Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Spanked

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.


Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

First – your previous post…omg funny. Likely my mom and dad were more mellow flower child lovers but do we really know our parents at all :). You are the hammer-head and I am just a wonna-be.

Second – like the new banner picture! I would argue that I am in the world’s best playground here. Still, what a blessing to have the freedom to enjoy the open roads like we do.

Btw – Scott has lost around 12-14 lbs. Very proud of his hard work!

Anonymous said...

And I already thought you don't like me any more;-)

Yes, back blogging and loving' it! So 2 minutes a day we lose on sunlight? I was just discussing with Thomas last night. Now I know! Sad, so sad.

Your ride sounds wonderful:-) Keep up the good work!

Grey Beard said...

Robin, :D, It just now occurred to me that any song with enough driving beat for cycling is also good "conception" music. LOLOLOL You are so right about how little we know our parents.

I made it a point after my dad passed to ask my aunts about him and their lives back in the day. Found out 2 of my aunts met their husbands in a bar! Could have knocked me over with a feather after that one!

Scott really looks "in-shape" now. I'd love to lose 12-14lbs. Just the right amount for me. Holding the line at 190, but 20 yrs in the gym have given me a huge back and chest, so 175 is about my min healthy weight.

Stephanie, like that could ever happen! >8<

The gardener was Jacques, my neighbor in LA. He was about 70 at the time, and I took him to watch the matched sprints qualification races at the then-new Velodrome in Carson, built for the 1984 Olympics. Nelson Vails was a force to be reckoned with in those days.

I think that was the best day he'd had in 10 yrs, although he was a great guy with a quick smile and twinkling eyes.

His love of cycling went all the way back to the 6-day races on Coney Island. That and my very pretty wife brought him around for brunch like clock-work on Sundays thereafter. It was always a pleasure. (she had him wrapped around her little finger)

I have a few pics of me/us and my bike in that era. I'll see if I can get them scanned.