Okay, I've been busy and been lazy so I guess a write up is better late than never ha ha! This was a ride organized by TrojanHorse on the Clydesdale & Athena forum on bike forums. Had a pretty good turn out seeing that VintageDreams & Beachgrad05 invited their all female club running out of VintageDream's female cycling boutique named "The Unlikely Cyclist" in Costa Mesa. Short and sweet, if you want woman's stuff, go there. Gina walked out with 4 pair of cycling shorts in Terry and other female brand she had never heard of till the shop visit. This would have taken her a year to find in other shops.
So a group of 11 women, few Clydes, and some guests, we had a good number of riders heading up. Alyce & Herb, JeepSeaHawk, Aimee, iTrek and his wife Debbie, TrojanHorse, & PhotoJoe. Right away the women took off as I lagged behind with the first timers. Not knowing where they were going or how they were getting there, I stayed with them. Couple miles up we stopped to regroup as the ride had blown apart. Blown apart, just something I picked up watching too many TDF videos ha ha! So anyway, we stopped to rest allowing the tail end to catch back up. Lisa and a couple of her riders had stopped to remove layers or something on the lower slope. Just then Matt rode by them and made some comment about riding topless. For those forum members that don't know, Matt is one crazy funny guy with a good sense of humor and a very friendly encouraging rider that we've met him before on Clyde rides. He is also real good friends with the GMR blogger and a faithful viewer of my blog so he is A-OK in my book!
We speak with Matt for a bit as riders catch up and some just keep on rolling. Mrs iTrek got her groove on and boy did she roll up the mountain. iTrek had stopped to wait for her but she kept a rolling! So did the tail end of the gals from the club. Herb stayed back with iTrek and I for motivation and support. iTrek looked a bit worried a couple of times but I gave him the it'll get better speech. I know he was thinking that I must be nuts but somewhere in his soul he found it to trust our words. Couple more stops along the way. Maybe more because he did not know the road. You know the feeling, stop her cause it hurts only to find out the next section is a strip good enough to recover and catch your breath. But hey, that only comes with knowing the road.
I pointed out to iTrek how relaxed his wife was looking on the road. She was actually a little slower than he was but very relaxed. I figured he'd catch back up to her even if we let her slip a way a bit. Okay so we get further up the mountain and I can see Mrs iTrek up and around the switchbacks. Soooo just how relaxed can she get cause she's pulling away big time. At this point I knew she was gone and we would not catch her but so what! My hat is of to her for doing so well the first time up GMR. I'm not sure I've ever seen another firs timer ride up so comfortable the first time up since Alyce made her GMR debut. iTrek actually looked pretty happy about it and to tell you the truth, so was I. That was only down to earth close to home proof that it can be done. e were far up the mountain now that iTrek had completed the most difficult part, his wife was making it and so would he.
At one point we ran across IndoMikey and his brother JusRelax from the SoCal forum. I turned around to see if they'd stop but they kept going. Then on the steep section before the shack we were caught by Lesper 4. A brief chat and some encouraging words then he flew up the mountain THERE IS THE SHACK! He's made it! iTrek just had to relax now and complete the last little section. Funny though how other riders shouting, clapping and encouraging another rider can lift their energy. iTrek who had at one point shown some doubt in his eyes actually lifted his pace on the last stretch to the shack as the gang from The Unlikely Cyclist hoot and howled, other members and friend cheered and clapped as he completed the climb.
Yes! He made it! We all made it, and really without much trouble at all. The gals from the club are strong. Even the gals at the tail end floated up once they found a rhythm. Of course Alyce the GMR vet made it up no sweat, Aimee, PhotoJoe, JeepSeaHawk all made it up no problem as well. Each has his own obstacle but those obstacles really no longer exist. Even the guys that think they have obstacles like PhotoJoe. He's telling me how he struggled. Umm OK, dude, you flew up the mountain and set a PR! Be proud!
Although in my mind, I felt iTrek struggled up the mountain, I could be wrong. I call it as I see it and for good reason. Not to show who was the last one up the mountain, not to show that I was a gentleman escort but as I told iTrek that riding with a rider that goes against his advantage and helping him is an accomplishment in itself. At one point iTrek suggested we ride ahead without him so that he didn't ruin our ride. I could have gone ahead, I could try to impress myself with a PR but to me, watching a rider dig deep, muster up some courage, then dig a little deeper than before and deeper than he thought he could is quite the experience. Heck, these are the heroes in my eyes! Yeah, those 120 pound guys with 10 lb bikes are bad but let me see a Clyde make the climb with every disadvantage you can throw at him, and he's the Bad Ass! This made my ride. iTrek said thanks for talking him up but I must thank him for showing others that what I say is true. If you want it, you go take it no matter what anybody else says! Just Do It! ;-)
Vntgdreams (sp?) and Beachgrad05
JeepSeaHawk practicing his pose (you'll see why in a bit ha ha)
The Mighty PhotoJoe
Mr & Mrs. iTrek....she rolled her way up cool as a cucumber and he worked it hard. Tough guy, I saw doubt in his eyes but he toughed it out big time. Quite an accomplishment!
Alyce & Herb. She's rolled up this hill like 174 1/2 times already ha ha!
Evil Aimee, she's strong
The gals club out of Vntgdreams shop named "The Unlikely Cyclist". All the women rode VERY well. She's done a good thing!
Most everybody on today's climb