07 January, 2012

Hello 2012

Was haulin' butt out the house to try and catch the Hour of Power down at Wadsworth. From my house, it was above freezing, just slightly, but as the day went on it was eventually going to snow.  I took the back-woodsy way to the start- the hypotenuse of a right triangle as opposed to the three and four sides-and got there with five minutes to spare!  I yanked all my clothes off in the back seat and in order, put on my base layer T; bib shorts; jersey, socks, shoes, jacket, wind proof tights (oh hecks yeah! thought it was overkill but it was toasty), booties (I said, "booty"); balaclava; helmet; neoprene gloves; and shot out the back seat to assemble my bike lying in the trunk of my car.  When my non-drive side shoe popped into my speedplay the group was off and there I was drafting off the back as I slid my glasses off my helmet onto me mellon.
There was a group that left an hour earlier but it would've been waaay to cold for me.  I was after all born near the equator.  As we were rolling downhill towards the left turn into Waterton Canyon, people were already fading off the back.  Just that slight, downhill acceleration.  Maybe they were full blast into the wind?  Oh well.
Now comes the little riser, the pace was stiff but just enough for the group in front of me to climb it sitting in the big ring.  Once it backed off, I get up off the saddle and do the swimming lizard dance on my pedals.  A group of people got shelled from that climb.  I saw a tri-geek go backwards and felt no sympathy for him (sorry if you're a tri-geek).  I tried to bury myself in the pack to get ready for the climb up Arrowhead Golf Course and I noticed my heartrate wasn't backing down before the uphill crapfest.  Not good.  So I increase my rpms on the pedals, pedal smoothly but brisk with deep, get-your-heartrate-back-down-sucka belly breathing.
Here comes the hill and I have a nice spot in the peloton going up.  Halfway up they accelerate and I BLOW!  Can't even catch up to the flotsam from the acceleration and when I make the  180° turnaround it's off they go!  As I u-turn it, the smart alecky gate guard said, "Better catch 'em!"  For an instant my smart alecky self wanted to say, "Catch this beeyatch" while flashing the you're number one hand gesture.  He wasn't being malicious I was just in some mental distress.  I didn't do it.
As we're rolling downhill towards the reservoir, the people who got shelled recycle themselves into the chaos that's known as the Hour of Power.  Since the pack isn't so big there weren't too many yellow line violations fighting for that sweet echelon spot.  I tried to think ahead on our turns from where the wind was blowing (to seek shelter) and in one particular spot got some full-on headwind.  This is where I tucked in real close (without being a dick and pushing someone out) so I wouldn't have too much exposed surface area and I was hoping the guy in front of my wasn't a Fred in the echelon (he wasn't) and wouldn't fade in the wind (we didn't).
The rolling hills into the park was mellow too, not the awful accordion-effect we experience as we go like gang busters.  I was able to get some rest as I climbed with a slightly higher rpm than my neighbors but still sitting to conserve.
The lefty in the park was where the kookoos go ballistic, but thankfully it was smooth.  Danny Summerhill was in the pack, Greg Daniel was there too flying the Stars and Stripes. I saw them surge, gain some time but since nobody was working we eventually caught 'em.  Nothing too spectacular to the yellow sign sprint other than a slower dude got clipped as an accelerating rider passed him and came onto his line just a little quicker than the pass distance.  He got a wicked shimmy from where the rider clipped his front wheel.  We're doing  about 37 miles an hour (I really should look up) and I'm two riders deep to his left.  I was wondering, if he falls my way there's going to be a nasty domino effect that might could take me out.  Luckily he got control of his bike and it's off for the last burst. I holler, "Good recovery!" A group of four took off, and I found myself up front.  I get out of the saddle to get the lactic burn out and people think it's a sign to kick it.  Needless to say, the pack passed me but I was able to reinsert myself some 15 cyclists back to the leading group.  We let the out-of-saddle sprinters go while the rest of us just sat and marched a big gear to the line.
I look at my odometer and we covered 18 miles in 47 minutes.  What's that, some 23 miles per hour?  That's ite for the first crap-on-your-neighbor ride for 2012.  Saw some cycling acquaintances as we noodled back to the start.  Mike, for example, was sporting a nice beard for some insulatory purposes.  Still rockin' the carbon Giant.
After a chit-chat session, we did some chill ride miles.  It was getting cold so I turned around so's I can get 30 miles total.  So after an hour and a half;  thirty miles it is!  This was a good omen for my rag-tag attempt to kick start my 2012 cycling campaign.  45+ category here I come!  As I took off my not-so breathable winter weight cycling jacket in the car I noticed I was smelling something fierce!  Time for green tea and a hot shower peeps. 


Anonymous said...

Nice to cross paths again. It felt good to turn it up a bit...looking forward to some fun in 2012!


...it's me!... said...

Indeed Mike!