Tsunami town USA, The King’s Speech

Sometimes living in a small coastal town lets you take life at your own pace. The bay regulates the temperature, never too hot and rarely too cold. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Whales migrate off shore, in their turn; humpbacks, gray whales, orcas and blue whales all linger over the nutrient rich up swells from the submarine Monterey Canyon. The dolphins and the surfers play, in the same surf, all year long. At one point we enjoyed calling ourselves Surf City, USA. Seems that Huntington Beach made a claim on that name. So as of March 11, 2011, we should be Tsunami City, USA (take that Crescent City!).
That being said, I finally went to see the King’s Speech. Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter are always worth watching. The film was 2010’s best picture! What could go wrong?
The film could’ve been an Adam Sandler flick. It should have been called, “We’re terribly sorry for making and distributing The Queen. See, the Royals are just normal folk, not stuffy turds”.
Please consider; Bertie’s (Firth) biggest fear is his stammer (and what it represents). Yet, he’s about to ask another generations of Britan’s boys to fight and die in a war. Lionel (Rush) earned his degree is speech therapy at the UHK (university of hard knocks). He rehabbed damaged Aussie boys after the Great War. He found their fear and got them past it. This dichotomy was never explored.
Lionel’s methods were great. Listen to music, not your voice. Do you stammer when you talk to yourself? Bertie was a fearful lion. I get all that. However, there wasn’t an unlikable character in the lot (Perhaps David and Mrs. Simpson were loathsome character sketches).
In our time we’ve seen the linguistically challenged call us to war. We’ve known the irony of those who work cleaning the messes made by those who don’t. We’ve seen mixed words representing unclear thinking. Why then, was the tension between the two major characters never addressed. Because it’s like a Adam Sandler flick.
Our own King’s speech.

Looking for a lifeline

I think we’ll keep working on a theme.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since I brought home Ike.  He was a trainwreck of a dog and I almost stopped and put him down on the way home.  I’m glad I didn’t.  He was supposed to be getting three hots and a cot and get let go in a week or so.  Ike didn’t get the memo.  He hit the porous slate and carpet floors here and got better.  PBE readers chipped in and helped him get better through SND and  I appreciate that.  And here we are.

June 18th marked the three year anniversary of Beauregard’s death.  I can just now talk about that one.  A lot of you were with me back then.  Can you believe that you’ve been reading this drivel for that long?  Me either.  But thanks.  I really do appreciate PBE readers.

Dolpyngyrl took that one.  And now she has a Doberman of her own.  Bixby.

In unrelated news, I took and passed my broker’s exam yesterday.  No one, and I do mean NO ONE is more surprised than I am.  I really didn’t feel that I put the time in to it that I should have and felt that it was going to be a trial run.  We were sitting in the break room and several guys said “Oh yeah, everybody takes it twice”.  Everybody but me bitches.  Like the Series 7 you get your results right away.  The way the Series 7 is set up with Morgan Stanley is they pay you to learn the information.  You clean out your desk the day before the test.  When you push that button if you fail, you’re fired.  For the record, when I pushed that test, I scored a 92 on one of the toughest tests that’s not the California Bar.  They don’t tell you your score on the brokers but I assure you the right letter begins with the word “CONGRATULATIONS.”   In all caps.  Like that.

When you check in for the test they take all your stuff from you.  The room is under surveillance.  I had a slip of paper that was mailed to me from them that they didn’t need up front.  I set it on the desk.  They came by and picked it up.  The security is that tight.  The clerk said to me “do you have your cell phone?”  No, I left mine back in the car, I knew I couldn’t bring it in.  “That’s good because you can’t call a life line in there.”  I laughed and then said “If I call a life line, I’m calling my Dad who challenged this test in the 60’s and passed it.  I don’t need the cell phone to get ahold of him.”  And I didn’t.

Scent and a sound I’m lost and I’m found

I’ve mentioned that I use Buffini Company’s system for my business.  I have one of their coaches.  Satan.  He pushes me hard enough that sometimes I just want to push back.  I did that on Friday.  I sent him the email with my schedule and he wanted me to go do a face to face (not on the schedule) with a client.   Any client.  My response?  I didn’t shower until 5pm.

