Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ski Lift-tastic!

I set out today with Michael and the idea we would ride Glendora Mountain Road to the Mt Baldy ski lifts.  You see sometime in April is L'Etape du California and we need to be ready for the epic journey that takes us thru Stage 7 of this year's Tour of California.

Well, from the start, I new I was doomed. Earlier this week did a series of hill sprints that left my legs sore and tired.  I never really recovered and Friday, I went pretty hard on the rollers.  Then instead of getting to bed early for my Saturday morning ride, I stayed up way to late to watch The Walking Dead on Netflix.  Hills Sprints, Friday night roller and Zombie Fest made for a tired Jason Saturday morning. 

Right from the first climb up GMR, I was breathing hard, and my poor legs were already tired.  I never really got into a groove and by Fork plus 5, my legs were starting to cramp.  By the time I reached Cow Canyon Saddle, my poor legs were done.  The cramping was getting worse.

Michael was waiting for me at Cow Canyon.  I was done but he was feeling really good and ready to make the trek to the lifts.  We agreed he would press on and I would pick up the rear and SLOWLY make my way up Mt Baldy in the direction of the lifts.  I told Michael that I would keep going until I see him coming back.  At that point, I would turn around with him. 

Michael zoomed up the mountain road towards the lifts.  I could tell by his speed and eagerness he was feeling good and ready to conquer.  He quickly disappeared.  My legs started to cramp by the Visitors Center so I decided this would be a great place to take a break.  I rested a short while and started heading up.  Soon enough I was at Ice House Canyon.  I took a quick picture of the road sign, proof I at least made it this far, and continued to head to the lifts.  

At every turn, I was expecting, or rather hoping, I would see Micheal heading down so I could stop the pain and go home.  And each time, Michael did not appear, I was forced to continue on.  Up and up, switchbacks after switchbacks my legs were tired and giving up.  I had to stop a number of times to massage my cramping legs. 

A number of cyclist passed me and gave me encouragement to keep going.  Finally, Michael appeared.  He made it to the lifts and was ready to head home.  Unfortunately, I was about a mile away from the ski lifts and I couldn't stop now.  We said our goodbyes and I continued on.  The last mile was by far the hardest.  I was so tired and the road was getting steeper.  To keep my momentum, I started zig-zagging across the road, like I did at last weeks Fargo Street Hill Climb competition.  

Finally, I made it to the lifts.  I was absolutely exhausted and very pleased with my accomplishment.  I had someone snap a picture and I made my way back home. The ride home was fast.  I was pretty tired so speeding down Mt Baldy was no fun at all.  I hit a pothole pretty hard which in turn caused my rear tire to blow out.  That was scary, but fortunately, I was unharmed.  I've heard of cyclists bombing down mountain passes and getting front tire blow outs.  Front tire blow outs can be painful.

I was very happy with my accomplishment.  Despite me being tired, I managed to pull it together and make it to the lifts. 

Michael's picture and proof he made it to the Ski Lifts

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