Cycling Mulholland

I went for another ride today, from woodland Hills were I’m staying to the top of the Rock Store climb. It’s been 19 years since I lived in the San Fernando valley and did this ride. I’ve changed a lot since then, not all for the worse! 🙂

I was alone just enjoying myself rolling through the mountains on a cool sunny day. Before I moved to Taos and had to ride in 30° weather regularly, I would have thought this was a cold day, but not anymore. It was just perfect. Air felt nice on my cheeks, and because of the light rain last night, the air smelt fresh and clean.

I didn’t think of timing my Rock Store climb until I was half a mile past the usual starting point, so I don’t know how I did in that respect, but it was a steady fairly mellow effort. On the last 170° turn there is a guy taking photos crouched down close to the ground. He wasn’t set up yet when I went by on the way up, but he did say check out the mountain with the silhouette. It looked a lot like Everest, only 26 plus thousand feet lower!

Just as I was cresting, another rider went down and I turned and followed. Choola, at least that’s my best guest on how to spell it – alternatives are welcome. A nice young lady from Belgium, working at UCLA, researching something. She had just had a head on collision with a bee and her lip was growing. We joked that many women around here paid top dollar for the bee stung lip look and she should be happy to come by it by chance. The lip grew to a point and then seemed to be happy with itself and stayed there. At first it was growing quite fast and I was wondering if she was allergic.

I was faster on the descents but she was faster on the uphills and once I caught up with her, the pace was rather uncomfortable for me going up. After 30 or so minutes at her pace my legs were pretty shot. I tried to stand on one of the short rollers, but I crashed back down on my saddle when my quad almost cramped up. Where were my Salt Sticks! Jonathan?!

I feel tired writing all this down, hopefully you’re not reading this while driving. I’d hate to be the cause of you falling asleep at the wheel.

I crawled up the last hill, barely, and rolled on home. Legs were shot, like someone had removed my bones, and capable of bending in any direction. It was good to be home safely.

I’m from the old school, where you need to build up a certain amount of fatigue in your training, and I built all I could handle for this week. Day off exercising tomorrow – looking forward to it.

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