Now that’s not to say I wasn’t doing things that needed doing.  I made my calls.  But I really, really, really needed to clean my office.  At the end of the day I’d filled my waste basket three times.  And there’s a huge stack of stuff to burn shred.  I’ve got one desk (there are three in my office) left to clear, but it’s covered with papers that need to be filed, not destroyed.  It was that bad in here.  Ask Auntie.  She was here staying with the Hellhoundz while I was on the Ride.  Even though I cleaned up the house before she got here, she went through and cleaned the entire house.  Including the windows, except my office.  She called it the Inner Sanctum.  I call it a crime scene.

One of the things I found when I was cleaning up the office was a CD I got from Buffini profiling traits of mine that can help and hinder my business.  I’d never put it into the computer to see what was on it.  It was John Buffini reading the traits of my personality along with things to watch out for.

The guiding light as it were of my personality is a “free spirit”.  I know that comes as a great surprise to all.  OK notsomuch.  One of the things that he said was that I was like a wolf.  I’m happy out there just wandering around and I am a diligent hunter for my food, but if I get snared in a bear trap I will chew off my leg to get away.   That is the absolute truth.  In my youth I, on several occasions, picked up my coffee cup and my slotted hole punch and drove off, because I felt trapped.  As I got older the wisdom of that self destructive behavior faded, but the feelings of being trapped didn’t.  I found several less self destructive ways to curb the feeling.  Getting lost on a long lunch, hitting a bucket of balls at lunch, calling in bored, all worked for me.

Yesterday I wanted to chew my leg off.  I scheduled myself to ride up Mt. Diablo, I had a certain amount of time allotted for that task and I could not get my ass out of the door.  Feasibly I could have left at 6:30.  It was clear and the sun was up.  I turned off my alarm and didn’t get up to 5:30.  Then I fooled around and fooled around and finally got out the door at, I kid you not, 9:07.  By then Mt. Diablo was pretty much off the table.  But I didn’t stop there.  I had flyers to flyer the neighborhood of my open house.  I needed to be in the neighborhood by 1pm.  I got there at 1:30.  And then the thing that is the biggest red flag of all.  I shut down.  I was sitting there alone waiting for people to come by and I could hardly keep my eyes open.  Then I was out.  Luckily no one came by for those few moments, but it was clear that all work and no play makes johnny a dull boy.

I had a phone meeting with one of the other Buffini brothers last month.  He spoke to the free spirit as well.  He told me I needed to consider conducting business on the golf course.  I thought that was an interesting concept coming from an Irishman.  One of the women who started me out in golf was another broker at Morgan Stanley.  She used to be at McCalls magazine.  She was getting shut out of business by the men who were conducting their deals on the golf course.  So she learned to golf.  I loved that about her.  She bought a set of Pings, took some lessons and became a pretty good golfer.  She wanted me to get a set of Pings, but I started with a more beginner set, a set of Square Twos.  Then one year when things were particularly good, I got a set of Calloways.  I never did like the Pings.  I wanted to like them, I just didn’t or maybe they just didn’t like me.  I love my Calloways.  And I miss them.  Because I’ve been working too much.

That’s the most interesting of concepts.  One of the pitfalls of this business is that people will not do what they need to do to run their business.  They won’t make the calls, knock on the doors, do the follow up, all that annoying crap.  I don’t mind doing it.  I will do that and a ton more.  I’ve found that I have been consistently putting in around 10-12, even 14 hour days ever since I started this business.  And that’s one of the other traits I need to watch for, I’ll work so hard I’ll burn myself out and be ineffectual.

I don’t know exactly what the point is today, beyond literary masturbation, but I do know that even though PBE has been a little ignored as of late it is one of the things that I love. I love when I write something interesting enough that people come in and comment.  And I know if I don’t pay attention to PBE I’ll end up chewing my leg off.

The mirror speaks, the reflection lies

These guys are agents at the Cult of Red. Huge producers who go around the country teaching others how to succeed in the short sale market.

We had a deal in our office last year where Chase wouldn’t work with the owner or agent on the short sale, the buyer finally walked and the homeowner said “Screw it”, walked away and moved to Texas. SIX MONTHS LATER Chase sends the homeowner in Texas a letter saying they will pay him $30,000 to short sale his house. He calls back his agent at the Cult of Red and sonofabitch if they don’t short sell the house and the homeowner gets $30,000. Our trusty agent is just standing there blinking his eyes wondering WTF just happened. The rest of us are trying to see if we can get $30k out of our places.

I’ve got two short sale listings going right now. It’s enough to make you want to stab your own eyes out. Remember Chase’s not so professional Short Sale Negotiator 3? She’s long gone in this deal. And so was that original offer. Then I got a second offer and the buyer got sick of waiting to hear from Chase and he bought the unit on the other end of the complex and closed. And I’m still screwing around with Chase on now the third offer. With a sale date of July 7. I’d love to get that homeowner some cash from them, especially since they’ve killed two deals just by being unresponsive.

