Much to my surprise the replacement helmet arrived late on Saturday evening despite the tracking info showing a delivery for Monday. But, who am I to complain about that? It has been exactly 3 weeks since I went over the bars and I was itching to get onto the bike and back onto the road.
I went for a short 10 mile loop last night, primarily to test the bike I haven’t been on since the accident. My LBS took the bike completely apart and tested the carbon frame to assure that the carbon frame was structurally sound. They then build up the bike and the head wrench took her for a spin. In his words:” this ol’ girl is as good as new!” Yesterday’s short ride surely felt nice, the wheels rolled well, shifting and breaking was tight and smooth and there was not a rattle to be heard. They really did a nice job.
Today I wanted to see how much of my climbing legs I had left and decided to ride up and over Sepulveda Pass, down into the valley, turn around at the bottom, climb back up and ride down to the beach and return home thereafter.
The ride was a total of 29 miles with 1900 feet of elevation gain and I could already tell while riding that I lost some strength because of the gear selections I made. The Sepulveda climb is mostly between a 5 to 8 percent pitch, with the occasional 9 to 12 thrown in for good measure. At the steepest sections I found myself being very happy to have the granny, something I didn’t need prior to my hiatus on this route.
The next several weeks will be filled with a lot of interval training and climbing sessions, because the Eastern Sierra’s Fall Century is right around the corner on September 12, a ride I really need my climbing legs for. Not only is the course laid out up and down the Sierra Mountain sides near Mammoth Lakes, it also sits between 8000 to 11000 feet altitude; elevation this beach boy isn’t used to any longer.
It is hard to describe the joy I felt during today’s ride. During the first couple of weeks my body was too beat up to even think about wanting to ride, but the last week, with most of the major aches gone and mobility returned, all I could think off was how much I missed the riding. Sitting here and writing this blog entry I can ‘feel’ the ride in my legs and treasure the sensation of the slow ‘muscle burn’, something I haven’t felt for quiet some time.