Monday, July 13, 2009

Now this is July

Bill's photo of Bonelli captured the coolness of the morning. Temperatures started at 62F and quickly rose to 92F by 10:00 am. It must be July. Smart to ride in morning.

The thermometer read 102 F as I left the garage at 4:40 this afternoon. I brought three water bottles with ice. One stuck in a back pocket to help cool the spine. I had no expectations of speed or distance. Merely to survive and keep upright. I doused my bandana and head with water. Several thoughts coursed through my brain as I pedaled up the mountain. Generate a tiny bit of speed to get the benefit of cooling. The afternoon sun will shade the mountain side. Breath through the nose to moisten the air in the lungs. When the cheeks felt hot sip and hold the fluids in my mouth.

The biggest incentive: Keep ahead of the Ron and Matt for as long as possible. As the mile markers counted down, I was pleased that I made it past mile marker 10.0 before they caught up with me. The next section of Glendora Mountain Road above the First Saddle was two sweltering miles. All the smart animals were napping in cooler respites. As we rounded the bend at Newman's the relief of the mountain shadow was welcomed. Ron and Matt pressed on to the top of Monroe. I enjoyed a leisurely tempo.

The descent was particularly sweet tonight.

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