Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Big 'S' part three: "We Ride in the Rain Here".

"We ride in the rain here."
Nic from Specialized marketing dept.

As if to portend of things to come, the rain started up again after lunch as we prepared to get out and try and find a place to go for a ride. At the back of the warehouse, we spun wrenches getting an XL 2010 FSR Stumpjumper Expert 29er ready to ride. I felt kinda bad taking what is pretty much a new bike out in this weather. It was not going to be pretty.

We crammed the van full of bikes on the carrier and 4 of us inside; Myself, Nic, Eric and Robb. Nic was on a carbon 29er HT, Robb was on a 29er Epic and Eric was on his FSR Stumpy with a 1x10 XX set up running a 30 tooth front ring.

We drove out into heavy rain and winds with lightning flashing in the distance. OOofff. I kept thinking that these poor guys got sucked into taking this stupid media guy out in this weather...part of the job, Old Bean, etc...but looking at the faces in the van I think these nuts would have done this anyway if given half the chance. Hard core.

Nic had taken pity on this So Cal dryland rider and set me up with some wet weather clothing:

The Aqua Veto jacket, BG Deflect Gloves and some Tech Layer base layer pieces.

Combined that stuff with tights over shorts and some water shedding Sombrio baggies, the water proof BG Defroster Shoes and a head cap under my helmet and I was good to go. We ended up at the non-techy but super fun and super soggy-sandy soil of the Laguna Seca/Sea Otter area.

Now is this trick or what? I gotta do that at home.

We rode out in light rain and wet trails, although the sandy soil was very forgiving of our passing. No trail damage here. The FSR Stumpy 29er was a hoot to ride. I was aiming at every chunky thing I could find and watching the boys ride over the next hill while I wheezed along. These guys ride a bit, it seems. I was glad to have a granny on this bike.

The trails here are up and down, sandy and banked with fast bermed corners. What a great place to ride!

The FSR Stumpy is a really fun bike and obviously a different flavor than the Epic Marathon I have been on lately. I hope to get more saddle time on this one. I can see a trip to Blue Diamond in Vegas or Maybe Gooseberry Mesa. Yum.

I can't thank the guys at Specialized enough for taking such good care of me (and waiting at the top of the hills). It was fun and mildly epic in a wet kind of way. I will remember this ride.

Sitting in the San Jose airport the next day, I was listening to the reports come over the intercom as one after another the airports in So Cal were shutting down...San Diego, then Burbank. Nuts. I was headed to Burbank. Was. At the last minute I jumped ship and grabbed a flight to LAX where I could shuttle back towards home.

Standing in front of LAX waiting for the shuttle bus, it was raining, windy and in the low 50s. I was wearing a few layers including a raincoat and nice wool cap from Ireland. Out of the corner of my eye I see skin walking by. Lots of it.

There, coming out of the terminal building was a sight to see; a beauty of a women...tall, blonde, young and in oh-my-god shape. She had her entourage...two nicely dressed young men in front with the baggage and one at her side with the umbrella. She was wearing workout clothes; nice sweat pants that hugged the waist and a sports top/bra up top. You could see every toned and sculpted muscle as she walked...nay, not walked...it was more like a feline strolling along...languid comes to mind. The hip action was deliberate and remarkable. Like a living metronome, those hips could have powered a small town if you could have hooked a generator to them.

I watched the underdressed, walking, living testament to 'looking good in LA no matter the cost' cross the windy, wet and cold taxi way and move toward the waiting limo, no doubt. Ya' gotta laugh.

Absurdity and vanity on display. Welcome to LA.

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