Sunday, October 14, 2007

That was fun.

Today's ride was another Jerry Sanders special. It was freakin' awesome. We started at the Vons parking lot off of Mulholland in Agoura Hills. We rode north to Burbank and then over to Topanga via some side streets. We hit our first climb, Santa Susana after setting a fair pace up Topanga. My legs felt great and was leading the group for the first half of the climb. At the halfway point though the group split, with Jerry, Terry, Chris and one other rider going off the front. It was fine, I was trying to pace myself early so I could compete on some of the later climbs. We made our way down Los Angeles Ave, and when we got out to some of the rollers we I decided to initiate a break. I set a goal, and got to it. I was able to stay away from the group for the first roller, and that's what I wanted to do. the climb on Moorpark was great too, I was able to stay on Terry's wheel, and then I was able to stay within a few seconds of him and Jerry on the Potrero Canyon climb as well. I wanted to stay with those two for at least a couple climbs and that's what I wanted. On the last climb I was left behind, and then on 7 minute I just took it easy. All and all the ride was fucking sweet. It kicked my ass, totally kicked my ass. I don't care though, I think I'll go do it again soon.

My training isn't going exactly as planned, but I'm not to worried, not yet at least. I'm getting in good mileage and I'm getting in good amounts of climbing as well. I'm also getting a good workout by riding with the guys from the club. Most of these guys are a lot faster than me, and it really forces me to push it up and put myself beyond my comfort level. This coming weekend I'm going to try to get my mileage back up above 90, while adding some serious elevation. I think I'll try that Angeles Crest/Little Tujunga/Sand Canyon route I made up a while back. That should be good about now. Read more!

Monday, October 8, 2007

(Poorly) Paved Metaphor

I rode some this weekend. It was fun. I rode with other people. That made it more fun. It's nice to be on a ride and not have to talk to yourself to have a conversation. Being on a ride with other people also tends to make the ride more enjoyable, especially if it's a group of people who do what you want them to do. In this case I wanted this group to ride faster and harder than I normally do, so I would be put out of my normal pace and forced to work. That's what they did. it was great. The route was pretty awesome too. Although I could have done without some of the long false flats on the route I understand what Jerry was trying to do with it. The climbs were pretty awesome as well. There was a nice climb up Davenport north of Santa Clarita, and then there was Sand Canyon and Little Tujunga. I've done both of those climbs before, but not in a long time. It was great to reacquaint myself with some old friends. The best thing about the ride was getting to see how I stood up against some of the other guys from the club, despite not finishing the ride (I assisted our SAG vehicle in finding Brad, who had a bit of a technical problem on Little T)I still felt great and felt even better after the ride. the coolest was that all of us were PAA riders and it was cool to see 8 guys out in the kit rolling down the road. I think I'm going to have to go do a modified version of Jerry's route soon, maybe this weekend.

Sunday was supposed to be a mid distance work out that turned into a recovery ride, that turned into a short climbing, mid intensity ride that turned into a bit of a "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy" moment. I decided to do the secret ride as I had slept in, ate a big, fat, late breakfast, and had to go to a birthday party at 2p.m. I rolled out at noon and headed for Griffith Park. On the secret ride there is a spot where I like to stop and look down on Burbank. So I stopped. After watching a funeral for a minute I realized that this place in the road, and specifically in this ride, is a lot like my life. The first part is flat and easy, with a few rolling hills here and there. the second part is all up hill, with sections of varying difficulty, but nothing I couldn't overcome as I've made it to this point. Turning to look up the road you see that it bends around a sharp switchback, pitching up steeply, and then disappears behind the trees. It looks very difficult, but I've done it before, and I know with no doubt I could do it again. This place in the road became an incredibly powerful metaphor.

I've done this ride many times and have always cursed this last switchback. Yesterday, though, I smiled and laughed as I passed it on my way to the top the hill. Much like this ride I see the next switchback in the climb that is my life as the toughest. I've seen a lot, but nothing like what I have planned for the next decade. As I look ahead in my life, much as I looked ahead on this climb, I realize that the greatest difficulties are yet to come over the next 10 years, but with them will come the greatest rewards. The top of the hill isn't far, and anyone who has done this ride knows not only how great the view is at the top, but how awesome the descent can be! Read more!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Lazy September

Now that it's October I can start writing (and riding) again. for some reason, September turned into Lazy September; similar to Lazy Sunday, only for a whole month. I did go out and ride some, most notably on that day we got a bunch of rain. I did some other mid week training rides, but that's it. Total for the month was just barely over 200 miles. Below is the map of the rainy day ride. It was awesome. Awesome and wet. The only thing that sucked was my shoes turning into reservoirs. I love my shoes, but they have minimal ventilation. Because of that, they hold water like a cactus.

October started on the right foot though. I went out last night and did almost 30 miles and a little bit of climbing. Hill repeats in Griffith Park are always fun. I like it. It never ceases to amaze me how the entrance to the park above the freeway is always ten degrees cooler than the surrounding area. I don't know why, and I had never noticed it before until my friend Paul pointed it out to me. Last night it was a little chilly, and I got a bit of a bronchial cough towards the end but that's alright.
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