Saturday, March 15, 2008
Well, it didn't rain on us the entire day - though there was hail and lightning according to the evening news - and we were almost always in a magic bubble of sunshine.
It looked very threatening early, and thunder storms were predicted, so the turnout for the Mellow Velo was small, but included Lorri (club founder/coach), and that was nice - we took an extra spin around some Woodside back roads, but the total ride was only 20 easy miles.
Afterwards, I got lunch and spent some time in the San Carlos R.E.I., and then drove to Foothill College in Los Altos, where hundreds of cyclists were gathering for the Matt Peterson and Kristy Gough memorial ride. The Velo Girls, all in team or club kit, rode together most of the time. Sheriff's deputies had the roads closed while we went through, so we had southbound Foothill Expressway to ourselves for many miles. There was a helicopter hovering the whole time, which was sometimes annoying, and lots of news coverage. I saw the evening news report on two stations and they did a good, respectful job. It felt like we were riding in memory of all our fallen mates, and like any wake, there was a lot of socializing with old friends - and then silence at the crash site. That part was hard. Some, close to Kristy and Matt, were overcome with their anguish and grief. We went past it slowly and then formed a return column, standing together until everyone had passed the site. The ride back went more quickly and it was freezing when the sun went behind a cloud.
Had the wayward car gone right instead of left it would have hit a guardrail, maybe gone over a cliff, but at the very least it would have jerked the driver to awareness and perhaps a different outcome. Seeing where it happened, you knew it was as inexplicable, as random, as a lightning strike.