Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eflin magic

Yesterday I downloaded a loop through the Elfin forest.

I got a late start and it was sunny and warm. This was going to be my longest ride out here. The day before the SDBC ride, but hey, that is a ride. While I want to ride well, it isn't like I need to sit on my butt and do nothing. I'm getting bored out here in San Diego. One week to go for me then I return home for just a week. At least I got to get to know my bicycle again.

As I headed out the coast on the normal route, I checked out the soCal ladies getting their $5 lattes and walking about. At a light, there are some 40ish YO women chatting about senseless stuff. One is complaining about her new hairdo. Her friends are telling her it looks good. As the light changes, I glance over and her listen to her friends, she looks good. Don't know what sort of reaction I got as I took off.

Turning off the main road, it now goes up for a while into the Elfin forest. Forest is a big of a reach. I expect a plethora of trees, I guess it is a forest when considering what else is around. I kept my eye out and saw this...

I tried to chase him down and get some cookies, but he was quick. The loop finally got me away from stop lights. I swear there is one at every intersection. It is really annoying the number of them that exist out here. There are just too many cars and people. I started to get tired at 40 miles, but still had about 18 miles to go. I hit the Torrey Grade (I'll refrain calling it El Guapo anymore since I know the real name. Here is the original "El Guapo".

Right before in Del Mar someone catches me from behind. He has a wicked one piece carbon areo bar setup and flys by me. He is wearing regular pants and a backpack. I'm not going super hard, but man, he flew by me. Plus he had a pannier rack on the back. Wait, that isn't a pannier rack, thats a battery. IT'S AN ELECTRIC BIKE with an aero setup!?!?! Bizarre setup to say the least. I keep pace about 40m back. I easily catch him on the downhill before Torey. I'm planning on going easy, but I figure that heavy bike will bog down going up. Uh-NO. He doesn't even slow as he goes up and totally drops me. The rate of ascent was amazing. I should have got the brand of the frame cuz it wasn't big and clunky except for the rear hub and the power assist motor. I could kill yabroudy on a climb with this.

Today I awoke to do the SDBC ride. I arrived about 10 minutes before the start, had a banana and we are off. big group again. guys fighting for position early in the city to be up front when the heat gets turned on. It does. We are jamming at 30mph for a long time. the first ten miles of this was insane. my legs are screaming. it usually takes me 20 miles to even warm up. Races do not start out like this (crits yes, no RRs). INSANITY! We approach the hill I got dropped at last week cuz I was at the back. I was boxed in as guys are really trying to get up front. We go up and guys start coming back. By the time I break clear of the field, there is small group of maybe a half dozen riders a bit in front. I am not going to catch them by the top and they won't slow. No sense attacking. I am in a group of about 6 as well with a few guys behind. We are about a dozen riders as we chase them down. We pick up a few who must have gotten dropped. There is a cutoff that you can do and after we pass through that, we swell in size and slow down. I think we absorbed the front group eventually at a stop light. We probably have about 70 guys and girls now. It is pretty mellow now. It gets speedy for some sprint they do. In fact, it was an echelon with a serious cross wind. The guys driving it were absolutely hammering. There was carnage. Someone a bit in front of me left a gap. There was yelling and screaming as guys surged past. I latch on and we get on the tail as the sprint ensues. I don't sprint. Some of these guys are clearly beastly sprinter types. I want no part of that.

After the sprint it settles down. Some guy in a Dutch National Kit is talking trash with most people. I'm thinking he is pretty good. He talks a lot, and dressed like that you have to be good. He is now up front in the field as we approach Torrey. I see 'Simple Green' up there as well. He and I climbed together last time. I'm about 20 back again. Someone leave a gap and the top ten start the climb about 20m in front of the rest of us slugs. I pick my way through people again and i'm just trying too keep a hard tempo up it today. I felt good. A few guys shoot by me to get to the leaders, but I know it is long and don't want to crack. One is a really old dude. Good job man! they have about 10 guys up there. I pass "Simple Green". One by one the group up front splinters. I start picking them off. I'm 6th on the road and catch some young dude who gives me the double take. He's all over the bike. I'm spinning easy in the 25 and give a nod as I smile. He tries to grab my wheel and I hear him back there. It is good to have someone pass you to give you that little extra ooomph. I focus on old dude next. As I approach, I want to increase the speed a little and zip by him. I drop the young dude in the process and can focus on the podium. Two guys are really far up and I am not catching them no matter what. Third place is doable. I keep my pace. I don't want to attack, blow and go bassackwards. He picks it up near the top and I get to his wheel right at the top. I don't go by. Now we focus on chasing down the two leaders. He drops me!?!? I catch on... He drops me again. Fast/Slow/Fast/Slow... I catch him at a light, but he gaps me on the corner!??! He gets there a little before me. Once I catch on I'm thinking DB. But his first words are "Uh, I should have worked with you to get these guys and it would have been easier". We chatted and he was pretty cool. An old fart like me. He rides a lot, but doesn't race. I told him I used to race now I don't ride a lot, just suffer like a pig. All in all a good ride. I'm happy my fitness is starting to come around.

Tomorrow no ride. Red Sox game.

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