Sunday, September 11, 2011

Best Buddies Challenge - Hearst Castle 2011

A few months ago, Sue brought me an information card she picked up downtown about the Best Buddies fundraising bike ride. I looked it up online and decided it would be fun to do. I looked at the elevation/grade chart on the four different rides and decided I could do the 30 mile ride. After this weekend, I found out you can NOT judge a ride by the chart!!! It was WAY harder than I anticipated it would be and I am more sore and tired after this 30 mile ride, than I was last weekend when I rode 60 miles (mostly flat with a couple short and not-so-steep hills). With that being said, it was WELL worth it!

Friday, I left late morning and took advantage of the early check in. While there, I signed up the ride next year and signed up for the 62 mile ride (that was BEFORE I new what the hills are like) - now I am wondering what I got myself into?! I did find out that I can change and do the 30 mile ride if I want to again next year. After I got to my hotel, I had dinner then went to the ocean to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous!

Saturday morning, I drove to near the finish line. My bike was loaded into a big moving truck with the other bikes and I boarded a shuttle bus with the others starting at the 30 mile mark. After a brief opening ceremony, we began. We rode south down Highway 1 and the scenery is absolutely beautiful! I was not in a big hurry and new that, so I stopped a couple times to take some photos. When we crossed the finish line, there were people cheering us on, people giving out a medal to each of the riders and someone to take our bike and helmet to store for us so we could enjoy the post-ride events. We were given a a goodie bag, a message, a hot shower and a great lunch. In the evening, we were taken up to Hearst Ranch for an amazing barbeque and concert. This year, it was Smash Mouth. Everything was absolutely amazing, and I am already looking forward to next year. If anyone wants to join me next year, the ride will be on September 8th!!!

Friday evenings sunset.

These show the elevation/grade of the ride as well as the color coding. On the grade, we started at the "30" mark and rode toward the "0". As you will see - part of the ride was in the red AND the PURPLE!!!

Google Earth view of the ride.

Some of the scenery I saw along the ride.

View from the finish line!

Smash Mouth concert!!!

On Sunday, I went theMonterey Bay Aquarium. It was well worth the few hours I took to go look around!
The display of numerous different Jelly Fish was my favorite.

Feeding time!

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