F#$@ son offa B@#*% . . . . OK, got that out of my system! Why do I have to curse, you ask?
Well, as you may or may not know, the ToC (Tour of California) came rolling thru our wonderful state. And due to the fact that I love guys in tight shorts & shirts, I wanted to see the tour fly right by me. So Vit, H.R. Pufnstuf & I decided to ride the route, or at least Stage 7, from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. Well, actually just to the top of the climb at Angeles Crest Highway.
So Vit & I started out in Granada Hills & rode to Sierra Canyon & San Fernando Road to meet H.R. (he drove his car out there - thank GOD). We took off from there to Soledad Canyon to ride uphill and see the tour come by. (We were several hours ahead of the game, but I know Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer & the gang were much faster than me, so I needed a head start.) We got to Sand Canyon and Vit had us turn right.
What a beautiful ride up Sand Canyon - the homes are gorgeous, lots of space for horses to roam & it was a beautiful day. So we continued upward - we even rode past a sign that said, "Angeles National Forest." It was just a matter of 11-plus more miles of hill climbing to get to Mill Creek Summit.
Or so I thought.
We were supposed to be riding up to 4,900 feet, give or take a few. So, here we are riding along up a nice steep hill, then down a bit, then up some more. And I'm talking kinda steep here. I am only cruising at 5-something MPH on Penelope.
Slow enough to notice mile marker 12. And 12.34. And 12.75, And so on. Now I start thinking to myself, "Self - does this seem right to you?" But I ignored my Self & started another long downhill roll. Now I know something is wrong. Why the hell am I going down again? Where is all the snow??? Where are all the people who want to see the ToC?
Where the hell are Vit & H.R. Pufnstuf?
And, why the hell is it hot out here? Aren't we gaining elevation?
Well, I drop on down to my boys, who agree that something is wrong, given that we are back in the FRIGGIN' San Fernando Valley (basically) at the Wildlife Waystation!!
It is NOON. They start at NOON. But we can't make it back in time because we have to climb out of this hellhole!
It took me a good little while to adjust to the fact that now I was just on an average little training ride. That I would not have that thrill of the peloton speeding by me. To shout, "woooo hoooooo!" or to run alongside some rider clad in tight shorts & shirt. I was pissed!!! Dang it!
I had to get over it. I mean, there are times in a race where you feel frustrated, tired or that you just don't have it in you. You need to mentally pull it together & get your mind around what you are doing in that moment!
(Oh, I sound like I know what I'm talking about. I like it.)
Back to the ride . . . we basically went back the way we came. Made it back to Carl's Jr., where H.R. Pufnstuf's car was parked . . . ate lunch, discussed what the heck went wrong (yes, both Vit & H.R. had directions for the ride) & I hitched a ride back to Granada Hills. Vit was a stud & rode back the 7 miles. I was spent - my thighs were done - plus, we needed to get back to watch the ToC.
That was just salt in the wound. So many signs, literally, that we missed . . . like: where was the writing on the ground that all the fans do in chalk? Of course - the snow!? And all the people who come out to watch??
Sorry, that is it.
Now some stats, according to Vit's Garmin: we rode 53 miles (45 for me) & climbed 7,600 feet (approx.7,300 for me) . . . no wonder I was spent - major climbing!!
All in all, I had a nice day with my friends.
Peace & love,