Strangely I now have a third offer and I called and got a negotiator who had a real phone number, actually answered her phone, spoke English as a first language and not some ghetto derivative. Hopefully this morning’s call to her will yield a blessing to move forward.

The other one is with Wells. It’s gone something like this. I send all the documents and receive absolute silence in return. I send the offer in. The 10 day cash offer in. Silence. I badger and badger to silence. Then I get an email giving me 24 hours to produce a litany of bullshit. I do. Then silence. I badger and receive a response that I didn’t send any of the documents. This dumbass wants a preapproval on a cash offer. The offer is $110k, the buyer sent in a bank account showing $324k in the bank. He doesn’t need a freaking preapproval. I write a list of questions. I receive a response that answers none of them. I write back that I have sent all the documents she wanted, did she not receive them? She says “Oh yeah, I have the HUD, but the 2010 taxes need to be signed.” Uh, my borrower filed electronically. That means the taxes are signed electronically and there isn’t a place to sign them. You’ve heard of TurboTax right? It’s been around for say 20 years? Today’s question to this person “When will my negotiator be assigned?” It will be the same as tomorrow’s question. And the next day until I get a negotiator.

I won’t argue with myself, today my legs are gettin’ some hell

And now, the Ride.

Day 1 we rode from the Cow Palace to Santa Cruz. Quite honestly if not for the weather this ride just wasn’t bad. We were jacked up on the coast for about an hour because the road was only one way and controlled by a long light, but it really wasn’t bad. This is a little older route, but is very close to what we did.

The hill profile is almost identical to what we did, so about 2500 feet of climbing. The real route was 82.5 miles. The computer didn’t save my ride time on that one, or rather it did and then erased it. It was right around 8 hours in the saddle.

Day 2 was a slice of Kentucky Fried Hell from Santa Cruz to King City. 106.7 miles of it to be sure. Everyone said we were on probation from Santa Cruz to ride perfectly to all the rules. It was actually the Town of Aptos that got their panties in a bunch over a couple of guys riding abreast through an intersection. The Santa Cruz CHP were pushing their weight around and threatening this that and the other prior to issuing the permit. The Brother nailed it when he said “Jerry needs to call the CHP up, remind them that he took all the government funding for these organizations and this is the only way they can provide the essential services they do, so, STFU.” Word. We all rode out of Santa Cruz like little angels. Deep inside my dark heart I was giving the CHP the finger.

Time in the saddle 9:18. 11.2 mph. Average heart rate 115.

Day 3 was like a death march. It was a really fun day though. It featured Quadbuster, the first of the named climbs. I think as a ride any day it’s not as hard as Diablo. However after 200 miles in the previous two days 2 miles of a 5.2% grade seems soulbusting. I also think it’s press is worse than the actual hill, but once again when your legs are spent and you haven’t gotten any real rest, climbing sucks.

Time in the saddle: 5:39 10.4 mph average heart rate 113.

By the time we got to Day 4, my ass was done. Literally. The rest of me was ok to carry on but my ass had had it. At lunch I went to the medical tent and they put this tape stuff on me, only after advising me that there was no shame in sagging in. There is shame in sagging in. So I got back on my trusty steed and put another 15 miles in, but by then the tape wasn’t where he put it and the pain was off the hook. I sagged in at 61 miles. This is the only day I didn’t ride every mile and I’m still pissed off about it. I did ride the Evil Twins which are the two spikes in the beginning of the day. Like every nasty hill in this ride, Ginger Brewlay was waiting for us at the time.

Time in the saddle 5:50. 10.4 mph average heart rate 107.

Day 5 was Red Dress Day. There are questions about the origination of Red Dress Day, but suffice it to say, Red Dress Day isn’t pretty at all. The good news, it’s the recovery ride. I got my ass taped up in the medical tent before we left and had no problems, finishing the day in, well, some pretty ugly style.

Time in the saddle 4:11. 9.9 mph (obviously tired) and average heart rate of 107.

