Saturday, January 24, 2009
I've been out here in California since late Thursday afternoon. The riding has been awesome so far, but the weather has been sub-par for California. After a few hour lay over in Vegas we got into Redlands with only a bit of daylight left, so Dan and I quickly put the bikes together and did a quick hour around Redlands, and I showed him the damn TT course from the Redlands Cycling Classic. It's still a bitch even after being away for almost a year. I'm still on Eastern time, so I've been fighting to stay up until 9 out here and waking up at like 7 every morning. Yesterday Dan and I were feeling ambitious so we headed up the mountain towards Big Bear Lake, with the plan being a loop of the lake, then coming back the way we came. Google Earth didn't do the extremeness of this route justice. Redlands sits at about 1000ft above sea level and we managed to see this sign along the way up.
It was raining too hard once we got to Onyx Summit (just under 9k) to take a picture. I'm guessing we did between 11 and 12 thousand ft of climbing on the day. And literally climbed for all of the first 3 hours of the ride. This was the first time I've ever been exposed to exercise at elevation, and around 7k ft it got noticably harder to get decent breaths of air, it was actually kinda cool. We turned around after 3.5 hours and started the plunge back down. It poured on us the whole time. There were points where we couldn't see more than 50ft up the road. It was in the 30's at that elevation, so our bare and wet hands could barely pull the brake levers. We got back to Redlands with a ride time of 5:15 and the temp were back in the 60's. I know people in the cycling community use the word epic a lot, but this ride was seriously epic.
Today we did another long one and my legs were feeling yesterdays efforts for sure. I don't want to power dork out on you guys too hard, but at 142 lbs, I rarely see these kind of Kilojoules. 8500kj's in the last two days, so I think we're gonna take it a bit easier tomorrow.
My teammate Dan Campbell has been smashing me on the climbs out here. He's on some pretty solid form right now. Things are looking good for the team this year. I've got the compression socks on and it's time for me to go eat some recovery Oreo's. I'll try to get some mo' photos once the weather gets decent enough to get the camera out of the plastic bag.