1 Totally Surreal Week Ago... (Lake Tahoe part 1)

At this time last week (Friday, Sept. 7) we were somewhere between here (MI) and Lake Tahoe, CA on our way to our JDRF Ride to Cure weekend.  I couldn't tell you exactly where we might have been.  It was noonish in CA.  Our flights were mostly uneventful, aside from our 2nd of 3 flights being late and only having 12 minutes to get from the jetbridge of flight 2 to flight 3 ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SAN FRAN AIRPORT prior to take-off.  We found the shuttle that would take us there faster and an assistant on the bus radio'd ahead to the pilot of the plane bound for Reno to wait.  We somehow managed to make it there with 5 minutes to spare.  I'm way impressed with SF's airport, as a result.

Members of the West MI JDRF ride team
+ 2 dudes from another team
Waiting at the Reno airport was another shuttle bus to take us the rest of the way to Tahoe.  Several of us grabbed takeout from a burger joint in the airport, since our short layovers had prevented us from eating solid food since early AM EST.

The drive to Lake Tahoe from Reno was really beautiful...even moreso than the drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley last Fall, perhaps.  We also got a preview of the massive and long downhill that would greet us towards the end of the 72 mile Sunday Tour de Tahoe ride.  Even in a vehicle there were some vistas that gave me a bit of mild vertigo--yikes!

After arriving at the Tahoe Embassy Suites and settling-in we were hit the hotel's happy hour briefly, then were greeted with a JDRF welcome reception complete with chili and other snacks.  Most of the team then reconvened at a nearby brew pub for some more substantial dinner, though DH and I were by this point kind of sick of snacky foods and craving greens.  We split a chicken caesar salad and enjoyed beers to wash it down.

By this point it had been a very long day and we headed to bed for a good night's sleep before our warm-up ride in the AM to make sure that everything on our bikes worked well.

Most of the West MI JDRF Ride to Cure team
(that's me in the front, 4th from left)
Prior to our warm-up we had breakfast in the hotel.  This was no cold continental breakfast, but had scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, hot oatmeal, and an omelette station, in addition to cold cereal, fresh fruit, and yogurt.

The warm-up ride was really short, under 3 miles, so several of us did 2 "laps."  It was astounding how winded I felt from even the smallest hills, thanks to the elevation.  This did NOT bode well for the following day, I feared.  My biggest fear leading up to this trip was the effect of elevation on my wussy, asthmatic lungs.  Ride day with its ~4k feet of elevation gain could be a really long, painful one for me if the warm-up was any measure.

West MI riders mid-warm-up
(yours truly on the left)
On the bright side, even if my lungs were totally uncooperative I would at least have the amazing views to distract me from my lung dysfunction.  There are worse places to feel less than spectacular and have a good excuse to take one's sweet time.

Once we cleaned-up post-ride it was time to find some lunch and play tourist.

More to come...

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