Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween ride: Makin' room for candy


Burn calories+eat candy=no guilt.  See how nicely that works?  To set that in motion, I tossed out a ride invite for a biggish loop in the local mountains and had only a couple of takers, that being JeffJ and Kendra.

All pics courtesy of JeffJ, AKA The Man in Black, and Kendra.



I was riding the Giant XTC-1 29er hardtail for the day, a test bike I have kind'a rediscovered lately.  Hardtails are very nice in some ways, especially when there is a lot of climbing and the ride is fairly smooth.  I also grabbed an older hydration pack for the day, the Deuter Race EXP.  Nice pack.


I had done this ride once before with Ed the Tall and it had been a hot day and the second climb on the route toasted me pretty well, driving me into leg cramps before the 36.5 mile ride was over with.  I wanted to revisit the route on a cooler day and with some better nutritional prep.  We had done this ride in 5 hours with only a couple of stops...one at the top of the singletrack downhill, and one at a country store to refuel.  Today would be a slower pace as it would be the longest in miles and hours that either of my companions had ever done.  I wonder if they know what is in store?  Not likely.

We left under overcast and mid forties temps, but that gave way to mostly sunny skies at the first climb, a 50 minute stretch to get the legs warmed up.




At the saddle, we could see the top of the Sierra Pelona Ridge in the distance.  That was our next climb, and it is long and not too easy.  The views were exceptional after the rains two days ago and the dirt was about as good as it gets.  From the top we could see to Wrightwood, the Tehachapis, Frazier Mtn, and the Topa Topas.  Nice.

Looking toward the next climb.

That far ridge was where we would top out.

Looking back from whence we came.  I always wanted to use 'whence' in a sentence.

Bouquet Reservoir and the distant Los Padres.

Looking towards the Tehachapis.

We took a moment to savor the day in a wind free alcove in some tall grass.  Bliss.  Nap time, if only we had the luxury of an extra hour or two.

I am pretty sure I am saying something very wise and important.

Kendra looking fresh as a daisy.  Liar!

From there, it was a long downhill on tasty singletrack to a little market, then a 5 or 6 mile return to our truck.


The arrow is me...I think.

  The rest stop...chocolate milk, a banana, salted cashews...no hot pocket although it sure smelled good...Kendra!

After this, some paved coasting which is real nice, but there is one mean little section of paved climbing that is a real mental killer, then fireroad to singletrack back to the beginning.  7.5 hrs of time had passed and we were tired little bike riders.  A great day with friends, and a personal best for them as well, even though I know they were suffering.  They never whined, never complained, just pressed on smiling.  That'll do.  That'll do nicely.

I felt really good all day and not one cramp.  Elete Hydration additive rocks for me.  This was nice as a bookend to last weekend's 50 miler and hopefully it will get me back towards pre-surgery fitness.  If I can do at least one ride a month like this over the Fall/Winter, I will stay strong for Spring.

3 comments:

El Immigrante said...

Awesome!

Randy said...

Atta boy JeffJ and Kendra, that's a major milestone accomplishment.

wkndwarrior said...

Sounds like a ride I would have enjoyed. Briefly considered joining you guys, but I was already committed to another ride. Next time...

Great pics Jeff...and nice ride report Mike.