March 29, 2005: Over the hill
Hey, guess what? It's been raining ever since last Saturday's beautiful ride in the sun (See March 26, 2005: Diarrhea sunrise). What a surprise. With the trails completed waterlogged again as a result, I was forced to take the Hoo-E on a mostly pavement ride over the San Pedro summit into Pacifica.
I want to start logging serious miles on Blue Sugar, but it's running perfectly right now and I don't want to wear anything out (tires, brake pads, cables, shifting precision) between now and the Sea Otter. Also, my rear fender doesn't really fit on my oversized Thomson Elite Aluminum seatpost, and I don't feel like spending 30 minutes customizing the installation or getting my ass painted with mud spatter (which usually happens inside the shorts rather than outside). I've also got Blue nice and shiny right now because I've been intending to take it into Rich for a new rear derallier and a new chain (have dragged my feet for about a month on this one), and I don't want to have to give it the full scrub down again. Finally, it's wet and muddy out there, and I want to avoid excess wear and tear on things like a $300 XTR crankset, ya know?
So it was all Hoo-E today.
Ugh. Could not get into a flow early in the ride. Stopped three times in the first one and a half miles.
Finally, I started to get a little mojo rising once I hit McNee. The climb to the summit was not my strongest, but I kept the pedals turning and shot over the crest without even stopping. Coming down the shady backside into Pacifica, I had to be very careful in the tight, brush-shrouded corners, which were glazed to a fine buff with age, seep moss, and moisture from the recent rains. The impulse was to hit the corners hard and lean through them, but the ancient asphalt was so slick that I opened up some two-wheel drift in a couple corners even though I was already taking them slowly.
I needed mileage, so I blew through the Pacifica gate and headed up to San Pedro Valley Park where I took the Weiler Trail (the only legal bike trail in the park) to its terminus. From the San Pedro, I continued east to Frontierland playground, a massive kids playground with some really cool fort-looking stuff to climb around on. The thing about going to Frontierland on a bike is that it's situated at the top of a very, very steep hill. This means it's a bitch to get up to, but coming down you can count on hitting very high speeds. Today, I got it up to 41 MPH and was going so fast that I couldn't make the slight dogleg right turn at the bottom and ended up barely having enough room to stop, on the wrong side of the road, just short of the intersection with Linda Mar. Very fast and very fun.
I tried, but had no legs coming back up to the San Pedro summit. I rested at the summit and watched three 50-something MTBers tee off in front of me on the way down to McNee. I figured I'd give them a couple of minutes and then see if I could catch them. Cuz, you know, I'm Cannonball, and this is my hill, and I'm a badass.
Came up on the first guy, who was riding a LiteSpeed hardtail, around the second bend in the trail about 200 yards below the summit, but he was down with a mechanical. Kind of a bummer for him because his buddies, who I never even caught sight of let alone passed, blew right on to the North Peak Access Road junction about a mile down. Whatever problems LiteSpeed was having, he was going to have to fix by himself. I asked him if he had everything he needed as I buzzed by and heard a garbled mumble that sounded like "yeah," so I kept on going. Like I said, the oldsters dusted me. Humbled again.
Because of the rain, I decided to bypass the Fitz and take Airport Road south back into Princeton from Moss Beach. A heavy, powerful, gusty wind was blowing out of the northwest, giving me the opportunity to go for a very fast 1.25-mile sprint. I came around into the wind, threw up my big-ring sail and started picking up speed. After I hit 30 MPH, I wanted to see how fast I could go, and the numbers just kept flicking upward. 32, 34.4, 35.5, 36.0, 37.0! I kept feeling like there was still more in the tank. Heading south, Airport descends slightly, but it is essentially flat. Today it was the wind that produced the big numbers.
Back at home, though I wanted nothing more than to throw the bike on the rack and hit the shower, I dutifully washed and wiped the Hoo-E. I'm in a pretty good habit (probably more like borderline obsessive) of washing, drying, and lubing after every shit-, I mean after each mud ride. I don't want to do it, but it really does save on the wear and tear, and financially right now, I'm all about wear-and-tear abatement.
Spied a deer munching some sweetgrass in a Sunshine Valley yard. Maybe the wildlife will start coming back now that Spring is in full swing.
|Mileage: 30.84||Time: 2:44:17||Avg: 11.2||Max: 41.0||Weight: 168|
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