Sunday, March 22, 2009

Le Sacre du Printemps

Being the first day of spring, Friday was an excellent choice of days to stretch my still sore legs after the High Noon Rescue ride last Saturday. I decided to just go slow and see how it went, setting no goals nor expectations of myself. I headed down California St towards William B Pond park to ride a nice, slow, flat, ride downstream to wherever I felt it was time to turn around and come home.

Jeffrey coaxed a good pic out of his camera. The guy's got some talent.

I barely got on the bike trail before I stumbled across some of my bike buddies out for a spring celebration ride of their own. I did a quick U-turn and snuck up on them grinning impishly. As is more and more the case these web 2.0 days, I had corresponded many times with Jeffrey and Sara, but we'd never met in person. Nevertheless, we recognized each other immediately from the many pictures taken and posted on our website.

Phred and Sharel having fun teasing each other. A pretty silly mood all around.

We chatted a bit and they invited me to ride along on what they admitted would be a slow ride with them all on mountain or cyclo-cross bikes, and Jeffrey with a single-speed mtb conversion. Not wanting to push the pace at all I was happy to ride along in back and get my legs loose while catching up with the group gossip - sort of whether I wanted to or not :D The lack of any plan or time pressure was pure pleasure for me, and I chatted happily as we meandered down the trail and caught up with each other's lives.

Taking it easy, bringing up the rear. These girls can talk!

Their planned turn-around point was the picnic area under the Guy West bridge at CSUS campus. We found a few tables and broke out the food and drink while everyone talked to everyone else all at the same time. Somehow it all worked - even as we stole glances at the flood of students pushing off or slowing to go up the ramp to the bridge.

I guess we talked a lot. I was just thrilled to be sharing such gorgeous weather.

We got curious about the pounding sound we kept hearing float across the river toward us and decided to take a little de'tour onto the campus to see what was going on. Of course, about that time the band had taken a break, so we saw the drum corp, but didn't actually hear them until we had concluded our little tour and were back on the bike trail. It was a beautiful day though, and the first time I had been on the campus for many years, so a really fun romp.

Matching gloves! Sara's bodybuilding has turned her into a total hottie!

Heading back we paired off a bit differently and I got to spend 20 minutes talking to Jeffrey, who is Mr. fitness around town with lots of TV, Radio and internet media contacts. He's also one super positive, energetic guy and always good for a big lift. He's been helping the TBF people organize and run a duatholon of running and mtn bike riding and I have been increasingly interested if I can get my back to withstand the pounding of running again.

Sharel peeled off at William B Pond and Phred just past the bridge to the other side of the river. Sara and Jeffrey and I headed back to Bannister and I REALLY tried to stay behind them. Really, I did. The sun was setting fast though, and I still had 12 miles to go to get home, so when they ran into Kevin, who had been riding with them earlier, I bid them adieu and slowly ramped up the power, testing my legs and seeing how they felt.

Within a couple of miles I was locked and hammering in my new favorite gear spinning 90 rpms at 21.5mph. I resisted pushing any tall gears, but was really happy this happy-go-lucky ride had done an excellent job of working out the kinks and now I could put down 300 watts right along with no problems. The scenery kept improving as the sun set, the crimson paint on the dark water was breathtaking. I came upon the Sunrise Y, flew through the park, across the bridge and stood and hammered right up that short little climb that had been all but impossible last Saturday.

Calling "SIDE" 3-4 times as I went, the short ride to Bannister flew past. What a difference 6 days had made! The Bannister Pk approach went by easily standing on 38/27 gears and in a few minutes I was flying down Fair Oaks racing the setting sun. The air was turning a bit brisk as the front bringing rain on Saturday began dropping temps rather dramatically. Brisk as it was, that thick air powered me through the long rollers home at a pace that put some serious perma-grin on my face.

Thank you Jeffrey for the great photography. I owe you bud!

When I pulled up to the gate I couldn't believe I had just ridden 28 miles. Even the average wasn't bad at about 17.5 mph - with that sprint home doing a yeoman's job of balancing out the slow start. It was a great way to welcome in the spring, put a huge smile on my face, and a spring in my step. Just another day in paradise. :D

1 comment:

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