Thursday, September 11, 2008

ALC Day 5

Day 5 - Santa Maria to Lompoc, 42.5 miles
(Complete Photo Set On Flickr)

Nice Socks and Cape.
(Caped woman with rad socks welcomes riders into Rest Stop One)

Every day of AIDS LifeCycle had it's share of spectacle. Although Day 5 was especially spectacular thanks to a tradition known as Red Dress Day. The tradition began when it was realized that seen from above, one of the sharp bends in the road on the route of day 5 looked much like a folded ribbon, the symbol of the AIDS movement when colored red. If the long stream of riders all wore red together it would become a giant icon. Not content with simply throwing on a red jersey or t-shirt, it became tradition to wear red dresses regardless of gender. Since Midnight Ridazz are no stranger to spectacle many of us packed for the occasion, and I brought a red jersey to go with my red skirt used for the Halloween ride last year.

Big Hair Meets Big Headdress Yay For Colors!
I hung around Rest Stop 1 for a while snapping photos of the commotion of crimson riders. I was hoping to run into some more of my teammates, but apparently nearly everyone slept in that day and I was up as early as I could be as usual. So I hit the road again, with my skirt flapping wildly in the wind.


Just before the turn off in the road to go to Rest Stop 2, I spotted a field of horses on the side of the road. I love animals and taking their photos, so naturally I pulled off the road and walked through the bushes to get as a close a shot as possible. Apparently they liked me, because several walked right up to me and put their head over the fence, and let me pet them and pose for the photo below while I handed my camera to another rider who came to see the excitement. I don't ordinarily consider my self a trend setter, but before long many riders had pulled off for some time petting horse. So I went on my way to let others have their chance for horse play.


Once heading over to the small town bake sale and Rest Stop 2 I filled up on some cookies. I was not vegan at the time, and I have hard time passing up any opportunity to put cookies in my face. Nom nom nom!!!

Bake Sale Bake Sale

When you travel roads that are off the beaten path you tend to run into where the Government likes to put military bases. Here is one of several we passed during ALC, Vandenberg Air Force Base. This being a 42 mile "rest day," the camp was not much further by this point, and the lunch stop which was usually in the middle of a ride, was only a few miles short of camp.

Air Force Base

During lunch, and back at camp I finally caught up with more of the team. Giving me the opportunity to snap some photos of our ridazz in red.

Drew Red Pimpin
Steph Danny
Meghan Johanna
Derek Lance

Back at camp teams were being gathered for group photos. Throughout most of the trip our team tended to hang out together, but usually in different sub groups of riders going different paces, or interested in different things to do back at camp. As we walked to the photographer, all together and all wearing our jerseys, it was really cool to see the a strong presence of unity with the team (except for Shaun who showed up late). The official team photos were very regimented and stiff as everyone was positioned into a grid of gradating heights. So we also shot the team on our own in a big tree nearby, which reflected the energy of our group a lot more. We also like to climb things like monkeys and had fun at the park play ground.

Team Tree Photo
Danny & Rich Drew

Day 5 was a special evening at camp with the AIDS LifeCycle talent show. We didn't know about this tradition ahead of time or otherwise I'm sure some of our more out going team members would have prepared something. Lets just say some performances were better then others, but it was a fun time. Highlights for me were the song and dance routine by Rest Stop 4, a guy who preformed poi with LED glow balls, and the song "On Your Left", starring the rides oldest female rider.

Talent Show
Talent Show Talent Show

Meghan and I were getting too sleepy to stay to the very end of the long line up of performers, so we went back to camp to get some sleep for Day 6. There were only two more days left by this point, so L.A. was feeling well within reach.

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