Monday, August 27, 2007

My failed attempt at Hwy 39

This weekend was to be Epic. It wasn't. Christian and I had planned a ride that would take us from the Rose Bowl to highway 39, and then up the road until it intersected with Hwy 2. It's an epic climb with great views and a pretty steep average grade. The first part of the climb lulls you into a false sense of security with it's moderate grade and rolling down hills. But once you get past the Arrow Highway Bridge, it's all uphill.

We started the ride at 8:30. We rolled out and set a moderate pace through the 5 towns we would pass through on the way to our destination. I flatted within the first mile, changed it, and was back on the road. The ride was fairly uneventful until we got to the climb. We hit the canyon and set a moderate pace up the hill. It was beautiful. The weather was perfect, not to hot, and there was partial cloud cover most of the way up. We got past the Bridge, refilled our water and were on our way up the main part of the climb. I was feeling pretty good, I set a constant pace with a cadence in the upper 60's in my 23. Christian and I were matched pretty evenly as we crossed the first of the two bridges in the park. We pulled over to take a breather and eat real quick and as we started again I realized I was going flat again. At this point we had exhausted all our spare tubes, and we weren't going to risk being caught out in an area with no cell reception, few to no cyclists, and limited supplies. So we turned around.

By the time we got back to the park we were both glad the ride was over, however as time passed I could feel that I was extremely disappointed. I had dreams about the ride, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I woke up. I've been to the top before and its a pretty amazing experience. The whole climb is about 30-35 miles, and knowing that you rode your bike, uphill, for that long is pretty rewarding. I guess I'll just have to go up and try again next weekend.

Here's the map of the failed attempt.

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