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Old 02-20-11, 08:28 PM   #1
Hillbasher
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Thought we were suposed to be smart by the time reaching our age...........

Hadn't been on the bike for 94 days, so what do I do? You got it. Head into the mountains just ahead of the coldest storm so far this winter for Southern California. Was about mile 7 on the 11 mile climb when it started to rain slightly. Not bad, figured I would turn around if it get any worse. About a mile and a half higher I run into Mr Beanz and his friend EyeMage heading down. At this point, seeing how it had been over 3 months off the bike, there was NO way I was not making the top, weather be damned. It was so cold I didn't even stop to talk to the guys, otherwise I never would have kept heading up. Of course the rain gets harder, turns to hail, and then the snow kicks in. I am FREEZING and I am heading uphill. Something wrong there. Should have taking that as a warning, but stupid me just keeps on pedaling. Snow slows down a little, do I figure, what the heck. On reaching the top, it is starting to pick up again, but I don't plan on being there more than the time to put on pants and a dry shirt under my soaked jersey. In that amount of time, it started coming down unlike any snowfall I have ever been in. At least an inch in less than 5 minutes. Only saving grace was the pavement was still warm enough it melted most of the snow on the road, but everything else was completely white. By this time I was getting VERY worried. 11 miles from home, soaking wet, colder than I have ever been, and hands pretty much just frozen blocks. Well, to bring this to a conclusion, I rode the brakes the entire way down, it was the only thing I could do to make sure I didn't fall. Once below snow line, it rained the rest of the way to the house. My question, was this stupid to have taken off up the hill, or was I a victim of bad luck? I usually go on rides this time of year as prepared as any rider I know. I get kidded about the amount of stuff I take along. One time I don't and I almost bite the big one. When will I ever learn. Thought by this age, I was done making stupid judgement calls, but I guess not. Pics below taken when I could still use my hands and before it REALLY started snowing. Thanks for letting me vent.

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Old 02-20-11, 08:39 PM   #2
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Effective IQ = 100 - age
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Old 02-20-11, 08:55 PM   #3
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Back-on-the-bike IQ = elevation in meters/the answer above.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:12 PM   #4
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Back-on-the-bike IQ = elevation in meters/the answer above.
Wait a minute. These answers are not going in the direction I was hoping for. LOL
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Old 02-20-11, 09:20 PM   #5
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You knew the forecast, but rode on anyway when the weather fell out. Not very smart. Consider yourself lucky to have gotten down in one piece.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:27 PM   #6
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You knew the forecast, but rode on anyway when the weather fell out. Not very smart. Consider yourself lucky to have gotten down in one piece.
Ya, I knew the forecast, just thought I could beat it. The stupid part was not turning around when I should have. Like I said, I had been off the bike 3 months and was so close to the top, didn't want to give up. Funny thing is, I mountain climb also, and have never had a problem turning away from a summit when it was called for. Took 4 attempts on Mt Rainier before reaching the top. On a bike, I go till I reach the goal of the ride. Maybe I should change that thought pattern.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:32 PM   #7
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Last group to make that decision still haven't checked back in... The Donner Party.

Didn't the snow plows give you a clue?

By the way - With all this snow and cold, what happened to 'global warming'???
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Old 02-20-11, 09:36 PM   #8
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Didn't the snow plows give you a clue?
Only saw one, and he passed my heading down, then turned aroound 2 minutes later and went back up the hill.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:37 PM   #9
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The one thing at our age is we have learned not to expect any sympathy for doing something we knew not to do in the first place.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:38 PM   #10
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Last group to make that decision still haven't checked back in... The Donner Party.

Didn't the snow plows give you a clue?

By the way - With all this snow and cold, what happened to 'global warming'???


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Old 02-20-11, 09:40 PM   #11
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The one thing at our age is we have learned not to expect any sympathy for doing something we knew not to do in the first place.
VERY WELL PUT. Will give you a +1,000 on that one.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:42 PM   #12
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Ya, I knew the forecast, just thought I could beat it. The stupid part was not turning around when I should have. Like I said, I had been off the bike 3 months and was so close to the top, didn't want to give up. Funny thing is, I mountain climb also, and have never had a problem turning away from a summit when it was called for. Took 4 attempts on Mt Rainier before reaching the top. On a bike, I go till I reach the goal of the ride. Maybe I should change that thought pattern.
lol, why should the rules on a bike be any different than the summit of a climb? I guess it's because we get to ride more often and thus discount the dangers.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:52 PM   #13
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I guess it's because we get to ride more often and thus discount the dangers.
Another +1,000 And something to really consider before heading into the mountains in the winter time.
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Old 02-20-11, 10:00 PM   #14
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I'd pile right on and give you a bad time if it weren't for the fact that I have done that same thing too many times to count. At least I am more willing to call it a day and just find a hotel and restaurant when it happens on a bike tour now than would have been the case thirty years ago. It's not really a defect in intelligence if you learn from your mistake. (I need to work on that.)
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Old 02-20-11, 11:42 PM   #15
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I blame it on the fact that there's always the kid in us that never grows up.

Remember going down that icy hill on a toboggan, flying off the end of mogul and crashing big time at the bottom ? Then you'd get up and do it again ?

I think that most of us used to do that or something similar when we were kids. Some of us still do stuff like that.

