I have never been to the infamous "Rock Store" (RS) in the lovely Santa Monica mountain range. So it was understandable then when Vit mentioned doing a ride on April 11th that was part of the ToC - stage 8, to be exact - I jumped on it. It is one of the Breakaway Rides.
The problem for me was that I had never been to The Rock Store!! I had this idea in my head that you rode up this major hill & it "topped" out at this really cool hangout.
I was wrong! Not about the major hill, but about the fact that The RS is just sorta in the middle of the hill! You continue past RS, and that is when the "real" steepness begins!
Now, it was not horrible, but I was working hard, fosho.
I was very excited about the fact that in a couple of months I would get to watch the ToC fly by me. I was searching for places to park the car & wait for Lance and the rest of Team RadioShack go by, a spot for me to scream & yell & run alongside the bikes so I can be on TV, hee-hee-he. Seriously, look for me with a pink tutu on my head!! Tracer Gaga, baby.
Anyway, back to the ride: We started off on the "warmup" part of the route and did one loop of the ride. (ToC riders will do 4 loops, totaling 109 miles.) This was just a bit of getting my feet wet on these hills; I do not want any surprises on the Breakaway ride. And since Vit has been to the RS - without me!!!!! - I really just wanted to ride with him. Even though he did the ride with another woman, he is still my BFFTPFL (Best Friend Forever Training Partner For Life!).
The ride went well. It was very scenic & there were a ton of other cyclists on the road. We crossed over Kanan Road & continued along Mulholland Drive to Decker Canyon aka Route 23/Westlake Boulevard. Decker Canyon is a 2-lane canyon road that is narrow, steep and technically challenging to the cyclist - especially if the road is WET. Since we had a torrential downpour yesterday, it was wet! This is where the "white knuckles" come in. I was "feathering" my brakes, going as slow as I possibly could & trying to shift my weight to the back of my saddle.
I felt the back tire slip just a bit. And at one point I felt like I wanted to have brakes on my pedals . . . like I just wanted off this scary-ass roller coaster ride! Some chick/dude rolls right past me as if we were cruising on the beach. She/he came up on me so fast that it scared the crap outta me - not literally - I felt like I lost my focus a bit & really had to get my head back in the game of making to the bottom still on my bike without any road rash on my ass!!!
I had to remind myself to relax my shoulders. I was getting some neck pain.
By the time we made it down to level ground, my hands were shaking & I really needed a Valium and a cocktail! I settled for a gel & water . . . for now!!!
The funny part of this whole thing? I signed up for the Breakaway 62-miler that will take me around the loop TWICE. As you may know, that will be TWO times I have to go down Decker Canyon.
Pray for me, people!!! Pray that the day is beautiful & dry. For if it is not????
I am getting off my effing bike & walking my butt down the hill - TWICE!
I have attached the download from my Garmin for your viewing pleasure.
So, for now . . .
Much Peace & Love,
p.s. Happy safe cycling to you!
Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled