PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- After a difficult Day 2, which was dampened by rain, injuries and delays, AIDS/LifeCycle 11 riders had a much easier third day.
Sean Suydam, an AIDS/LifeCycle Team San Diego training ride leader who is providing updates from the road during this year's seven day trek, said that the third day of the ride was back to business as usual, and even had a surprise ending with most riders finishing two hours earlier than planned.
Participating in his sixth AIDS/LifeCycle this year, Suydam told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News before departing that he typically finds himself getting very emotional by about the third day of the ride.
"Each year, the first couple of days are very exciting as I get back into the ride," Suydam said. "By about Day 3, it turns very emotional for me. I call it my 'cry day' because it begins to set in as to why I'm here and why I'm doing the ride. I find myself a bit detached from the group and I spend a lot of time reflecting about the people we are riding for."
Midday, riders stopped at their fourth rest stop at Mission San Miguel Arcangel in San Miguel, Calif. with one rider posting on Suydam's Facebook wall: "The theme [of the fourth rest stop] is 'Best Little 4 House in Texas."
Later in the day, Suydam had the opportunity to take a group photo with the more than 130 training ride leaders who help participants prepare for the ride year round.
Riders finished up Day 3 at their camp site at the California Mid State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles, Calif.
Suydam reports that he will not be cycling today, Day 4, because of some muscular pains he is having, but is on a bus and will be treated by the sports medicine team at the next camp.
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Left photo: Some of the Training Ride Leaders, including San Diego's Carin Scheinin, during their group photo shoot.