Friday, May 25, 2012

Solvang Again

Sunday, May 20 - Wednesday, May 23

The remainder of our biking holiday was once again spent in Solvang.  I've written blog posts of previous trips in past years.   The BF tackled Figuero Mtn while I slept in.  I met up with him later in the day.  He had an accident and bruised his hip and thigh area but otherwise was okay.  While he attended to himself back at the hotel, I decided to continue on alone, doing a portion of the ride he had done earlier that morning.

Me:  Ring Ring
The BF:  Room Service
The BF:  What's that you say, a rear tire flat?
Me:   #@!!%
The BF:  The Limo is on its way.
Me:  Cocktails would be appreciated.
The BF:  Of course.

Tuesday was spent doing a 60 mile route of which the first 28 miles were a mix of headwinds and crosswinds.  Can't really see but somewhere in the photo is me, alas not with a cocktail in hand.  I hit 37 mph on a descent, which is a first for me.  The BF managed 44 mph.

Wednesday, we did 44 miles, once again being assaulted by headwinds for the first 25 miles.  Excellent workout though.  It was so nice to spend a few days leading a simple life, mainly that of biking, eating, sleeping.  And the occasional cocktail, and firemen....

Day of - Stage 7 Amgen TOC

 Saturday, May 19th

Photo above:  Here's what the end of the stage looks like -- The BF shot the pic yesterday.  As we climbed, many men and women said hi to me and commented on my outfit and my bicycle, much to the dismay of The BF.  hee hee hee.  Emergency vehicles shot past us, bellowing their sirens. 

Oh my Gosh, here they come ... and go.  It was a tricky corner and some of the later cyclists overshot it.

The BF and I followed the stage route once the cyclists left.  Time to laugh hysterically:  by the time we completed a portion of the circuit, the pros had already done their loop and finished at the top.  Yes, that is me, in the photo.

 No one else thought to do as we did, follow the stage, and once again, we had the mountain to ourselves.

This side of the mountain reminded me of our Provence trip, specifically Gorges du Verdon.  Today, I biked 36.78 miles, descending  32.5 mph and an avg of 10 mph, in 3 hrs. 38 min.  It was wonderful to watch the stage and experience Mt. Baldy.

Mounting Mt. Baldy

Friday, May 18th

The Boyfriend wisely decided that we should explore Mt. Baldy the day before the crowds came for Stage 7 of the Amgen TOC.  "San Antonio Peak, known to locals as Mount Baldy because of the absence of trees is the highest point (el. 10,064ft) in the San Gabriel Mountains."   The day began cold and misty but a few hours later, we were greeted with sunshine and blue skies.

Me:  Will there be cocktails waiting for us at the top?
The BF:  Sigh.

The BF went on to do the steepest part of the climb, taking on another 2,000 feet in 4 miles; whereas I stopped in Baldy Village in search of cocktails at 4,000 feet.  He said he had to stand up on his pedals to handle the 15% switchbacks, going maybe 3 mph, which means that I would have toppled over had I tried. 

 Lookey, SAG support for me....

The scenery was spectacular, with wildflowers everywhere.   It was lovely to have the mountain to ourselves.   I biked 49.45 miles in 5 hrs, 21 min.  We stayed at the Rt. 66 Best Western in Glendora.  They serve freshly baked cookies each afternoon. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Man on Mines

You may recall that a few months ago, The Boyfriend and I did not complete Mines Road because I flatted repeatedly.  Today, we had a successful and wonderful outing, completing the ride and enjoying the scenery, from the sweeping views to the hawks flying above to the goats and cows and horses in the valleys.

Yes, of course, firemen at the beginning of the ride waved to me, and cyclists along the way paid me attention and the studly tow truck guys probably wanted to pick me up, but today was all about my man getting to see why I like this route, having done it back in December for the first time with Miss P.  The temperature was warm but the winds helped.  We sweated a lot but no big deal.

Next week, we're off to Mt. Baldy to follow the Amgen TOC and then more cycling in Solvang.

Once again, my stats were similar to previous ones despite thinking that I had banged it.  The BF banged it, finishing 20 minutes ahead of me. 

Just the Stats:

57.56 miles
11.6 avg mph
29.5 mph descent
4 hr. 55 min.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grizzly Peaked Again

This year, Miss. P and I did the Grizzly Peak Century, well, we did the 75 mile route with 5,750 feet of climbing while the The Boyfriend did the 109 mile route with 8,550 ft of climbing.  I did the ride for the first time last year and was blown away by the beauty of the East Bay.  Above is a sign on a park bench at Inspiration Point from the GP Cyclists that they dedicated in 1999. 

The BF left at 7am and 5 minutes later, I realized that my prescription glasses and Power Gel were locked in his car.  I thought all was lost.

Jumping ahead:  I didn't think I could bike without my glasses but I managed, mostly by looking at the pavement for most of the ride.  And luckily nothing flew into my eyes. 

Not 10 minutes after The BF left, I met a man while waiting for Miss P to arrive.   He said, "Hello, I don't suppose you are waiting for me?"  Oh oh, I forced myself to behave.  At 7:30am, Miss P arrived to save the day with 3 types of gel for me to choose from; I wasn't sure that I could make it to the first rest stop at mile 19 on an empty stomach.   I tell you at that very moment, I thought, wow, I am so fortunate, what a friend! 

Once again, the ride, relentless with its climbs, all doable but over time, exhausting and a test of endurance, proved to be spectacular, with the green hills, the sweeping views of SF and the East Bay.  It was fun to watch Miss P. fly by other cyclists on descents.  She probably hit a speed in excess of 40+ mph. 

The temperature quickly rose and around mile 50, my feet began to ache.  I think the Santa Cruz Mtns. Challenge is a harder ride but the East Bay pushes you too because of the heat and the continuous rollers and climbs.  I think I started to lose it around mile 60, thinking odd thoughts, like how I really wanted to brush my teeth.  10 minutes after we returned to the start, The BF arrived, too. Wow! Luckily, he missed me chatting with men I had met on the ride, men, I don't remember meeting, partly, because it was hard to distinguish one from another without my glasses, though, jerseys helped and also, I was plum pooped and really just wanted to take my nap.  Honestly, I really enjoyed all the people I met and conversations I had with them.  Thanks GP for a great ride.  It was so fun to ride with Miss P., too.  Regrettably, there was one accident, as relayed by the divine Miss M. who was also on the ride  - a cyclist collided with a turkey.  The BF saw emergency personnel on the road.  We hope the individual is okay. 

My stats were very similar to last year's. 

Just the Stats:

75 miles
11.4 avg mph
33.5 mph descent
6 hr 35 min.