A couple of exceptionally productive days here getting all manner of things sorted out, so I rewarded myself with a nice ride up to Beals. The route is nothing special, as you all know by now, I do this one all the time, but the pace certainly was special tonight.
Just past Sunrise I got passed and jumped on his wheel, hoping I could hang with him. Well, I know how Lance Armstrong felt on the TDF this year. Not enough gas in the tank, and too many fast riders. I hung with him until the "Hitching Post". He dropped me on the little climb after that sharp right crossing a parking lot entrance. I knew he would attack on the hills, and most likely that one, but I was at LT hanging on his wheel barreling through the twisties on that side of Lake Natoma, so nothing left for the climb.
I recovered after about 5 minutes crawling along in Zone 4, but still making a good average up to Karen's Bakery. I had a nice conversation with a couple of riders at the hydration stop just down from the Folsom St Bridge. One of them had a Roubaix almost identical to mine. We congratulated each other on what great taste in bikes we had. I shoved off, and got passed by another strong rider going through the bottom section of the Beal's climb. Part of the problem was lack of fuel for me, but mostly he was just a better climber because of a better BMI.
I caught him in the flatish middle section and he did the smart thing, biding his time until the final climb. I got within 10 ft of him at the top, redlining before collapsing into the Beal's parking lot. Looking at my Garmin trace, standing to try to catch him was a mistake. My usual 11-12 mph redline sprint was replaced by an 8mph one. I could have caught him if I'd played a better tactical game, but on any long climb, he'd have beaten me.
For whatever reason I was coughing a lot at Beals, so took on some water, ate a PowerBar and caught my breath. Nothing much happened on the way home until I got passed again by a real skinny kite on a TT bike. I bridged up, caught his wheel, and eventually passed him in traffic. Nice guy. We had a nice side-by-side chat the last mile before the Sunrise "Y". I peeled off for Bannister Park and he went on to William Pond.
The sun is setting earlier these days - just before 8:00 now, about 50 minutes earlier than early June. An old Italian gardener told me it works out to about 2 min a day of less daylight, and that's pretty close. The water level in the lake is getting a bit low again, but the river was still beautiful near sunset coming home.
Another fun, challenging ride on the world's best playground - the American River Parkway Trail.
4 months ago