Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Different Perspective

The day dawned crisp with patchy clouds. The furnace rumbled on early. The roar of the fans circulated warm air through the house as the digital thermometer read 36.9F! Chilly.

The daughter living in Columbus, Ohio had called Friday night and cheerfully described her first winter "abroad" in the mid-west. It's raining here. Do you know that it has to warm up to be able to rain? It's 40F. It's the warmest winter Ohio has had. There was happiness in her details. At 40F she relished the Ohio winter heat wave. Southern California, also needed warming up.

After the week of rain storms, GMR would be wet and muddy. Shaded in the winter from the southern sun, the road near Newman's Point would be icy. I have watched as intrepid sojourners ventured over those slick slippery and treacherous patches. Not so bad on the slower upwards bound trek, but required heaving breaking on the downhill.

Jason brought his green fixed speed bike. The sun had warmed the air to 45F. We headed down the San Gabriel River Trail leaving my house at 9 am. Jason attacked the hills on Sierra Madre on his single speed with strength and enthusiasm. Plentiful recumbent bicyclers out on the city street. They were cloaked with a protective tarp to break the wind. They looked toasty warm in their wheeled tents.

Arriving at the SG River trail, the dry, parched river bed of September flowed with water. We stopped in at the Encanto Park in Duarte. A helicopter flying low was headed up the canyon. A massive peloton cruised by, perhaps the Montrose Ride. I snapped pictures of Mount Baldy between the chain links of the bridge to the park.

The water flowed down the weirs, the horses kicked up their heels, the goats happily chewed everything and anything while the sun danced and shone.

The game became did you see that? Traffic was light, but when it happened people rushed by tight and fast. I watched cadence and leg position. Easy pedaling on the downhill we arrived at the 10 freeway at 10:45 am. I was ready to head back. That easy downhill became that subtle uphill challenging nonetheless.

We assisted one rider stopped fixing a flat tire. Christopher had gone through two CO2 cartridges. I loaned him the micro hand pump. He lived downtown and drove to Whittier Narrows to ride the trail. Today's ride was short. He was ready to invest in hand pump.

Plenty of stopping and pictures along the way. At the Nature Center we enjoyed the outing of gopher snake who had decided that a visitor's green fleece jacket fit him perfectly. One passer by said the snakes could not digest their food at low temperatures hence the hibernation.

The challenge of keeping up with Jason on the way back, left a huge hole in my stomach and I was ready to chow down on lunch when I arrived home. It was a great day to be outside. A very good adventure indeed.

Check out the slideshow:

2010-01-23 San Gabriel River Trail

1 comment:

Bicycle Friends said...

Good ride! I was sure tired after this one. 33 miles on fixed gear hurts.