Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holiday Travels Part Two

I never really got around to writing up a Year-In-Review blog, which I love to do, and also never finished up my holiday travels! We did some awesome riding in the So Cal desert, then went to Phoenix and did some great riding there. I did a little local riding, and before I knew it, it was New Year's Eve!

New Year's Day I was a bit sick (*ahem*), but managed to rally for some decent riding over the weekend. Wound up pretty fatigued, but still pulled out an hour endurance cruise yesterday solo. Weather has been AWESOME!

After seeing some family and friends in Phoenix, we sadly slept in too late and were too afraid of bad weather in Sedona to head up there, so instead we made the much shorter trek to the Black Canyon Trails a bit north of Phoenix. Bitchin' trails, for sure! We had a blast on the singletrack.

Bar-eye view

Attempting to rail

Had a lot of fun. I wore the shirt for Annie, but didn't wind up seeing her :(

Nice sunset driving back home.

It was cool to get home at a somewhat decent hour so we could prep for our huge road ride wanna-be fail that was scheduled for Wednesday. (Side note: how soon we forget! I had completely wiped this ride from memory as I struggled just now to recall what we rode that day.)

Wednesday there are no pictures; just my story. Suffice it to say... forecast was for cold weather and 20-30% chance of rain. Not very high for So Cal. Started out the ride from Lake Henshaw a little after 8 am. Temps were about 35F. I had on a UA summer base layer with a wool s/s over top, my jersey, a Deflect convertible jacket, and my Rock N' Road vest. Wool socks and Cyclone shoe covers. Then I had on Deflect gloves covered with Sub-Zero outer shells. I managed to stay warm except for my shins and face on the flat cruise out to the highways where we'd descend to Borrego Springs.

I actually got HOT a few miles down the road. Sun was poking through a bit, and we were climbing, so off came the Sub Zero's and the jacket. It was really windy when we got down to Borrego and cruised in an insane headwind from the highway to town for our regroup/refill stop. Took forever, but we all got there.

The fast guys took off first (great!) leaving the rest of us in chase. I started the climb with my vest in my jersey pocket and no gloves, and felt great. Skies were definitely cloudy, but the wind wasn't too bad on the lower slopes of the climb. We got a big higher and had a headwind in certain directions. Nothing bad. Temps were great for climbing. I DUG the climb. About 1/3-1/2 way up we got sprinkles misting us with the wind blowing. Not too much, but as we climbed it slowly and steadily got worse. I put on my gloves around one corner, and the next switchback up it was evident I needed to stop to put on my vest. Light mist was constant and the winds were probably between 15-20 MPH.

We got about 3/4 of the way up the climb and it was downright brutal. I remember pulling a Lt. Dan and screaming asking for more. It was unleashed. I rode with Justin and we turned a corner at one point and literally were stopped dead. We both were trackstanding, pushing as hard as possible on the pedals, in the easiest gear, and barely moving. The headwind was the most insane I've ever experienced, and the rain was coming down harder. I could barely feel my hands, and my feet were getting cold.

I asked if we were close to the top, and then didn't know why I'd asked; the weather wasn't going to change once we got there. We did indeed reach the top, with temperatures probably hovering under 40F and a crazy wind blowing straight at us. We had to stop to try to put on our other layers. I took my gloves off to fumble with my jacket and glove shells, and after that had no feeling in my fingers for 2 or so hours.

I spun behind Justin and one other guy for another hour or so until we got back to the start. The rain and wind continued. I couldn't feel my hands enough to shift into the big ring, and after awhile couldn't shift the rear either, so was left spinning about 3 or 4 cogs down on the cassette. Slow and painful. I got sleepy. It didn't help that from the stop in Borrego until we got back to the truck I had about 4oz of liquid and no food.

There was relief (a little) when we got back and hopped in the truck soaking wet and freezing. Took about 15 mins, but finally I was able to get everything off and get dry.

The only good part was finishing up the ride with a Wahoo's burrito and then a cup of frozen yogurt with all the toppings. Stellar!

New Year's Eve I did a solo ride at San Juan to Cocktail and back. The weather and view were amazing, and I had a blast; just wish I could've shared it with someone!

Here's what we brought to the party:

Sunset on the way

Moon was amazing (and full)

Hostess Stephanie and I toasting

Champagne at midnight!

Festivities were so much fun I can't even post most of the photos! I will say it involved some bicycles, lots of alcohol, spilled coffee, and a board game. Went to bed at 3. I'm too old for that!

I did manage to rally for a stellar ride on Saturday with Justin.

My bike turned one on 1/02!

For the first time in maybe ever Justin and I switched "jobs" on a ride. He led out on Trabuco, and crashed into some bushes a way's down. He had me ride in front to slow him down a bit. I was railing so fast that I wound up slicing my sidewall! So here I am changing my flat while he takes photos.

I *finally* cleaned a few sections on Holy Jim I've never made before. Stoked!

It may not look like much, but it kept me HABing for a few years :)

The ocean looked awesome from Main Divide as we traversed back...

Back to paleo for athletes at last!

I had an absolutely incredible holiday break. I was able to get in my biggest volume week of the entire year, and felt great doing it. I spent most of my time on my Epic, and was sad to be back at work. Such is life!

Happy New Year!

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