Friday, February 13, 2009

Not really back...

I can't tell you how nice it was to ride my bike with the wife last night!

We took off after work to go climb ITT for our Thursday Night Ride. We expected cold and tried to prepare...

We started out and at first I wasn't really feeling it. My legs were slow to get going after a week and a half of no riding. Allison started up the first pitch and I verbalized my weakness by telling her to have a good ride and get her training in.

I fully expected to have her drop the hammer and leave me, but my legs started to come alive and the roles were reversed! Soon I was a ways out front and cruising up the hill. Man it felt so fabulous to be back on the bike!

At this point I must qualify that statement. I am not really back. My left arm is really useless. I can't really control my bike the way I am used to, and every little bump could send me into tears... so yeah I am NOT back.

Around 3/4 of the way to Main Divide we started seeing patches of snow. By the time we got to the top we occasionally saw patches of dirt! It was really cold (Allison's little thermometer read in the low 20's!) up at the top.

We put on every item of clothing we had with us and turned around to ride back down. The descent was pretty brutal. We were cold, our hands and feet were totally frozen, and I was descending like a pansy. It seemed to take forever for us to get to the bottom but eventually we did. I was very grateful to have the heater in the truck to warm up with!!!!!!!

Since my arm is in such bad shape I will try to restrict my riding to the road bike, but last night really brought home to me how much I truly appreciate riding my bike with my wife. I had hoped to see what I could do in Cat1 XC this year but am not really worried about that anymore. I just want to be able to ride with her, share her training and watch her race. I am proud of her. She is graceful and beautiful on a bike...


Before we start you can see the majestic Santa Ana's to the West.

The ride starts with an easy spin up the road, it was very welcome to get a chance to re-acquaint myself with my bike.

I am really stoked on my new Specialized Deflect Jacket/Vest.

As we climbed, the sun descended...

Allison wore the backpack loaded with extra clothes which we hoped would help us guard against the cold night on the way back down.

Nothing like a nice ride with the wife... this picture doesn't show how bitter cold it was. We were fairly warm still from the climbing effort.

You can see the silhouette of Santiago Peak in the distance. It was almost two weeks ago that I was descending from there and hurt my shoulder on Upper Holy Jim.

Riding on the snow was fun. It was really nice and crusty, the ice crystals crunched as we pedaled along and our tires stayed on top of the snow for the most part. It was a little slick in a few spots. Allison teased me that her Specialized Sworks Captain was awesome and my Kenda Small Block 8 sucked.

The gate at the top of ITT was closed. We stopped just long enough to warm our hands and don our extra gear for the descent.

'Till next time, ride on!

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