Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ride like you stole something...

Today, something completely different.
  1. Get out of the house by 9:45am.
  2. Ride with a group.
Western Wheelers, the local bike club, has a ride every Wednesday called Hills R Us. Today's route was Page Mill, Portola State Park, West Old La Honda. Simple, right?

We met at a park in Los Altos and used back roads to get to Page Mill. Which these guys, mostly retired, climbed like it was nothing. Page Mill, 9-mile former stagecoach road with pitches over 15%. My nemesis climb. A piece of cake.

Come to think of it, their combined body fat might have been equivalent to the fat grams in one piece of cake! They looked like mosquitoes.

Damaged goods, on Page Mill I wheeze, breathe hard, and curse my lower back. Oh, and ride slower than almost everyone. True I am not dead last but my ego is about as happy as the muscles in my lumbar region. I hang on by thinking negative thoughts about Danny, who encouraged me to do this ride.

Then, I'm imagining the best way to explain this foolish caper to Dr. F. when my back goes into spasm again (as it is just about to do).

On the other hand it was a beautiful day, with nearly ideal weather on world-class cycling roads.
Summit of Page Mill, 2250 feet
The view of the ocean from West Alpine was stunning and clear. We did a gratuitous descent and climb back out of Portola State Park that I never would have done on my own.

Mike H. climbs Portola State Park Road. Impressionistic sweat halo added by me.
While chatting with the guy in the photo, my back pain just kind of went away (!). I rode faster than usual, which in turn helps develop speed. And we lunched together in La Honda. 

The market in La Honda values its customers!

As an outcome, very, very good. ~56 miles, 6300 feet of climbing. Home before dark, too!

P.S. At the park this morning while riders chatted, gravity intervened. The Waterford fell against a lamppost and now the top tube has 2 huge ugly scrapes in the paint. Virtually impossible to fix, too. I'm still in the denial stage of grieving, so no photos at this time...

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