My bike is sitting in the basement right now Too much snow.

Yesterday I went cross country skiing when I knew that conditions were going to be terrible. It was warm the previous day and then everything froze in the mornng. The wind was blowing like crazy (people were getting blown around on the slopes) , there was blowing snow and the trails were icy and really chewed up from the previous day. The operators couldn't get the grooming machines out so it was a mess out there.

I'd twisted my knee after skiing last weekend so I figured that I should just take it easy and work on a few things on one of the easier trails. The knee seemed fine so a short workout wouldn't hurt.

The track was obliterated by blowing powder in some sections and really icy in others and I set out on one of the easier trails. The problem was that there were a number of slower skiers in front of me. Normally I just step out of the track and pass them but it was way too icy for that so I had to wait until they shuffled on far enough on the downhill sections so that I wouldn't run into them.

I got about half way down one section when I waited.. and waited until at the top of one hill with a long downhill section. I thought that the last member of the party had gone far enough when I started on my way down. Bad idea. The last person was really really slow and she stopped without stepping out of the track.

I got to within about 15 feet of her when I was about to step out when I realized that they completely chewed up the trail and so I stepped out and caught an edge while trying to stop. I wound up bailing out and landed on a patch of ice.

The lead person asked if I was OK. I told him it wasn't anything that hadn't happened before.

I'm now the proud owner of a bruise on my right hip. My wife said "well, that was kind of dumb wasn't it? "

Trouble is, would I do it again.. Yeah. I would.

My wife keeps telling me I'm not young anymore. (I'm 57). So what ?

When I'm out on the bike I often pass cyclists that are a lot younger than me causing them to stare at the balding guy with the white beard (me) wondering how does he do it while they're out there gasping for breath.

I do the same thing to the guy in his 70's who blows by me on the road riding a Cervelo R5.

I guess that he's a bigger kid than I am
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Old 02-21-11, 12:07 AM   #16
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I'm just glad you got back in one piece.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:22 AM   #17
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While we shouldn't expect sympathy from fellow 50+ forum members for pushing up a road someone fell off of only a few weeks ago when it was dry. Thank goodness for cell phones and Rescue Helicopters or the rider might have been a goner. We will get even less sympathy from any wife of a 50+ forum member.


Notice I didn't say none of us have done it but we should have learned. I am not climbing to Idyllwild till the spring is well under way and I can't see any snow from my house. My wife has more than enough ammunition as it is.
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Old 02-21-11, 05:51 AM   #18
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Yeah, I have to admit that I do the same kind of stuff all the time. I think it comes from the simple determination that keeps pushing us to do better each time out. It's what makes us want to beat our own previous records at whatever we do, whether it's bicycle riding, bowling, target shooting, golf, or whatever. And it's not a bad thing - so long as it doesn't kill us.
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Old 02-21-11, 06:29 AM   #19
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Mistakes provide a great learning experience. No where does it say it needs to be own mistakes.
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Old 02-21-11, 08:28 AM   #20
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Having done rides in similar conditions--the ride up is not the issue. It's the descent in those conditions that can easily put you in your grave. Thank goodness the roads didn't get too slick right off the start on the descent.

Quite often the enthusiasm to get back out on the bike can outweigh all reasoning! Next time trust the weather forecast!
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Old 02-21-11, 09:09 AM   #21
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Define "smart".

At the time that I graduated from college I was pretty damm smart but nothing in my life was going very well. Since that time I've gotten progressively dumber and my life is a lot more enjoyable.
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Old 02-21-11, 09:10 AM   #22
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Having done rides in similar conditions--the ride up is not the issue. It's the descent in those conditions that can easily put you in your grave. Thank goodness the roads didn't get too slick right off the start on the descent.

Quite often the enthusiasm to get back out on the bike can outweigh all reasoning! Next time trust the weather forecast!
Sometimes we also make mistakes in judgement when we go on trips like that alone. I probably would have turned around at the first sign of snow. If it gets too rough I just head for the nearest place where I can stop and take cover. Snow squalls can be nasty and there's no good reason to be out there when you don't have to be. A friend of mine attempted a descent in poor conditions and was lucky to get away with just cuts and abrasions.

That being said, something that I wouldn't do on a bike is different from something that I would do while skiing. I think it all comes down to what we have experienced and what the consequences are from doing these things.

I'm glad the OP made it back safely but like I said before, sometimes the kid in us just won't give up.
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Old 02-21-11, 09:11 AM   #23
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Murphy's Law= SNAFU!
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Old 02-21-11, 09:27 AM   #24
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Mr Hillbasher, I'm glad you're back, chilly but unscathed

And I detect you're using the forum as a kind of public confessional, so I guess you've absorbed more than any post event advice can add

And as you say you're an experienced mountaineer, I guess you know the saying 'more people die of embarrassment than accident' - that is, continuing out of unwillingness to appear overcautious

But from my own viewpoint, I suffer from your thread title 'smart by this time' - I suffer from 'I used to be able to do this stuff, and by gosh I'm smarter now' - when neither clause is supported by evidence
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Old 02-21-11, 09:28 AM   #25
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Wisdom = knowing when to give up the climb to live and fight another day.

I too, have my moments where wisdom seems to have abandoned me and folly has taken the reins. I'm always thankful that mercy has been present and I'm still around to learn from the experience.
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