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Old 12-22-07, 09:21 PM   #1
merider1
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Desperado Ride…and the things I learned from the Cowboys…Ride Report & Pix

In an attempt to finish my last CAM requirement, I had decided a week ago or so that I would ride from my apartment to Chantry flats and back to complete my final century. I thought I had mapped it right. But with stress from work, and my usual ditziness, I erred. But in erring, I gained something far more valuable than those 100 miles.

So, for those the least bit interested, let me tell you…

I invited a small group of riders to join me on this “Desperado Century” (I named it so, since I’m not on top of my game ride/shape-wise, I felt this was my last ditch effort to get a century in and, more importantly, it was a route I’d yet to determine fail-proof. The group included mostly men in this area with two women (neither of whom could join ). I called them cowboys, keeping with the theme, and because their individual personalities could be considered “rough and tough, on the range” types. These are seasoned riders with personalities to boot, and I had a mix. Cassave (whom I affectionately call Clint, because he is not only tough/slick/fast but damn good looking like Clint is), Thomson (one of the strongest riders I know, but as you all know, unbelievably personable and a blast to be around – sort of the herder if you will), VanceMac (whose laid-back demeanor and sweet smile belies the quick draw hill climber hidden beneath along with a quick wit and gentleman demeanor), Scootcore (the jokester and chivalrous rider who never leaves a gal to ride alone, nor does he get mad when the gal stops twice to talk to people she knows while climbing up a huge hill) and Jschen (the youngin’ in the group – always there to make sure everyone is fine and all is going smoothly, and like an ever-ready battery, never tires on the bike or…of me).

These cowboys all showed up at my place today. I live in a small one-bedroom apartment and, of course, my neighbor over heard (given that we are in such a close knit building and not because she is over sensitive – she’s actually a sweetheart) and called to ask what I had going on upstairs. Well, I had five men over, of course! I fed them bagels and coffee (black, every one of them) and then we were off. Well…no we weren’t. I had dropped my Garmin down beside my coffee table and couldn’t find it. After a desperate search, I found it, but then it wouldn’t mount on my bike as something was caught in the back. OMG! After all the drama, I finally got the damn thing on the bike (the cowboys waited patiently but with a discerning eye), we were off!

We road through Sherman Oaks to Griffith Park, did a loop (Trash Truck Hill was our first climb of the day) and then headed up Senora to Mountain, over Verdugo and into the Descanso Gardens area. The weather, albeit cold, was perfect. No wind, just sunny, blue skies and fresh air! The pace was aggressive but nice, and, of course the cowboys waited for me on the climbs (with Scoot and Jschen sticking near me). I was worried they’d get bored, but with the crew we had it was perfect. Just the right balance of great personalities. The only downer was that I kept worrying about the miles. I was so concerned about finishing 100. I kept bringing it up over and over. Not sure why.

As we came upon Santa Anita and the climb to Chantry Flats, Cassave and Thomson were off like lightening (but of course) and Jschen threw it in overdrive and went right up behind them (may have even caught them). I, on the other hand, hit low gear and cranked up it. My last two months of heavy work load and no mojo had hit me hard. Never have I climbed that slowly up Chantry! Luckily, true blue Scoot was there riding along to make sure I got up it. Along the way, I ran into Il Bruto and his gang doing a quick ride up. It was great to see him and Laura, Sassy (she’s a hottie!) and Francis. I wished them well and off Scoot and I went up the hill…but then, there was Clem and Renee Bartoli! What a treat. That dad and daughter are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and it was wonderful to stop and catch up with them. Again, Scoot waited patiently, and off we went to finally make it to the top of Chantry. There were all the cowboys spread out, comfy on the lawn. I loved it. I joined them; we met a new hot chick (who didn’t want her picture taken but took ours) and saw my friend, Laura. It was warm under the sun, and this was my favorite part of the day.

After a long rest, we took off again. I realized it was getting later, I was spent (did I mention that I’m not on top of my game) and I again began worrying about my miles. I was obsessed and kept mentioning it (thank goodness cowboys are patient and hard of hearing). We breezed through Pasadena back to the Rose Bowl and climbed up and out of it, hitting Lida. Here is where the trouble began. For one, I had heard a “clicking” in my back wheel all day. I’d heard this before on other rides but never as bad as today. Well, turns out, I have a broken spoke! (on one of those few spoke wheels – scary). My legs were also starting to cramp. I hadn’t fueled well and really had ridden on almost no fuel at that point (57 miles and 330 calories). My climb up Lida was pathetic. Then Scoot got a flat, we waited while he fixed it. Then I discovered I had one! Then we waited…while he fixed it. And then off again. But we’d lost considerable time.

I figured we’d make it up at Goldstein’s and I’d just take my bagel to go, but I was hungry and fatigued. So, I sat down to eat. I had a blast sitting there with the cowboys, just joking and talking. Once we took off again, I realized that 100 miles would not be happening for me unless I was willing to ride around my neighborhood for 20!

We were losing daylight and Bill, Vancemac and Cassave had ridden over. So, sure enough as we headed into Toluca lake, we lost two. Then, as we headed into Sherman Oaks, it dawned on me. I didn’t care that I wouldn’t get the 100 miles. I had cowboys, damnit! All day long! And I’d worried about miles? Funny thing, when I mentioned this, Clint said, “see my fancy computer?” and pointed to his handlebars. Nothing was there. He didn’t care about the miles or elevation gain. He’d just come out to ride with good company. As we headed into Sherman Oaks, he road off into the sunset in his orange jersey, and I thought, “that there is a man, I tell ya.” (okay, I actually didn’t see him ride off, but I was thinking something close to that anyway). As we got onto Valley Vista and into the last stretch home, another cowboy, Thomson, pulled up beside me and I commented again on how mad I was at my obsession with the miles and he pointed at his handlebars and said, “see my computer?” – and again, there was none! Both of those incredibly strong riders were out to have fun. Note to self: become a cowgirl! As we got to my place (77+ miles and 5,000+ climbing), Jim took off as well. Then there was one. Jschen and I headed over to El Toritos, had some good food and conversation and then he mounted his trusty steed (his Volvo?) and rode (drove) off into the sunset (toward San Diego).

