Bears on Bikes: Day 3 – A string of bad luck turned blissful euphoria

Reporting for the Cal team, about Day 3 of the AIDS LifeCycle — Tuesday’s leg from King City to Paso Robles — is Lu Zhu, who just graduated from Berkeley. As a bio, Zhu submitted this poem: A spring graduate/Lu studied architecture,/which killed his free time./From the central coast,/his hometown is Santa Cruz,/just over the hill./When not in Wurster,/he enjoys picking mushrooms,/and drinking green tea.

Paso Robles — The three days so far have been “different” and all the same. They differed in the sense that I had something else to complain about each day (day one: no sleep and early rise; day two: more than 100 miles with a headwind; day three (today): heat and butt-jiggling roads). Yet the common theme, for me, was initial bad luck turned to blissful euphoria.

Rest-stop hostesses
Rest-stop hostesses at Mission San Miguel. (Devin Wicks photo)

On the first day, within the first 10 miles from the Cow Palace, I got two flats; each time, someone stopped to help me fix my tire. On day two, less than a couple miles out of camp, my wheel slipped in a grate and I fell; two people picked me up right away. On the third day, the bad luck was universal as we climbed “Quad-busters,” a killer hill; all along the way, riders and roadies cheered us on, blasting music. I even got an egg from “Chicken Lady,” a legendary AIDS LifeCycle personage.

During these few days, I witnessed first-hand the random kindness of strangers. Sure, there are nice people everywhere, but this has got to be one of the greatest concentrations of good will. Because of that, I’ve been having a great time on AIDS LifeCycle, and feel lucky to be riding with everyone here. Go Bears!