My Birthday Trip.
Life has managed to punctuate both ends of this last weekend in a pretty shitty way, but that is just what life seems to do best so I won't waste a lot of time on it.
Friday we stayed home from work to deal with some flooding issues, our upstairs neighbor managed to create rain indoors. Genius! After spending the day dealing with HOA and Insurance and stuff we executed our plan to get away for my B-day at altitude.
Allison and I are both very aware of the effects of altitude on performance and given that we are going to be doing a few races up where the air is thin we felt that spending the weekend up high was a good idea. Our campsite for the weekend, in Barton Flats, was right around 6500ft. Not the highest place around, but much better than 1100ft where we live.
On the way out we stopped off at REI and I picked up a couple small gifts for myself. I got some Jetboil gear and a Primus lantern (still hoping to do some bikepacking some day)...
After setting up camp and messing with my new toys a bit we got to work cooking dinner. Allison has the pictures of dinner, but I grilled up my famous Cedar Plank Salmon and some sweet potatoes.
Despite the cold temps (it was near freezing) camp was nice and cozy with our fire blazing...
Note the abundant fire wood!
The moon was really pretty as well!
Since it was such a beautiful evening and we were celebrating my B-day we shared a Fat Tire...
Before we went to bed I put a few essentials outside the tent and as soon as we woke up I made a quick cup of camp coffee in my Jetboil french press. It was my first time using the Jetboil as well as my first time with a french press, but the coffee came out okay. I also made two servings of steel cut oats in my new Jetboil pan/pot for us to fuel up for the day. It was a GREAT breakfast!!!
The weather looked pretty threatening so while we waited for Luke to arrive we packed up our gear. We packed a little heavy just in case because weather can be pretty crazy in the mountains at times! Eventually Luke showed up and we all headed out on a route that we cobbled together out of suggestions from Brian (we love him so!) and some knowledge of the trails in Big Bear that we have raced/rode on.
The route took us on some sweet connector single track down to SART...
... and NO, Luke and I didn't plan the matchy matchy outfits.
Together we blasted down SART to Glass Rd. All three of us were having the time of our lives on the single track! What a way to start a day! We then "got our pavement on" and descended down to the bottom of Clark's Grade. This is where the day starts edging toward epic. Can you pick out the climb up Clark's in the profile below? :)
Nearly 3000ft of climbing (in 69 minutes for me) we were up above Big Bear on 2N10.
From here we dropped down the Plantation single track...
...then grabbed the Cabin 89 descent, and climbed back up Pine Knot single track all the way back up to 2N10. Once back on 2N10 we headed east and after peaking out at 8100ft we dropped down Radford Rd. (little chunky in a few spots and some really amazing views!) Once we got back to Glass Rd. we climbed back up the way we came down on SART including the cool little connector single track to the campground.
Back at camp we spent a little while snacking and unwinding from the ride. What a ride it was!
Eventually I busted out the BBQ skillz and cooked up some patented Buck Burgers and corn on the cob. The temperatures were once again getting really low so I had to go buy more fire wood!!!
Since it was my B-day I celebrated by indulging in two Dog Fish Head brews, a great IPA and a Midas Touch. What a killer day!!!!
After the huge day on Saturday Allison and I were both a bit slow on Sunday. We made some coffee, made breakfast, and slowly packed up camp. Eventually we got around to riding and I wanted to explore. Allison doesn't like exploring at all so there was some friction, but I think we were both a bit cranky from the day before/altitude/camping.
We eventually stumbled our way around Jenks Lake and then onto SART before climbing back up to Barton Flats...
After the ride we picnic'd by a stream next to 38. I have to say our little picnic was my favorite part of the day. On the way home we took a little detour and wound up watching Kirk (a buddy of mine from college) racing one of his cars in Fontana.
It may not be much to look at, as Kirk puts it "a little rough around the edges." This racecar however is no joke when it comes to performance! Here he is at the start of the race, pinned on the front stretch...
So fast on this short straight that he was just a blur...
Not much space, but in a short straight between two sharp corners he was moving pretty good!
It was great to see him racing and he got second overall in his heat, winning his class (Super Production).
After such a great weekend it sucked having to go back to work on the actual day of my B-day, but such is life. We were really looking forward to racing in Colorado this next weekend, but after some emails today both of us are kind of down on the whole thing. Our plan right now is just to rally and do our best. The Mann Show will throw down rain or shine.