have flashers on the back of our bikes. I always assume EVERYONE is going to hit me.
We position ourselves so that everyone can see us.
I always think parked cars will be opening their doors, so I ride 3 feet away from the parked cars.
And I pray!
Sometimes when there is a lot of traffic, I just pray and call on my Angels to watch over me and get me safely through my ride.
You know my Angel was going to show up again, right?
The last part of our ride was through Encinitas, where Robert and I competed in the Triathlon, oh, scratch, that, I mean the duathlon at the Encinitas Tri.
(The blog where I was suppose to do the triathlon, but the waves were WAY too big, so I switched to duathlon and came in second.)
As we rode by the ocean, I mentioned to Robert that the waves were way smaller and if they had been that small when the triathlon went on I would so have been in the water.
Finally, we were at Pizza Port and I don't even like pizza.
But this pizza I loved. First of all, my Garmin said I burned 2,861 calories, so I was just hungry. Also I like this pizza because I got to pick what was on it....chicken, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and pesto sauce...and yeah, I let the Italian guy have one pick and he decided on adding some sausage on it.
Bring on the pizza and beer.
My recovery drink (there was NO chocolate milk)...sparkling water and beer.
Refuel time for the train ride home!
Robert and I are looking out of the train window wondering where our next adventure should take us.
By the way, I messaged Orietta and told her once she IS a grandmother and has a free day, we are doing this ride again. So if you want to join us, you are more than welcome.