Amazing – almost a year has passed since my last blog entry, and it was not for the lack of trying. I simply did not have anything I cared to share on this blog. I started a new job in January and it was all consuming. The chapter is closed now and I am trying to pick up the fitness pieces, which are in shambles.
Luckily I did not lose all of my friends along the way and @roadchickie was kind enough to drag my sorry butt up Stunt road last weekend. You can read a ride description on her blog http://mydogparty.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-cant-describe-my-joy.html . I am really grateful that she brought the whip with her and chased me up that hill. Reaching the top of Stunt Canyon kindled a renewed fire to get back into shape. Eleven months off the bike, no real exercise to speak off have left me soft and without power. But, I am going to change that, and since I know I already did it once, I know I will succeed.
Fast forward to today. My friend @M2Tiguy got sick earlier in the week and is floating high on medication. Our planned ride up the coast and Latigo canyon would not be. I figured earlier in the morning that I will do the ride by myself. I checked the weather earlier and it looked just about perfect. So I got my gear together, and because I am a spoiled So Cal rider 54 degrees is cold, I packed a couple of layers, just in case.
I had every intention to ride up Latigo, but about 11 miles into the ride I approached the turn to Los Flores Canyon. I have a love/hate relationship with this canyon (you can read about it here), but then the thought occurred to me, that this would be a perfect balance to last Saturday’s ride. You see the end of the Los Flores Canyon intersects with the end of Stunt Canyon – serendipity, I had to do it. So I swung a right and let the climbing begin.
This is a 36 mile loop from my house with 3200 feet of climbing, most of it up Los Flores, which is mostly in the lower teens grade percentage, but has a number of sections which are in the upper teens, and a couple break the 20% grade barrier. Let me just say that there were a number of times I had to take a break and about half way up it started to rain. How did I miss that in the forecast? Of course, immediately I hear that little voice “ah, it’s raining, probably a sign to turn around”.
Ha, I did not – I challenged that little voice and when I needed a break I told myself I am doing that to snap some pictures (such a liar). In the end it worked out and I am reminded how challenging that canyon road is. Good news is, that the lower portion is repaved and has nice shiny new tarmac. At the top I decided to return via Fernwood canyon for different scenery, but the constant rain made that decent very technical. No time to take photos, just paying attention to the rode and keeping the rubber down.
My legs are toast and the hot shower felt incredible. But the best part of cycling is the way how great you feel when you come home – nothing compares to it. Below are some images from today’s ride.