September 4 , 2004: Let's go for a Skyline climb

I spent about four hours today just convincing myself to go for this ride. I felt sluggish and totally weak for most of the day, but finally about 2 PM I roused myself from the recliner and set about getting the Blade ready for a ride. Had to ride the Blade today because the forks on Blue are shot and need to be rebuilt and both sets of brake pads on the Hoo-E need to be replaced. Riding the Blade today though did complete my bicycle hat trick: Blue on the Bloody Shins (See August 30, 2004: Tall tales of the Bloody Shins Trail); Hoo-E going coastal (See September 1, 2004: Brake check), and the Blade today. So many bikes, so little time.

Today's ride started out as just a basic Lobitos loop, but once I got out there and started turning over the pedals, I got into the flow and decided to do the entire climb up to Skyline -- the Skyline Climb. My quads were still pretty sore from Thursday's run, but I soon pumped so much lactic acid into my legs that the soreness became a secondary issue. Still feeling the middle-ring pressure from Bonzai and Romulus, I tried to make the entire climb in the middle ring. This worked for about two-thirds of the climb, but only because I did almost the entire climb to that point out of the saddle. I just didn't have the strength to pull the hill from the saddle. At the two-thirds point, all the standing caught up with me and I cracked, and from there to Skyline, I muddled along in the granny ring. No problem, the goal of today's ride was hours and miles, both of which were achieved.

Cball and the Blade
A beautiful sight atop the Skyline Climb
Out on lonely Lobitos

Despite the cracking, I did completely waste two guys on the Skyline Climb. I caught them at the Lobitos turnoff, about halfway up the climb. We exchanged pleasantries as I zipped by and I figured I would beat them to the top by two miles (the top was five miles from where I passed them). Sure enough, I hit Skyline, stopped for a picture, a snack, and a drink, and then started back down. One mile down from the top, I passed the first guy, who had broken away from his buddy. Another mile down the hill I passed the second guy. Got to love the hills.

But not just the uphills anymore. Yet again, the Blade felt more like a glove and I was zigging and zagging down the hills. Riding with Starky really helped and there were a couple of times today where I not only laid off the brakes, but actually pedaled to pick up speed during the descents. Any day now, I'm going to hit 40 MPH.

An unbelievable day today. We get maybe five or six days like this all year out here. It was freaking hot. Not just warm, but hot. In the morning, there was no wind and it was probably over 90 degrees. The onshore afternoon breezes lowered the temps by at least 10 degrees and made for perfect riding conditions.

Coming up the south side of the Grapevine, I came across three deer in the road: a doe and two very small fawns. I inadvertently herded them up a narrow section of the road until they could find a way down off the road. I'm glad no cars were coming the other way while they were on the road or we might have had a very unpleasant Bambi incident. As I was passing the entrance to Burleigh-Murray regional park, I saw yet another bobcat. This one was pretty small, but had the distinctive reddish coat of our local strain of b-cats.


Mileage: 46.98 Time: 3:20:12 Avg: 14.0 Max: 38.5 Weight: 171.5

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