Entering the Golden State

9/21/16

Eugene, OR to Sacramento, CA 

501.9 miles ridden. 

What it looks like to be carrying too much gear.  Thankfully the black bag on top is only going to Sacramento where it will go home with Cat.
I woke up to do a radio interview (At the bottom of the linked page) for The Soldiers Project and then got loaded up and hit the road for a long highway slog. 

Not much of note happened but I got some decent video journals done and did my first lane splitting which really was much faster and safer than waiting in traffic for someone to hit me while they were texting.  



I made it into Sacramento late and went to my friend Vera's home to off load the bike and catch up for a bit before sleeping away the day's weariness.  I am so grateful for the amazing friends I have and getting to see so many of them on this trip.


9/22/16 

Errands, errands, errands.

I slept in a little bit and got a bit of recovery from yesterday's long ride. I knew it was going to be lots of shopping and errands and so I decided to get a visit to Squeeze Inn for a burger onto the top of the list.

Worth a trip to Sacramento on it's own!

After lunch I spent the rest of the day running around looking for bike related stuff. I started off by shopping for replacement armor for my riding jacket and pants as well as for parts to set up highway pegs on the bike. The long highway jaunts made me realize the need for an extra leg position to fight the pain in my knees. 

I went to many shops but spent most of my time at Cycle Gear.  The Sacramento location was much larger than the one in Tacoma and had an immense amount of gear and parts on site. It would turn out to be the largest of the many I would stop into along the ride.

I chose to spend the evening with my friend Kristin, who I had not seen in many years and had lots happening in her personal life, and ended up missing derby practice. While I would have loved to skate with Sacred City Derby Girls, it simply was more important to help Kristin. 

After I got back to Vera's I ended up realizing there was no good way handle getting a rental car and picking Cat up in the morning. My solution was me renting a car in Cat's name for her to pick up at the airport in the morning even though I would have preferred to avoid the Airport taxes and fees.

9/23/16

79.3 miles ridden over the last two days. 

Cat got in this morning and was able to pick up the rental car and come to Vera's without much issue. We started off by having brunch with Robin White and her adorable dog at a small coffee bar. The food was good but the company was better. When Cat and Robin went in to order I stayed out with the pup who was very cute but had separation anxiety and ended up curled in my lap whining until Robin came back. Such a sweetheart. 

After brunch we said good bye to Robin and ended up spending a bunch of time at Cycle Gear where Cat was able to get fitted for boots and some gear and I spent a bunch of money to purchase the highway pegs for the bike, goggles and lenses for dusty areas, a new set of hot weather touch screen gloves, and upgraded all my armor by buying D3O replacements for the hips and knees of my riding pants and a full IconStryker Rig to replace the armor in my jacket. None of it was in the planned budget but safety is more important then being able to splurge later.

While in the car I came up with some ideas for my speech that really resonated with me. I ran them by Cat and she was on board and thought they would work. 

We ended up meeting up with Cat's mom for dinner at a Hawaiian BBQ place. This was the first time I had met her and Cat's first time seeing her in years. It was a simple meal but nice to share with Cat and to meet her mother. 

Following dinner it was a rush to Vera's so I could change and load the bike to run off to the presentation. Cat helped by pulling the old armor out of my gear and helping to replace it with the new stuff. I had to lane split at speed to get to the meeting on time and even then it only got me close as the GPS on my phone took me to the wrong place. I was able to call Shing and get directed to the actual site. 

I stayed geared up due to the visual it would represent and ended up conducting an interview for the TV news before the presentation. The presentation was both incredible and incredibly scary. I spoke from the heart and used my riding gear as a metaphor for the uniform and armor that makes service members visible and also that we carry on our hearts and in our minds to protect ourselves from what we have seen and done. I talked about breaking down our trauma and pain and sharing it around among our tribe and the importance of finding that tribe. 


During the Q & A I had a veteran stand up, self-identify and talk about his issues while thanking his therapist. I walked from the front to hug him and could feel all his pain. It was an incredible moment that really stood out. After the presentation I took the bike back to Vera's and then Cat and I went to her mom’s house where we would stay till Sunday night.

9/24/16 

Davis and Sacrament, CA

Zero Miles ridden.

Cat and I woke up at her mothers home in Davis and ended up going to breakfast at the local Wholefoods with Cat's mom and nephew.  We relaxed and ate before running into Sacramento for a "Fast Track" practice with Sacred City Derby girls.  It was a grueling off skates workout that really shouldn't have been but the weeks on the bike were clearly adding up to reduced fitness. Once geared up we did more fitness work on skates including some great stopping drills and again I felt wiped like I had never been in shape to begin with. The actual skills practice was great and I ended up shifting into a coaching roll with the intermediate skaters towards the end of the session.  
Great group of ladies to work with!

Acting on the advice of the ladies from Sacred, we went to a local vegetarian Thai food place called Andy Nguyen's where we proceeded to stuff ourselves on really great food. The smoothies were amazing and the spring rolls rocked without being heavy.  We also did wraps that were a meat flavored tofu that was pretty good.
Yup, it was all Vegan and it was still damn tasty. Not giving up my tasty tasty meat though....
I had a commitment to write a Derby Central recap for the Team United v Windy City game from the Madison WDFTDA Division 1 playoffs. This was my first time doing a recap from the stream and I ended up taking much longer to get it written than I expected.  Normally that wouldn't have mattered except that it made me late for a family dinner that Cat's family was putting on.

Following dinner Cat and I made the drive back into Sacramento to go and have some drinks with Vera, Kristen, and a friend of theirs.  The evening was pleasant, though cut short because Vera's friend had too much to drink and literally passed out at the table which forced the management to have to ask us to leave.  

Cat and I went and spent some time with Kristin afterward before heading back to Davis for the night.

9/25/16

Davis and Sacramento, CA

Zero miles ridden.

Just like yesterday it was an early morning rush to get out the door.  This time though we were headed to practice with the Sac City Rollers, and had Cat's mother coming to watch the practice too. This time I did a lot more coaching and it was to a lot larger group.  I really enjoyed working with everyone on skills and drills and watching the light come on for so many.  I think coaching might be the real thing this trip shows me is worth the effort.  I really love helping people.

After practice Cat and I went to Ryujin Ramen House, an amazing Japanese restaurant, with Shing from the Soldiers project and her family.  We ate so much food but it was all amazing and the company was great.  Spent a lot of time talking bike gear and vets issues so it was a pretty productive lunch with great people.

Back in Davis Cat and I got packed up to head to a hotel for the night so that we could have some private time just for the two of us. We did another family meal at Cat's sisters before loading up in the rental and heading out.

The hotel left a lot to be desired and most of our evening was spent talking as I worked on getting some writing caught up.  I know it wasn't all that Cat and I had hoped for but it sure felt like home to just be near her as I worked and she relaxed.

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