Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 76 - Sunflower Fields Forever

California's lush valley is an oasis for a tired cyclist. On our 12th straight day of riding,we were all weary. Our butts hurt, our quads felt like anvils, our backs seemed stuck in a crooked position. Muscles that we didn't even know we had hurt just from holding onto the bike constantly, everyday. The never-ending road stretched out for miles in front of us, mercifully flat. The wind stayed calm and the sun shone gently, blessings that we are not always lucky enough to receive. 

We pedaled in a larger group. Marcus and Eliza lead the way in a double paceline that also contained Melanie, Emma, Cindy, Amanda, and me. They pulled an easy pace, a speed that I feel like I haven't gone for days. As we spun, we chatted, enjoying each other's company. Our days together are quickly dwindling. 

Suddenly, the horizon was a bright yellow, an almost unnatural color that contrasted with the brown earth. We squinted our eyes, trying to figure out what could possibly be that beautiful shade. We all seemed to realize what it was at once. Sunflowers! The tall flowers stretched on to the ends of the earth, the blossoms pointed east towards the sun, looking like attentive schoolchildren. We couldn't help but stop for an hour and take pictures in the fields. 

Mel and Eliza

Almost ever flower had a honey bee on it, busily collecting nectar and pollen to take back to the bee boxes nearby. We pranced around the fields, enjoying the beauty. 

The sunflower field gave us the boost we needed to finish our short 48 mile day. We took the miles slow, savoring the moments and taking time to talk. Simple days like this are the ones that we may miss the most. 

Tomorrow is day 13 of our 13 mile stretch. Our bodies are tired, it could not have come soon enough. Once we arrive in Davis tomorrow, after 56 flat miles, we get to stay off the bike for a day while we build in Davis. Then, it's a 3 day home stretch to Santa Cruz. 

1 comment:

  1. Keep pedaling guys!! I can't believe you are almost there!! xxxooo mom