Sunday, November 23, 2008

(Last?) Dirty Dozen training ride

A nice, relatively mellow ride. Simple plan; ride hills until I got sick of them. No minimum, no maximum; the only plan was to start at the beginning and see how far I go.

As a preliminary step, I peeled most of the non-essential stuff off of the P-38. Fenders, kickstand, rack, etc...all gone the way of the dodo. I kept the two bottle cages, and a seat-back bag for sundries like tubes and tools, but that's about it.

Met up with David at Center, and started the run. Center was entirely uneventful. Ravine is still closed, but has enough room for single-file cyclists to meander up the hill. Amusingly enough, there's also a screw jack engaged across the path; I was low enough to not care, but most of the upright folks will need to duck their heads to make it through. I shudder to think of how many of the eager types will stress-test their helmets on the steel bar. On the bright side, the construction changed the appearance of Ravine enough that my usual psychological barrier to climbing that hill was circumvented; it was a "new hill", so not nearly as intimidating.

Berryhill was particularly anticlimactic; it just doesn't seem like a big deal anymore. Logan was rough, as usual, but I made it to the top with only a few cars brushing by within a foot of my elbow. Due to my dislike of heading down Rialto, and David's desire not to go too far out of the way, we skipped Rialto and Suffering-Hellish-Burning in favor of going directly to Sycamore. At that point, it became apparent that, strangely enough, the sun was going to go down in another hour or two, so we chose to do Welsh, then call it a day, as neither of us were clever enough to bring lights.

All in all, not bad. Seven of the thirteen was a reasonable achievement, especially as, while certainly not feeling fresh after Welsh, I wasn't feeling too bad either. If it weren't for lighting concerns, I'm quite confident that BHE and Flowers-Tesla would have been more-or-less a stroll in the park.

I'm still concerned about my ability to do Canton and Boustead at all, as that 30%-ish grade seems to be the magic number where I start to really have problems; however, we'll just have to wait for next Saturday (forecast: rain/snow, high in the mid-30s F...heheheheh!) and see what happens.

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