Day 6 features another shitty climb that they haven’t named yet. I think they should leave that task to Ginger. It also features a long ride along the coast. At this point everybody is in a little better shape. We all got into camp around 1pm the day before and got some rest. The hate that filled my heart on Day 4 was gone. Day 5 had been a lot of fun and I was ready to ride again. We opened the day climbing the Gaviota pass, which is a fine good morning. It was overcast and the down hill was downright chilly. This is the day with the cinnamon rolls and Paradise Pit. The roadies did their best to get us to not screw around and get into camp but we couldn’t help ourselves. We had to ride on the 101 at several points during this ride. This day there was a narrow bridge and they actually closed one lane of the 101 for 3 1/2 hours. We had to get our asses past there by 1pm. I was through around 11am. Lunch was in Santa Barbara up at Tuckers Grove, then there was another rest stop at Ledbetter. That did not discourage us from yet another stop at Paradise pit at the corner of East Cabrillo and Channel. Or the dance party at Carpinteria State beach. I almost missed dinner I got in so late, but I always came in mid-pack. Day 6 is a long day because besides the 85.5 miles of climbing, it is the final night in camp. There is a candlelight vigil on the beach that night. It’s interesting what you reflect on. My conscience reminded me that the last time I saw Bill was at Ventura General. And I was now in Ventura and the first candlelight vigil I’d been to since 1984. Did that mean anything at all? I don’t know.

Time in the saddle 7:57. Average mph 10.8. Average heart rate 111.

Day 7 I can’t remember ever being so happy to get on my bike and ride. I knew we are almost there and I couldn’t wait to put this bitch to bed. The air was electric in spite of the fog so thick it was raining. The first part of the ride was uneventful through the strawberry fields of Oxnard, then Port Hueneme and Point Mugu. Then we rolled into Malibu. We were warned to watch car doors. Lots of people getting in and out of cars and in spite of 2361 cyclists rolling through, which really you can’t miss us, they would still do stupid stuff. I saw an actor I recognized with his surfboard on the north part of the beach but I can’t remember his name. I thought he was in Clerks, but that’s not it. He does independent films and I’ll figure it out eventually. Not Jason Lee but close. Of course there was one last soul crushing hill on Gretna Green and then it was a stroll into the VA Center. The streets in LA were lined with well wishers. It was pretty awesome.

Time in the saddle 5:46. 10.8 mph average heart rate 107.

Today? Mt. Diablo. It was clear to me that I need to pick up 3 or 4 mph on my average. That gets me in an hour earlier on some of these rides. There are two components to that. 1) drop tonnage. 2) get stronger. I’ve been reading that spin class is good for picking up strength and ultimately speed because there is no coasting or stop signs, straight pushing for an hour. So I’m going to hit at least 2 spin classes every week whether I go outside or not. I am down 15lbs from when I started this, I just need to keep that rolling in that direction. One of the things I’m not sure about is if I should have pushed harder out there. My average heart rate was pretty low on the ride. I thought it should have been around 124, but then I wondered if at that rate would I have blown up my legs on day 2? I’ll have to do some research on that one.

There’s no way we could disguise it

Jackassery, party of twenty three hundred and sixty one, your table is ready.

When I decided to do the AIDS/Lifecycle, I didn’t really think it out.  I’m famous for not thinking things through in the beginning.  I really didn’t think about 1) what it entailed 2) what it would be like.  For instance, I knew it was 545 miles.  I knew we had to ride 70 per day on the average.  I didn’t put together that it meant ride 84, then 106 the next day, then 66 the next day, then 98 the next day and then have a 40 mile recovery ride followed by 85 and 65.  The gravity of that was lost on me until late the night of Day 3.   That’s when I woke up in this little tent in the middle of the night freaking out, in a full panic attack.  Except it was a million o’clock in the morning and it was cold out there.  And I had a tentmate who may or may not have been amused by my mini-meltdown.  I unzipped the little tent window quiet like a mouse and stuck my head out to get some fresh air.  Then I told myself that it was just a bike ride and to calm down that 3100 other people were sleeping peacefully in these little tents and so could I.  And I did.  From that point on, my tentmate MacGyver, as I affectionately referred to him, kept the tent windows open at night and the mosquito screens closed.

One of the things I didn’t realize was all of the rich tradition that comes with this ride.

There’s Red Dress day…OK there is RED DRESS DAY.

And apparently all of the Rest Stops have themes.

Conceptually, it’s brilliant.  You have all of these riders who are getting their asses handed to them by the terrain of the State of California and you have to keep them going.  The best way?  Keep’em laughing.

