November 28, 2004: California dreamin'

I can't believe the long weekend is already over -- four lost days of sloth, underachievement, and disenchantment. I gained at least five pounds, which will have to come off sometime before the Sea Otter, and was so lethargic that even with four days off in a row, I couldn't hook up with Romulus once. On top of that, it's now Sunday and I usually like to reserve Sundays for depressed brooding about the impending work week.

To keep my head in the game during the off-season, I'm focusing on staying seated while climbing. I'm at my climbing best when I'm up out of the saddle and pumping, but I'd like to add some core power and strength to the hammies, quads, and glutes, so sitting it will be for the next couple of months. There's really nothing to be gained from stand-up hill sprinting in December anyway. December is for building the base, and standing is for mission-critical race sits like attacking, defending, and resting. Ah, maybe I'm just rationalizing, obfuscating, justifying.

Singletrack is where you find it
Feliz, a fixture in McNee
Along the Gray Whale Trail

I took the inland route north past the farms and into the Horse Hills east of the Cabrillo and south of Moss Beach. It was tough sledding but I was able to make it through the entire singletrack side-route all the way up to Alamo Street without touching down -- I can't remember ever doing that before.

There was a bitter, cold, and gusty wind blowing out of the northwest, but the skies were as clear as the Republican agenda. From the San Pedro Summit, I could see every detail of the coast looking north towards the City towards Fort Funston. The GG bridge was clearly visible peaking out over the top of the Presidio. It was so clear that I could see landmarks on Sweeney Ridge and back into the water authority land that I'd never seen before, and I've been to this summit probably 50 times. Damn the radio tower on Twin Peaks is massive; it dwarfs San Bruno Mountain and looks ridiculously disproportionate. I'm going vertigo just thinking about being on the top of that tower looking down. Somebody had to stand up there and drill in the final rivet. That's more than I could handle.

Today was the kind of day that inspired "California Dreamin'": brilliant, but weak sunshine, a crisp bite to the air, and long, gloomy shadows. As a native Californian, this form of winter evokes the same sense of seasonality that people in North Dakota, Ohio, and New Hampshire experience. There are seasons in California, you just have to know how to recognize them.

After rumbling bumbling stumbling down from San Pedro, I cut out to Gray Whale Cove and then doubled back through McNee and the POST into Montara. Having set the ride up to have the perpetual northwest wind at my back on the return trip, I crossed back over the Cabrillo at the Montara lighthouse, zipped down to Moss Beach County and raced out to the Fitz. Because I had yutzed around for most of the day watching football, and because I didn't want to weigh myself down with heavy lights and batteries, I got caught out on the Fitz in the heavy dusk. I pretty much know the trails by heart, but even so, coming down the White Whale in the dark is a nifty little tester.

Must have been too cold for man or beast out today because I saw very little of either.


Mileage: 25.03 Time: 2:24:39 Avg: 10.3 Max: 29.6 Weight: 176

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