The team landed at LAX on time; Friday at 1pm, they didn’t clear customs and emerge from the depths of the Tom Bradley International Terminal until nearly 2pm. Everyone has western names so it makes things easy on a ‘Merican to pronounce: the coach is French, Cyrille, the Physical Therapist is Chinese, Roy. The athletes are all Chinese and they include two women: Angel and Joyce and three men: Dixon, Tim and Fun Fun. More will join us but that’s our starting number. We loaded the bike bags and luggage into my van and while they rode a rental car shuttle to acquire their vans, I followed to the rental lot. We got two more minivans: one is driven by Roy and the other by Cyrille. By the time we pulled on to the streets of Los Angeles it was nearly half past 3 and LA on a Friday afternoon is a bear! The freeway was out of the question so I plotted a route on the surface streets and up PCH along the ocean. We had a caravan of three and negotiating the traffic lights was tricky at times. I pulled into a gas station to check fuel on the vans and see if anyone needed anything: water, food, bathroom, etc. Tanks were full and only the drivers were awake – so much for viewing the coast and a sunset tour.
We stopped for coffee so the drivers could stay awake and we pulled into the Meadowlark Inn in Solvang at 6:40pm. I placed all the bikes in a store room and we got the athletes to bed. Tomorrow – swim/run.