Rest Stops are staffed by Roadies.  Roadies handle breakfast and dinner at camp, the gear trucks, all the medical needs, the set up and break down of the amazing tent city that’s assembled six times in a row and a plethora of tasks.  Logistically speaking this ride was a thing of beauty.  Apparently it was originally designed by an ex-military guy who was accustomed to moving large groups of people flawlessly.  I’m sure there are hitches we didn’t see, but what we did see was perfection.

The breakfast team was more often than not in some sort of pajama theme.  I remember kitty cats one morning.  They served up a hot meal every morning with more food than I could imagine.  And the food was good.  It wasn’t four star dining but they had trays of oatmeal that wasn’t lumpy.  Generally an egg dish, meat, a carb and some other stuff.  Dinner was never dry or over cooked.  It wasn’t Bradley Ogden but it wasn’t Pelican Bay food either.  But the rest stops….

I didn’t pick up what was going on right away on the first day.  As a matter of fact, I can’t even remember what the Day One themes were until we got to Rest Stop 4.  The Rest Stop 4 team were out of their minds.  As we approached there were Burma shave signs on the roadway.  And the Rest Stop was staffed by lumberjacks.  As the week progressed the themes included Candyland, Scouts gone bad complete with merit badges, one was a Carnival.

There was the Jazzercise studio.  That one was a trainwreck from beginning to end.

They even had a stage and were leading the riders in stretching routines.  That was the thing, they found fun ways to get us to do what we needed to do.  That was on Day Three which is the hottest day.  My eyes had glommed up and I had to visit medical to get them irrigated.  And my contacts cleaned.  It was hard laying still while having saline poured through your eyes with a Jazzercise drag stretching show went on at the foot of your cot.

Then there was the Mary Kay booth.

Beauty is subjective.  Can you guess which one is the real woman?

We had just come up a terrible hill and the Rest Stop 2 team with their Mary Kay theme awaited us.  It sure took the edge off of everything.

Then there was Zombieland.  They had a zombie Jesus.  And blood everywhere.

Then there was the Flintstones.  Gone wrong.

Very wrong.  I don’t know how BamBam didn’t end up in that picture, he was hilarious.  By the time we got to Day Seven everybody was pretty much done and everything had calmed down a little.  A little.  Rest Stop 2 did a theme of “Where ya from?”  They had big pieces of cardboard tacked up everywhere and Sharpies laying around so you could write down where you were from.  They were on all of the portapotties and at all of the tables.  And on the Powerade buckets.  The Powerade isn’t referred to as Tropical Punch and Mountain Blast.  It’s red and blue.  And even the Powerade had a story to tell.

And then there were the Gear Trucks.  The way they work is that 100 participants are assigned to each truck.  It’s a Budget box truck.  There’s a crew there to load your gear and give you your tent at night.  They take your tent in the morning and your gear in the morning.  They had themes too.  The first day my gear truck, which was the funniest of all of them, had Sweet Child of Mine blasting because it was hair band day.  The next day Girls Just Want to Have Fun because it was 80’s day.  Then on Day 5 I was headed to the portapotties and I could hear Dueling Banjos in the background.  That just couldn’t be good.  Could it?

No, it wasn’t good.  The gal in front got to the bottom of the ramp and exclaimed “Sweet Baby Jesus, I went down to the Walmart and they wanted $15 dollars and I only had $10 dollars!”  And then when someone walked by with two hefty garbage bags full of who knows what announced “There’s my luggage!”  Mullets abound as it was Tornado Acres Trailer Park day at the gear trucks.

But the best Rest Stop all week was the 10th Anniversary dance party on Carpinteria State Beach.  And it was the Rest Stop 4 crew.

And I’m bound to keep on ridin’

I think that was the longest I’ve ever gone without writing.  I didn’t realize that I didn’t get anything up the week before I left until, like, ten minutes ago.  If you had seen this place that week you’d have run and hidden.  It was insane.

I hadn’t camped since 1974 when a bear came and swatted my sleeping bag.  I was way down in the bottom hiding when he looked down the bag at me.  My friend says “They can smell fear”.  Great.  It turned out to be a cub but that ended camping for me.  I still have that sleeping bag which has a tear in it, but technology has changed since then.  A lot.  I bought a new one, and a sleeping pad.  I had the bike tuned up and I have to give props to the boys at the Sports Basement bike shop in Walnut Creek.  A lot of people spent a lot of time at the Cannondale bike repair booth.  I never saw them.  I don’t even know what they looked like.  No flats.  No bike issues whatsoever.  None.  My little Specialized Roubaix just rolled.

