Sunday, January 11, 2009

Santa Ana Winds

Saturday was a picture perfect day. Clear skies and warm temperatures. The need to be on mountain overwhelming any other thought processes.

Rick and Greg S. die hard cyclists were on their way to Baldy Village. A reasonable goal with the warmer temperatures even at higher elevations. They were dressed in shorts and short sleeves and sped up fast. Mountain men attacking the new year while the rest of us were dressed a bit warmer in long pants and long sleeves and base layers.

As the public works rock run truck passed us by, it lifted its front scooper from scraping the pavement. A momentary lull of the harsh noise. The bulldozer-like front bucket was lowered back down to graze the road moving the rocks off to the side once it passed us. Eventually we caught up with it as the worker was packing down a new berm along the edge of road and mountain cliff. The dark brown moist earth smelled of heat and fuel. The final touch ups of the aftermath of the vehicle fire.

Glendora Mountain Road was moderately busy with cyclists, motorcycles and cars. The oddity of it all was the talk of Jesse a cyclist I had met twice before, just happened along within seconds of saying his name. His wife packed group goodies in the truck and leap frogged the group.

It was odd though when we sighted Greg S. headed down the mountain. That was too short of a time to make to Baldy Village and back. Rick stopped and explained that the winds were too strong after Newman's point. Making it to the top of Monroe truck trail was problematic. It had to be rough going if Rick and Greg were abandoning their plans. As soon as we rounded the bend at Newman's point the winds kicked in. My bike wobbled with the gusts. The wind buffeted me around as I captured the sights and sounds.

Met up with Ron on the way down. He finished 14th out of 150 riders on a tandem bike in the Death Valley Century in November 2008.

Also met up with the brightest new star on the road Oscar. A young man waiting for his driver's license who could pedal up GMR at 14 mph without breaking a sweat. Ron noticed a crack in Oscar's frame so its time to get check out the manufacturer's warranty. Then Ron noticed a thorn in Matt's tire. One pull released the thorn with a hissing gush of air as well. That's when I prayed that Ron would not look at my bike and find something wrong.

Secret Training photo