Monday, August 18, 2008

Granny Gear "Part Deux"

If you are keeping up you know I am slow and out of shape, but I did get up OSM and Painted Cave last weekend as I was being haunted by a pancake breakfast.

This weekend I decided to see if my granny gear would get me to La Cumbre Peak via Gibralter. "Boy, that pavement sucks at the top"

Just like last week, I skipped the group ride and left the Mesa mid morning. There was a pretty nice cloud cover which let me believe that it might be a cooler ride up the Gib.

In getting to those infamous mailboxes I had forgotten just how much climbing there is. I had a good mental game going trying to convince myself the I felt pretty good. I didn't have any pancakes calling me and I knew barring something major I would have no real excuse to turn around. I was thinking, maybe I'll just got to East Camino Cielo. How will that mind game play out?

I stopped at the mail box, downed a Gu, adjusted my music, sucked down some water and off I went. I wasn't actually at the mailboxes, but took cover under the shade of the bushes just past them. The sun had come out, lucky me. I did have a rider on a mountain bike pass me while I was hanging out there. I thought to myself, I have to at least pass him somewhere up the road. I guess even when you are as slow as I am you need to figure out how to feed your ego.

The lower portion of the ride didn't feel all that bad. I did pass the mountain biker before the hairpin and was able to feel o.k. about getting there in about 22 minutes. I know it isn't fast, but you folks need your ego fed as well. ;o)

I didn't see many riders, but about a mile before Flores Flats I came across 3 older guys just enjoying pedalin up the hill. I hope I can keep up riding this hill when I reach that age. I remember having a goal once of being able to make it to La Cumbre Peak in 50 minutes when I'm 50. I better start training hard for a couple of years, because I'm miles away from that number.

My drunken sailor routine began on the steepness which Flores Flats is famous for. I told myself, I just have to get past this and I'll be able to get to East Camino Cielo. My goal was to reach La Cumbre Peak, but I was already compromising with myself. I did get past that hill and road proudly to East Camino Cielo. Time; 1 hr. 6 min. There were a couple of signs on each side of the road towards La Cumbre Peak saying, road closed. I forged on.

I made it to La Cumbre Peak and enjoyed looking out over the valley and hearing the breeze blow through the trees on the way to the top. I do still however really hate that darn piece of asphalt where the climb begins. The craters just seem to keep getting bigger.

I made La Cumbre Peak in a total of 1hr. 21 min. Not even close to my best time from back in the glory days. Just glad to be out on the bike. As sick as it is I've been enjoying struggling up these hills.

The way down, was kinda fun as well. I struggled down the cratered section and was headed up the short climb to get to East Camino Cielo. I saw another rider coming up The Gib, and my first thought was that person is going much faster than I was at that point. This was for good reason, it was Mr. Lance Armstrong. He had just reached the top and was looking down to see his time when I rode by him. I gave him a wave and he returned it. If I had forgone La Cumbre Peak, I probably would have flown by him on the downill and never even recognized him.

After thinking about it, I did recognize his pedaling style but there weren't a few hundred thousand folks lining the climb and he didn't have his arms raised in the air as he made it to the top. That's usually how I see him hit the top of a hill. Fun Stuff, Enjoy The Ride!


Chester said...

Fun Stuff bro. Always good to finish what we set out to accomplish. That kind of postive reinforcment is huge. Also, nice pay dirt at the top... wonder what his time was?

And you are right... that pavment does suck

Greg Knowles said...

Thanks Chester! Lance was all duded up in his Livestrong kit.

Maybe we can get the trails coalition to adopt that part of rhe road. It seems more like a trail to me.