The AIDS/Lifecycle has been going on in some form or another for a total of 18 years.  It’s been called the AIDS/Lifecycle for 10 years and this year was the 10 year anniversary.  It was the single largest fundraiser to fight AIDS ever.  We raised over $13 million.  There was a brouhaha when they fired their original producer.  It was because production costs kept going up.  This thing is put on for $.30 on the dollar.  The logistics were amazing.

We know why I rode, the December Project pretty much laid that out, but as the week progressed there became more reasons to ride.

  1. AIDS is the world’s number one infectious killer
  2. AIDS is the number one cause of death in sub-saharan Africa
  3. A gay man in San Francisco has a 60% chance of acquiring HIV before his 40th birthday.
  4. A gay man of color in San Francisco has an 85% chance of acquiring HIV before his 40th birthday.
  5. AIDS is the number one cause of death for African American women under the age of 40.

That last one blew me away.  Basically I thought of the young African American women I knew and the fact that if one were to die the chances of the AIDS virus being her killer was staggering.  The disease has changed.  Positive Pedalers, a team of HIV positive cyclists who road the ride had jerseys that said “If one of us has HIV, we all have HIV.”  They weren’t this year’s jersey, but I thought it was a great statement considering that HIV isn’t what it used to be.  It’s throughout society and it affects everybody.  Someone asked me about Magic Johnson the other day.  My answer was that he is and was stronger than most Americans and had access to the best health care in the world.  That is why he’s lived so long with the virus.  I know people who have been living with it for 25 years.  It’s why the ride will go on.

It’s hard to know where to start talking about this ride.  The logistics?  The ride itself?  The Rest Stops?  Red Dress Day?  Or the State of California?

I’m going to start with the State of California and come back to the other things later this week.  There are 96 photos for me to choose from and 529 miles to pick from.  The ride was actually 560 miles.  The medical staff advised me to come off the ride on Day 4.  I rode another 15 miles before I did what they told me to.  I must learn to ride faster.  Riding faster equals less time in the saddle.  And time in the saddle was the problem.

To the people of the State of California, I got to see what you were made of this week.  I am a proud Californian.  Although really, we need to fix our roads, they are crap.  My ass will tell you about that later.  California, you came out in the rain and the fog and the crappy weather and you rang cowbells and clapped and handed us strawberries and licorice.  You put on silly costumes, you played music for us as we went by, you waited for us at the top of the hills and some of you followed us all the way to Los Angeles.  There is the town of Bradley and Paradise Pit.  And the Cookie Lady.  Not to be confused with the Chicken Lady.

I missed the Cookie Lady.  She was at the Otter Pop Stop.  There was so much jackassery going on at the Otter Pop stop that I missed her completely.  The Otter Pop Stop was supposed to just be a Water Stop.  It went very wrong somewhere.

The guy with the mouse ears was really really sweet.  And I would really like to be a member of Team Popular because their jerseys were so awesome.

But I digress.  The unofficial stops were something.  The town of Bradley shuts down for the day the AIDS/Lifecycle comes through.  Everybody and I do mean everybody comes out and they put on a barbeque for the riders.  They offer massage, homemade brownies, and lunch that isn’t turkey.  I’d been hearing about Bradley both before and on the ride.  As we got off of the the 101 at the Bradley exit to ride through town we were met with red ribbons.

They were tied to every tree all the way into town.  Bradley, population 120.  They pay for all their extra curricular school needs with the proceeds from this barbeque.  He’s a little tiny town who has probably been crushed by budget cuts and they figure out a way to make it work.  And have for many years.  They were amazing.

Another unofficial stop is Paradise Pit.  It’s a little triangle of residual land in Santa Barbara where East Cabrillo turns to Channel Drive in Santa Barbara.  There’s trees and grass and Paradise Pit.

It is a Powerade and Clif bar free zone.  McConnells fine ice cream of Santa Barbara provides the ice cream, the locals provide everything else.  Several ladies offered me fresh chocolate chip cookies, there was a bakery there, a booth for ice cream, another booth for toppings and no Powerade any where to be found.  Not only that, they had running water to wash up with.  It was packed with riders and locals.  There was an official Roadie there trying to get us to ride on, but it was a big party and no one was heading out too soon.  The lovely Ginger Brewlay was there as she was every step of the ride, in a different but equally tacky and fabulous ensemble.

Yep.  That’s bubble wrap.  Kind of like Joan Rivers gone really really wrong.  More wrong than usual.

Next up: Rest Stop jackassery.