Sunday, October 2, 2011


Saturday awoke to clear skies dotted with a few waning clouds colored orange with sunrise. The spring like temperature of 62 promised warmth and boasted blue skies for a rare autumn day. The sunlight picked up the spirits after a week long string of grey marine layer mornings on the morning commute. Mostly single riders on the road as Bill and I arrived around 8:15 to the road. I picked up the pace at the base of the first climb by the Dalton Hot Shot Ranger Station.

It was a solo ride for those of us on the road. The reward was written on the mountains. The lure of clear air, warm sun and a gentle breeze made perfect weather conditions for a long ride. Catalina was visible in the distance. The strength of legs, self and bike -- it felt great to be alive and in the mountains riding. As the heart and lungs pounded I enjoyed the freedom of solo pedaling.

Scott zipped by me after the feedzone. "Shake a leg, GMR!" Jolted me and spurred me out of my comfort zone. Did I see 9.3 mph? I closed the gap but not enough. I was chasing Scott and it felt good. The visual of Scott in the lead helped me visualize where I wanted to be. By the time I arrived at the shed, the morning spring temperatures had heated up to summer levels. Spoke with one guy from San Marino, who had a planned group ride that had gone astray.

I felt like going on to fork plus four, six or seven, however the reality was the day was hotter than I planned for, water was the limiting factor. I pedalled out to Fork plus Four at my own pace having achieved my goal to the shed. I soaked up the scenery and the air and the rays. Decided to sit at the wall at the Point of No Return when Ron rode up. Damn Ron is nearly back to his pre-crash riding levels. Wow.

Ron and I headed back the same way, but I had photos to take, he powered his way up the first hill. I again enjoyed my own pace with no pressures to keep up stopping for photos and really just dallying to enjoy riding.

On the return visit to the shed meet Shawn who enjoys fresh vine ripened produce. We talked tomatos, brussel sprouts and pumpkins.

Matt on vacation was motivated to train his bicep.

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