Sunday morning I woke up at my usual hour but went back to sleep as I didn’t feel like riding at all. It took several text exchanges from Paul and Steve to convince me to get up and ride.
For old time’s sake we rode the inside trails at the Santa Fe Dam. The inside trails are pretty much flat really nothing much to it but this was the place where I first ran into Steve and Paul 3 years ago and this is where we first “started”.
The trails are mostly flat and the only bright spot in the ride was that I finally rode down a loose, rocky but short descent that I always walked.
Strava stats: http://app.strava.com/activities/38158010
Woo-hoo! Dammit, no one saw it… (after riding down the rock pile)
The face of the dam
My steel 29er
3 x 29er’s = 87ers?
New Fox shorts
While I was at my local Walmart looking for leather conditioner for my leather jacket, I headed to the sporting goods department to look at their bike selection. Last time I went there was to confirm if Walmart carried 29ers. They do and now they one-upped the 29 inch wheel bike by now carrying the 32er cruiser:
The 32 inch wheel dwarfs the 26er even more
I have to admit, I was curious on how a 32er would ride but I cant exactly hop on and putz around the aisles of Walmart and I certainly wont go through the hassle of buying and returning one. Maybe one of these days I’ll get the chance to ride one.
Better roll over than a 29er!
Bigger is better right?
Sundays used to be some slow, leisurely paced rides with a coffee break early on in the ride and stopovers not to rest or recover but to talk. After the ride usually entails a post ride meal and more talking and hanging around. All of that has come to an end and it looks to me that there will be some weekends that I will be myself. Today was one of them and the first for the year,
I rode my “home trail”, the San Gabriel River Trail. Weather reports said it was supposed to rain the whole day and while it did rain during the early hours of the morning, the skies were blue when I got out to the trailhead. I started my ride by heading north towards the Azusa Canyon. Because I had just ridden Hulda Crooks the day before (see my previous blog entry), my legs were tired and I barely eked an 11+ MPH pace and had difficulty climbing 3 measly grades on the way to the top. It was cold when I reached the northern most end of the SGRT and my left calf was stiff. I didn’t stay long and headed towards the Santa Fe Dam.
The sun was out by the time I was riding along the Santa Fe Dam. Surprisingly there was little headwind. I stopped at the 605 turnaround point to eat a small package of crackers, drink water and clear my head.
El Flaco, my road bike.
This is how its like to ride alone.
After resting a bit I started heading back to my car. But as I was pedalling I was starting to add up the miles in my head. When I finish the ride I’ll end up with only 18+ miles; too short for a road bike ride. I decided to ride back up into the Azusa Canyon. I shifted down to middle ring (I have a 9 speed triple) and spun my way on an easier gear back to the top. I was tired by the time I got to the north end again but felt the ride up was worth it.
Second time back to the canyon
It was colder the second time around and it looked like it was going to rain. The ride down to the car was even colder. My legs were so tired I couldn’t even take advantage of the down grade of the path to pedal faster.
Surprisingly both Strava and Mapmyride both worked. Total mileage was 24.2 miles and 597 elevation gain. Good enough for a quick, solo ride.
And finally, these lyrics from Purple Rain sums up exactly how I feel:
I never wanted to be your weekend lover.
I only wanted to be some kind of friend.
Baby I could never steal you from another.
It’s such a shame our friendship had to end.
As I needed to ride and clear my head, my friend Tony and I went riding at Hulda Crooks park in Loma Linda, Saturday the 5th. The trail is a gradual climb with lots of flat sections to recover. I am not a strong rider and was climbing using the small chainring + low gears in the back. I did not struggle though. This past summer I have been riding harder mountain bike trails which contributed in making me a better rider.
We rode on the main trail called Scott Trail and the trail looked like some of the pics and videos I have seen of Bootleg Canyon in Nevada. The climb itself felt like Whiting except more flat sections. Flanking the trail were some of the gnarliest looking jumps I have seen. From tall drops to jumps that transition over a 6+ foot gap to another drop. Too bad I did not take the time to stop and take pictures.
We stopped to rest at the end of Scott and talked to two other riders who also needed to rest in order to climb the final trail to the top called Jedi. Jedi Trail was a bit steep and narrow; not much room to get enough momentum to speed up to the top. And unlike Cholla on Woods Trail in Orange County, there are no flat spots to stop and rest. I rode what I could and pushed the bike the final 1/8 (or less) of a mile to the top. At the top the ridge I was rewarded by a great view overlooking the valley and nicer homes in Loma Linda.
At the top of Jedi
The Fish resting along Shotgun Ridge
Me an’ Tony
The ride down was absolutely exhilarating. The climb up was worth it. The trail on the way down was flowy and while a bit rough in some sections it wasn’t too technical. I was glad I rode the FS 26 rather than the 29er HT. I was able to ride more aggressively than I usually do. Tony rode the trails along side of Scott Trail hitting every jump that his bike can handle. It wasn’t long we were back down at Hulda Crooks dog park where we started.
Total mileage for me was 6.39 miles according to my Cyclometer. Both Strava and Mapmyride didn’t work correctly. Strava lost my GPS position once I entered Jedi and Mapmyride picked up some crazy GPS signals.
Can’t wait to ride Hulda Crooks again, maybe next time with more friends.
Lately every ride I have done has some theme to it. I’ll end each blog with a quote either from me, someone else, a movie line or a song. This one is from Linkin Park’s Waiting for the End:
What was left when that fire was gone
I thought it felt right but that right was wrong
All caught up in the eye of the storm
And trying to figure out what it’s like moving on
And I don’t even know what kind of things I said
My mouth kept moving and my mind went dead
So I’m picking up the pieces, now where to begin
The hardest part of ending is starting again