All in all, a wonderful day. I you, cowboys. You all made my day just great and I learned some from you too. Thank you for trying out a ride that I think I will keep as is – 80 miles, no more, maybe a little less.

Pics to follow...

Last edited by merider1; 12-22-07 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 12-22-07, 09:25 PM   #2
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Lesson to be learned ... enjoy the ride! So you didn't get your CAM in ... so what ... ME, as you told me on one thread I posted before, it's your own personal goal. But when you realize that having fun is more important ... well, that's what really counts.
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Old 12-22-07, 09:29 PM   #3
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The cowboys: Jschen, Thomson, Scootcore, Vancemac, Cassave


And we're off through Sherman Oaks:






And into Griffith Park








Cassave's rack:


Scoot's Jersey:
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Old 12-22-07, 09:31 PM   #4
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Heading into Descanco area:








And into Pasadena:










Going up Chantry:
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Old 12-22-07, 09:34 PM   #5
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The amazing views:








Sassy and Francis


Francis and Il Bruto


Clem and Renee Bartoli (father and daughter riders who are amazing multiple Triple Crowners!)


The cowboys at rest


Clint - at ease
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Old 12-22-07, 09:37 PM   #6
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Vance, contemplating life


Scoot, contemplating sunscreen


Thomson, kicking back


Jschen, post nap


Lovely Laura


Those on the range


Headed back






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Old 12-22-07, 09:38 PM   #7
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Our first flat


stock dork shot


second flat


poor Patsy


finally heading home, home on the range




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Old 12-22-07, 09:42 PM   #8
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You've got it made out there M.E.! We'll take care of your young cowboy Jason when he comes to NC next week. Hopefully he will come back with some good stories and you can join him next time.
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Old 12-22-07, 09:42 PM   #9
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Patsy is the name of your bike? Like the squire from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" ?
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Old 12-22-07, 09:44 PM   #10
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Patsy is the name of your bike? Like the squire from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" ?
No, like Patsy Cline as I'm a southerner.

But I love MP and the Holy Grail. One of my top favorites. Thanks for the reminder that I need to rent and watch it again.
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Old 12-22-07, 09:44 PM   #11
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I thought this thread was going to be about Marion Barber.
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Old 12-22-07, 09:45 PM   #12
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You've got it made out there M.E.! We'll take care of your young cowboy Jason when he comes to NC next week. Hopefully he will come back with some good stories and you can join him next time.
I'd love to join if only I could! You'll get a kick out of Jason. He's a sweetheart and a unique soul. Please do take good care of him.
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Old 12-22-07, 09:45 PM   #13
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I thought this thread was going to be about Marion Barber.
no

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Old 12-22-07, 09:55 PM   #14
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I thought this thread would quote songs by the Eagles.

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
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Old 12-22-07, 10:07 PM   #15
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I am surprised we didnt run into each other....MarkAJ and I were up in that area as well....at least for a while...then we rode to Sherman Oaks for a hot dog...yes we did...The Wiener Factory is closing after 30+ years and we needed a fix before they went away!
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Old 12-22-07, 10:08 PM   #16
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I thought this thread would quote songs by the Eagles.

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
The Langley Schools Music Project has the best rendition of that song. Ever.
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Old 12-22-07, 10:19 PM   #17
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theres like 80 noobs in those pictures...jeez
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Old 12-22-07, 10:25 PM   #18
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Friends > CAM

Sorry I couldn't make this one. Looks like it was a great ride.
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Old 12-22-07, 10:25 PM   #19
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damned fine ride, damned fine pics!!!! i ended up with a hair over 95. does this qualify me for CAM????? and yer not too far off hte mark with the sunscreen comment, between the wind and the sun i am a bit raw....



good times
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Old 12-22-07, 10:26 PM   #20
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theres like 80 noobs in those pictures...jeez
I didn't know you could count that high.
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Old 12-22-07, 10:27 PM   #21
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Had a great time, as expected since it had such a great ride leader. Who else could bring together 5 such, uh, diverse whack jobs.
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Old 12-22-07, 10:31 PM   #22
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Had a great time, as expected since it had such a great ride leader. Who else could bring together 5 such, uh, diverse whack jobs.
who you callin a whack job, whack job???!?!?!??!?!?!



or




takes on to know one....
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Old 12-22-07, 10:34 PM   #23
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oh....and if enzo gucci(i think thats right...) reads this. did we see you out in la canada this morning????? that is all...
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Old 12-22-07, 10:41 PM   #24
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I'd love to join if only I could! You'll get a kick out of Jason. He's a sweetheart and a unique soul. Please do take good care of him.
have no worries M.E. we'll take good care of him and show him so real southern hospitality.
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Old 12-22-07, 10:41 PM   #25
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theres like 80 noobs in those pictures...jeez
Awww...are you jealous, Ovo?. I would have invited you, but I honestly didn't think you'd have any interest. You can come anytime and I'll take you on the same route.

And we need to short shopping or I have to give the money back to those who gave it!
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