One thing we have in spades in So Cal are mountains. Ok, not Fourteen'ers, but still, we got some pretty good hills to ride up and over. Most of them are criss crossed with fire trails (dirt roads) that allow access for wildfire fighting or whatever. We have singletrack too, but there are waaaayy more fire roads than true trails.
This last Sat a group of pilgrims set out on a loop up and over one of those mountains that split the boys into two partitions....a slower paced group that began at the base of a serious dirt climb and a faster group that I was in (hey, every train needs a caboose) that began 6 miles lower and connected things with a paved climb out of town first. The idea was that we would all summit at around the same time so there would be little waiting at the top. Good thing too as it was full on clouds up there on the ridge and likely in the high 30s for temps. Brrrr.
But the slower group got a late start due to a late arrival of one rider (who turned around early in the ride...well thanks a lot...make us late, then leave). So we ended up passing them not even half way up the 2 hour climb. Not a good sign. The fastest of the fast were long gone now and were nowhere to be found at the top of the main climb. It turned out that one of the guys was a bit under dressed and was feeling the weather up there. We waited for a while at the top...maybe 45 minutes, till we could not wait anymore...too cold. We completed the ride by running 8 miles of ridgeline in the clouds and then dropped down 5-ish miles of singletrack.
A chicken burrito later at a Mex food joint, and no slow group. I called JeffJ who was coming off a head cold and a month or so of little riding, and I got a broken reply on the phone before the call dropped: "...halfway down Gridley...legs...locking up....feels like I might....throw-up...*click*" Oh my. Not good.
We were planning the rescue mission when we saw the entourage coming back into town. JeffJ (in the blue windbreaker) looks like he is smiling in the pic. I think it was a grimace that stuck there...kinda' like the Joker on Batman. But it is amazing what a plate of Mexican food will fix and in the end, things worked out just fine.
We got mountains here, by George, and we ride over them on occasion.