Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another Worthless Thread

Yes, I know. 'This post is worthless without pics'. Sorry. Camera at home. So, despite the lack of proof that it all happened, Ed the Tall and I lit out on a ride in between the rainstorms. There are only 2 or 3 rides in this area that can be done in wet weather. The rest just clay up the bike till you cannot move.

It was totally an SS kind of day. The route is 10 miles of climbing up along Sawmill Mtn, not hard on a geary and really not that bad on an SS, but today...well today was pretty hard. The soft, sandy soil was like rolling over carpet padding. You did not really sink, per se, but there was juuuust enough give to the soil to make it sllloooowwww going. We were even pedaling on the downhills. I wanted to make it to a saddle about 10-12 miles up ahead and then finish the loop, returning down a fast fireroad descent to a pavement return. It would be a killer workout on the SS and I had never done it that way before.

We began in overcast conditions, climbed into the clouds, and turned around only when it made sense to do so. The saddle and the bigger loop would have to wait for another day. Man, it was getting cold up there, but I would have preferred it a bit colder. Then the ground would have been frozen. Instead, it was soggy/spongy. We began at 3000' or so and climbed for 90 minutes till we hit enough snow/ice that the grade, the snow, and the lack of low spinny-spinny gears called an end to the ride.

But, despite the weather and conditions, and, to a large degree, because of it, we had a great ride. The SS thing is just so hard sometimes that it makes you shake your head and grin. "Ya know, they have gears for bikes these days!", your inner self says. "Yeah, I have heard about them."

I love riding into the clouds. The wind was up a bit and the moisture hung on the leaves and branches, the clouds passing over me like a ghost. When you can't see more than 100' up the road, it makes it that much easier to put the head down and just pedal. The top is an illusion, the road traveled is given out in bits and pieces, one section at a time. Behind you, the mist. Ahead, the mist. Only the chunk of road where your wheels are at any given time is reality. The rest are vapors.

2 hours in nature's stairmaster arena on a single geared stepping machine, all in a gym setting that no work-out club can match.

Thanks, Ed. Nice ride.

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