Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday Ride

The rain of Friday night was meager but just enough to dampen the streets and the spirits of would be recreationists. Saturday morning was clear with a few clouds. The temperature was cold a mere 45F when compared to the summer like temperatures of of the days prior that peaked in the 80s. Only the very hardy ventured out onto the road this Saturday morning. The wardrobe changed from shorts and short sleeves to full winter regalia. Jason needed to ride after a three week hiatus and his usual cadre of friends were a bit wiser staying in the comfort of their heated homes.

It was sunny on the way up to the first saddle. Patches of the road were dry. The view to the north was spectacular.

The view to the south was promising as well. The cloud bank looked faraway and nonthreatening.

Jason and I stopped took photos and munched at the first saddle. Sun felt good and warm. The towers of downtown LA were visible without the normal blanket of brown air.

By the time we got to the top of Monroe the storm system had covered Baldy Village. The clouds had rolled in, the temperature dropped and it was downright chilly. The back thigh complained as I approached the shed. It was cold. This winter-summer-winter routine confused both the body and the brain.

The clouds encroached Little Dalton Canyon as well.

Back at the shed we met Mohammed from East Los Angeles who rode from Whittier up San Gabriel River Trail up Highway 39 and down GMR. He was training for the Solvang Century March 13th. Awesome dude. Good Luck!

The traffic was extremely light for a Saturday. On the way up two cars passed us. One motorcycle. One cyclist going up. Three cyclists coming down. We braced for the downhill chills. I had a dry base layer, leg warmers. I missed the ski gloves. Could have used another jacket as well. The fingers felt the cold first. Jason was dressed lighter and really felt the cold. His goosebumps spoke volumes. We stopped to warm up at one point. Jason met up with a fellow mountain biker riding a road bike, Rick who was ready for a 300 mile ride. Rick had calf muscles that put professional cyclists to shame.

Arriving home, having consumed calories on the road, my body had a different set of priorities than after the Monday ride. First, my body said WARMTH. The hot shower was wonderful. I could feel blood flow in my left toe again. I definitely didn't feel starved from the shorter ride, but I munched a left over taco from Friday night anyway. Then the body said SLEEP. I obeyed with a short nap. Beautiful vistas, an okay SDSR time, good company, a good ride.

Sunday Hike

The environment, clouds, rainfall, cold were the hurdles for the weekend. Downright cloudy this morning I managed to avoid the wetness on a short hike up Mystic. Four mountain bikers were at the "Y" where Mystic, Poop-Out and Monroe Trails come together. Full of stories of Chino trails with mustard plants four feet tall, their brush with fate was a trip up Marshall Canyon. Riding in Marshall Canyon a couple of hikers had surprised them as they stepped out from the shrubs and chatted. Wanting to get on with their ride they headed up the path to see a newly fallen oak tree. The delay on the trail with the hikers had saved their lives.

Took a short cut down a section of Poop-out. The clouds were low over GMR.

Met Richard from Rio Hondo Roadrunners performing trail maintenance. A shrub and hillside shown behind him slide down covering the trail forcing bikers and hikers to make a new path. Of note, Richard was one of the first responders on the Morris Fire. He was thanked heartily.

Driving out on Big Dalton Canyon the rain started before I got to the gate. I missed getting wet by mere minutes!

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