We improve ourselves by victories over ourself. There must be contests, and you must win.
I had a really enjoyable ride today in preparation for Saturday’s Mt. Baldy ride which is roughly 60 miles and about 5500 feet of climbing. Yesterday was not a good day and I barely got 10 flat miles in, because my head was just not into it. Today the world looked different (as it always does) and I decided to ride Sepulveda Pass, which separates the ‘Valley’ from the Los Angeles basin.
The route is roughly 22 mile round trip and 2100 feet of elevation gain, climbing up and over Sepulveda, dropping into the valley where I turn around and climb it from the other side. My first little victory was that I climbed both sides without the granny for the first time. Best of all, I didn’t feel like I was punishing myself doing so and being in the middle ring just felt right.
Coming down from the valley side I then decided to attempt Mountain gate, a road leading to a private gated community and golf club. I have looked at it in the past but always chickened out because of the grade. The climb is just shy of a mile in length but you gain over 670 feet while doing so and the road looks very imposing, largely because you can see its entire length winding up the mountain side. For this piece of road I did use the small ring and made it to the top without having to stop – my second little victory.
The Malibu Canyon rides and Las Flores Canyon rides are starting to pay off. Three weeks ago I was looking with some trepidation at the prospect of riding Mt. Baldy, but after today I really look forward to it. I hear it is one of the best rides in the greater Los Angeles area.