Monday, August 24, 2015

My Sunday Ride

Saturdays I spend my mornings watching all the cyclists ride by as I teach and encourage runners. It's a bit frustrating to see all those bikes and not be able to join in. But then Sunday comes around and all is good again.

This is one of the main roads east out of Encinitas. 6 days a week this road is jammed with cars. As you can see it's 3 lanes each way and it's generally freeway speeds as people race to get somewhere. On Sunday it's empty. Nobody is in a hurry and the air is clear.

Yesterday my ride of 2 hours took me to the top of Double Peak. It's a long climb (20 minutes or so) and it gets steeper as it goes. No really, it gets steeper as it goes. It starts out in the 5% range and finishes in the 17% range. My program for the climb was 3 minutes standing, 3 minutes sitting start to finish. I don't actually time it until I make the left turn to the park. Before that I use the stop lights as my timer. There are 6-7 stop lights on the climb. The great thing about Sunday is there is a high chance of going through clean. Yesterday I hit no red lights. Once you hit the left turn it's stoplight free. The next 9 minutes that cover about 1/3 of the distance are the real test. There is no easy way to the top it's simply how much can you grind and suffer. I had two segments standing and 1 segment sitting. That means the sitting was on the steepest section of the hill. My legs were burning.
The payoff is sometimes grand and sometimes just ok. Yesterday it was just ok looking west. That cloud bank is covering the coast. On a good day you can see out to the Channel Islands.

I generally don't spend too much time at the top. Yesterday it was about 30 seconds. Long enough to get this picture. It was nice to meet up with a couple friends at the top. We road home together then I continued on to make my 2 hours. The down was just as clear as the up. We hit no red lights from top to bottom and with no cars we got to use the entire road. It was outstanding.

Southern California Riding can be hairy with all the cars. Cars turning in front of you, car doors opening, and worst of all is folks on the cell phones drifting into the bike lane. It's nice to get out the door on a Sunday morning and ride open roads close to home. It's a treat worth the wait.

It's a good life......
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