Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!

I asked for it, So I can't complain. Christian told me about a ride up to Mt. Wilson that he was planning when I popped into the shop on Thursday of last week. "Hell yea you can count me in!" I said enthusiastically. I knew that Leo would be going, and that would push the pace up a little despite this being a "slow" ride. Whatever though, I could handle it. I was also excited to take the C40 on the first big climbing ride. Mt. Wilson is an 18 mile climb to the peak, and you gain nearly 6500 ft. in the process. The ride was going to be a simple route. From Griffith Park we'd head out to Sun Valley and follow the Love ride up La Tuna. Once over we'd descend through Montrose and then hit the 2 and head up the hill. Once on top of the mountain we'd simply turn around and head down the hill. Easy, right? Wrong.

I did everything right the day before. I ate a light lunch with carbs and drank lots of water. That night I made a big pasta dinner, ate a pretty large amount and drank more water. I went to bed at around midnight. I woke up at 7:30 feeling rested and ready to go. I ate more pasta for breakfast, got dressed and rolled out. I met the guys at Griffith Park. The ride consisted of a few guys from John's including Christian and Leo, a couple PAA guys, and a couple other guys I didn't recognize. We rolled out with the love ride, setting an easy pace at about 15 mph. We got to the base of La Tuna and began the climb. I didn't feel like we were going that fast but I was quickly spit out the back by Leo and a couple other riders. I spent the rest of the climb trying to catch my breath.

I decided at this point to take Wilson at my own pace, regardless of everyone else. We made our way to Angeles Crest and began the climb. The group stayed together pretty well until the first ranger station. then it splintered. I ended up clinging to second to last place. At one point, I saw Christian and Jim had been dropped by Leo, and they were only a minute or so up the road. I decided to tempo back to them. That would be my goal for the day. Get to them and that's it. I did, eventually, and was then promptly dropped again as Jim rolled out to Catch Joseph. The rest of the ride I spent feebly climbing in my 23 trying to keep enough fluid in me so I wouldn't pass out. My gearing wasn't hurting me at all, and my legs felt great climbing in that gear, I just couldn't get my lungs to support a higher cadence than I was already turning. The climb felt good by the end. I had controlled my breathing and didn't ever put myself in any sort of trouble. I did have to slow a couple times, but whatever, I finished, and that was my goal. I arrived at the Clear Creek Station to find the group sitting in the shade, looking thoroughly beat to shit. a couple guys looked O.K. but even Leo looked a little mangled. Christian let me know that some of the group would be heading down the mountain now instead of going all the way to Mt. Wilson. "Fine with me" I sputtered. I filled my bottles and we started the descent. By the time we got to the Chevy Chase everyone had recovered some and the attacks began again. My dumb ass was leading the charge up Chevy Chase, forgetting that the road pitched up significantly at the end. Of course my fat ass was handed to me again by the group. Whatever, I didn't care at this point. I took my time down the road, until I saw Christian, pulling himself out of a pile of leaves on the other side of the hairpin I was about to negotiate. We paced down to Glendale and caught part of the group at Verdugo. On our way back to the park there was some talk about adding the climb in Griffith Park, but that was quickly voted down. Instead Christian and I took turns attacking each other through Griffith Park. I turned home on Sonora, and headed back to Burbank. Once on top of Kenneth I realized just how tired I was. I got back to Corina's, cracked a beer and hopped in the shower. I spent the rest of the day lounging around with a mopey demeanor.

Side notes:

The new bike handled great. I love it. It climbs like a fucking champ. Since Sunday I've been riding to and from Corina's. I haven't driven my car since I think Friday or something like that. Isn't she nice? yea. Nice.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

2 Rides, 1 Weekend, New Bike Awesomeness!

FINALLY!! I was able to make it to Bicycle Johns, the worlds greatest bike shop, to get the bottom bracket issue that had side lined me since the previous Tuesday. Despite my excitement I decided not to ride. I had a few things to do, but was still going to get my usual meal in to prep for the ride. Unfortunately the meal plan didn't work out and I ended up at Shakeys with my friends. 3 slices of pizza, 4 pieces of fried chicken, a pile of mojos and a pitcher of beer later and I was ready to hit the sack. My biggest concern at this point was that I had to get up at 6 to make it to Ventura in time for Scott's and my ride. Getting up proved to not be a problem as I popped up off the couch Saturday morning at 5:45 a.m. After my drive to Ventura Scott and I got on the road. Riding his route is always something I look forward to. The route is nice and fast for parts, we get to ride on the 101, and then there is some great, steep but short climbing in the foothills around Montecito. Saturday proved to be a perfect day as the sun was kept at bay by a nice cloud cover for most of the ride. This kept the temperature cool until we got back on PCH towards the end of the ride. The sun finally came out in the last 5 miles, burning my inconsistently protected skin. Sunday's ride was a bit more on every level. More pre-ride preparation, more miles, more climbing, more attacks and more speed! Sunday I rode to Sherman Oaks from Burbank to meet Christian in Sherman Oaks. Our plan was to ride from his house to the beach via the Chandler bike path and Topanga Canyon. From there were were going to head up Sepulveda pass and Mullholland, then head down Coldwater canyon back to his place. after a moderate pace with frequent attacks by the man in Chuck Taylors we made it to Balboa Park. It was at this point we had to turn around to swap tires as Christian sliced the back. This added about 8 miles to our ride and put us back about 30 minutes but whatever, I need to get more miles on anyway. We made it to Topanga and after a short break we started the climb. I was setting a quicker than normal pace and started to lose Christian. After realizing this, and the fact that I couldn't hold that pace I slowed it up. The road was hot, and at one point I remember asking Mother Earth to please turn off her hair dryer. She did and we made it to the top a-o.k. Going down Topanga was the first massive, steep descent I'd done on the new bike and It was crazy. I've never had the wind blow me around on the road, but with the new deeper dish wheels and the super light carbon frame I could feel myself being blown around. That was a completely new and somewhat annoying sensation. We made it to the beach, took a break to drink a Redbull, and then rolled out. About 5 miles later both of us realized that drinking warm Redbull on a 70 mile ride is not a good idea. Sepulveda Pass was hot, and much longer than I remember from two weeks earlier. At one point I thought I had a flat tire, but it turned out that I was just really tired and my legs weren't moving. By the time we got back to the Valley I was cooked. I started to cramp about a mile from Christian's house. I took a short break at his place before getting back on my trusty steed to roll back to Burbank. When the job was done I hopped in the shower and ate a piece of fried chicken... at the same time. Read more!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Saturday, aaaahhh Saturday.

Saturday, What a day. Saturday was the last day for the Classic. I did a easy 40 mile ride with Michael up and over Mulholland. I've never been out on the road that early and it was awesome. After the ride I went to Paul and Savaria's house to watch the tour and build up the C40. I'm still exhausted from the 2 day ordeal. I don't even want to talk about it. All I can tell you is this: not only do my fingers hurt, but my bank account hurts much worse. Read more!