ALC 6, Day 5: Santa Maria to Lompoc (Red Dress Day)

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Cheerleaders Martin Getting Dressed

OK, so Day 5 (Thursday) is traditionally Red Dress Day. It started life as Dress in Red Day, the idea being that hundreds of bike riders dresses in red going down the road would give the illusion of a red AIDS ribbon. But it quickly got turned into Red Dress Day and probably ¾ of the riders were wearing red dresses. It is really a joyous celebration and tons of fun.

A couple of the guys whose tent was near ours had great cheerleader outfits.

A lot of guys who said they wouldn't be caught dead in a dress relented by the time we reached Red Dress Day., including my tent mate Martin. He managed to find something quite elegant to wear at the last minute ...

Martin Me

... and here he is showing it off.

I opted for a summery outfit, but I was afraid that I would burn (see Who Is Whiter picture). So I wore a red bicycle jersey on top. Overall, the look did not work, and I know I will have to come up with something better the next time I do the AIDS Lifecycle.

Red Dresses and Yellow Shoes

iA group of riders resplendent in polka-dotted dresses with lovely yellow shoes. (Photo: Bob Katz)

Camp on Red Dress Day

The scene in camp before ride out on Red Dress Day.

High Heels and Bike Cleats Tom and Madan in Red

This fellow had one of the more remarkable outfits. He rode all the way in high heels. Yes, there are cycle cleats attached to them high heels. Amazing!

My friends Tom and Madan in red. Check out Madan's socks.

Madan Casmalia

Another shot of Madan on the road.

Red rider.

Madan and Me in Casmalia Casmalia Celebration

When we got to the second rest stop of the day, which is the little town of Casmalia, I took off my jersey and coated my back and shoulders with sunblock. It's a much better look without the jersey, that's for sure. I was going for 80's retro, short skirt with black spandex shorts underneath, and think I acheived it.

The guy who owns the general store in Casmalia is REALLY into ALC coming through his town. So he puts huge speakers out on the front porch of his store and pumps up the volume, and everyone dances. It's quite a celebration, an amazing joyful occasion.

Casmalia Casmalia Conga Line

Everyone's dancing in Casmalia!

And doing the conga!

Pump up the Volume Lunch on Red Dress Day

Here are the speakers I described a couple of pictures ago. They are quite substantial, as you can see.

After Casmalia, the route took us through Vandenberg Air Force Base, and then to the White Oaks Hotel, a little oasis just outside the base.

General Grant Hotel Near Vandenberg Jeremy Giving Out Strawberries

Red Dress Day at the White Oaks Hotel.

One of my favorite moments during the ride came right at the end of Day 5. A dad and his son, Jeremy, had set up a table and were giving out fresh strawberries to the riders. I took a look at Jeremy and was totally shocked to see he was wearing a red dress. Now there's a kid with guts! It's one thing to support the riders with free food or a sign, but to express solidarity by putting on a red dress - now that's something. Thanks, Jeremy, I'll never forget you.

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