by Judy Shatir
Wow folks, it's been almost two months since my last entry! Sorry to keep you hanging! So much for reporting on the American River Ride! This shows how hard it is to keep your life together while preparing for Tevis. Its a juggling act, let me tell you. It certainly is not anywhere as easy as it was back in the eighties and nineties when I was young. Also the crappy economy is not helping. But everything is going well with only a few small glitches.
So much has happened in two months. First, I'll fill you in on how drag riding the American River Ride went. This is the oldest 50 miler in the country. It started in the 60's. It used to start down in Sacramento at the Cal Expo State Fairgrounds, then later up in the town of Folsom, the home of the Folsom Prison of the Johnny Cash song. We had to travel down a bunch of pavement for the first couple of miles due to the trail being paved for bikes, and it got old. So this year we started on the shores of Folsom Lake and travelled up the shoreline until it narrowed into the American River, North Fork. It was a crowded ridecamp, but it was nice. We got there kinda late, just in time for briefing, and managed to find a slot for the rig.
I made as many preparations as possible that evening, not being a morning person. I put on her EZ boot Gloves and wrapped her pasterns with vet wrap under the gaiters in case they rubbed. I had used the front ones only once, and the back ones not at all. It was a bit risky, but they fit well. Sue was going to try to do the whole 50, but ride management told her she could have a 25 completion if she chose to stop. She brought along her friend Stephen, and he was a godsend. He helped a lot with everything. I don't know what we would have done without him, as we had to get up before dawn and be at the starting line at 5:30, otherwise known as getting up at damn dark thirty. Usually you only do this for hundreds. I did not do well with it, needing my beauty sleep before a ride.
It still took us a while to get ready and we got to the starting line at 5:55. We got started, and after a short time I noticed the boots in front twisting. I got off and straightened them and we got on our way. I guess there were a lot of late starters because we had lots of company on the trail. We went past a lot of nice houses near the lake and passed a group of tom turkeys having a display-off, with their feathers all fanned out and posing and strutting. Then we saw a semi-tame coyote who let us pass withing ten feet of him as he strolled along...
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