I've only been attending for three years, but last weekend was the 27th annual bike trip my church takes to Monterey for every second weekend in August. We tent camp at an RV campground from Friday night to Sunday morning, and do a bike ride of ~28 miles along the Monterey Peninsula Trail. This year, we have about 75 people I think.
Because of my insomnia, I usually only stay Friday night and then drive home late Saturday. But Jon, the trip organizer, really wanted me to be able to stay the whole weekend this year. He offered to let me sleep in the back of one of the vans. I sleep in my car because I find it so cumbersome and impractical to set up a tent for one person for one or two nights, and even on an air mattress, I'm no more comfortable than being in my car. But having a flat surface in the back of the van did help. I slept decently (not great) Friday night, and well enough that I acquiesced to staying Saturday night. I slept miserably that night and came home on the verge of getting sick.
I only did half the ride. My friend Amy only wanted to do half, and I was ambivalent, so this was a way to get all the bikes there and back. Amy was pulling her youngest daughter Aislynn in a tag-along, and didn't realize that it didn't fit her bike, so we attached the tag-along to mine. Amy did the ride out, and I rode it back, but Aislynn went in a sag vehicle back with Amy, and we were able to ditch the tag-along, too (although I did get to pull another kid, Josh, in it for a two-mile stretch).
I think my favorite part of the weekend was really getting to play with the kids. Some of the families I feel the closest to were there, and I got to give lot of rides on my shoulders and back, hold them upside down, and just hang out with them. My seven-year-old buddy Cole learned to knit from his aunt recently, but had forgotten the purl stitch, so we took some time for me to teach it to him. The scarf he was making looked like it had been through a war, and it just made me so proud remembering how similar my first knitting projects looked. I started a cable stitch piece to wow him with, and he was duly impressed.
My friends Todd and Alicia came with their four-year-old boys Griffin and Derek. Alicia and I used to work together, and it was cool to have them along on the trip with my church friends. They skipped the ride because of the boys' ages but hung out with the group the rest of the time at the campground.
I stupidly skipped sunscreen and came back with some mild burns. I know better than to skip it, especially when it's overcast, but I rationalized that since I was only doing half the ride, that I might not need it. Lesson learned...again.
It was a rough drive home. I was so wiped that I had to pull off for a power nap 20 miles into the 150-mile trip home. Chewing gum kept me going the rest of the way. It was nice to get out of the August heat of Fresno for a weekend, which isn't saying much this year because it's been so mild. I think we're hitting a record for the fewest triple-digit days in July and August.