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  1. #1
    no more nellie
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    Thomson’s Extreme Weather Boot Camp…and some Llama Porn

    In October 2006, I met Thomson out in Granada Hills and rode San Francisquito Canyon and Bouquet Canyon. There I met Romeo, the world’s most loving horse and had a great day of it. Since then, Jim and I have become friend’s and I’ve ridden many times with him – always a pleasure to do so, might I add. So, when he mentioned riding out there again, I was game for sure. Today, we decided to head out at 8:00am. The weather forecast was great. No rain predicted until this evening and tomorrow morning. The sun was out, and although chilly, the day looked fabulous. Little did I know what I was headed out into!

    We weren’t far on Balboa when we were passed (and I was immediately dropped) by the SFVBC A Team. Leading the pack was Keith Brodsky who got scolded by me for being out riding (although, it was great to see him and he was riding as strong as ever). I then saw Stan, Pete, Big John and Valleygirl among others. Fast group with big smiles, out on their club’s Saturday century. I hope they had a blast!

    Jim, whom I just followed, took us on extra little loop-de-loop today, putting us smack in gorgeous (and very warm weather) in Valencia (also adding miles to our 65 mile day, not that I’m complaining). Other then a few gusty headwinds, we were feeling good. Upon heading up San Francisquito Canyon, right away we met some horses (that I tried without luck to pet), some llamas (who were…um…sharing a few public intimate moments) and a gorgeous ostrich. I was jumping on and off the bike, trying to spread the love until hunger got me focused on climbing up and out of SFC to Spunky Canyon, where I knew the food was. Jim and I had incredible burgers at the Spunky Canyon Market Café and met some very nice folks. I yakked away, and the next thing we knew an hour or so had passed.

    We left the café full and happy, but suddenly shocked by how cold it had turned and dark in the canyon. It was as if it was a whole different day. As we headed out to Bouquet and up that canyon, we were feeling drops of what at first seemed like rain. But no…it was snow! As we continued our climb, the snow got thicker and thicker. I have to admit, it was very cool and I snapped a shot of it. Little did I know how cold I would become and, as the snow increased and we started to descend that canyon road, the snow became sleet. The winding road, with many curves was now slick and frightening (for me, anyway). I was petrified and frozen. I didn’t carry long fingered gloves with me today and I thought my fingers were going to fall off. Jim, always such a sweetheart, had to not only put up with my slow climbing (compared to him for sure!), but now I was descending this canyon at a crawl, riding the breaks, petrified I’d slide out! The road was covered with a white, watery slush that I’ve never experienced riding in before.

    Finally, we got down, and pulled through the canyon back to civilization and warmth! I was thrilled and laughing, thinking that we were free and clear. Sigh…nope. As we headed back into Valencia, the first round of hail hit, hard! Those little pellets hurt. We sucked it up and kept going as we had less than 20 miles back to the cars. But the hail changed again! Sleet and rain was now pouring on us. I was soaked all the way to the bone and shivering like crazy. It was getting colder by the minute. I asked Jim if we could pull over just for a moment. I was annoyed and threw a small temper tantrum. Jim just smiled and reminded me that we had so little left to go, now less than five miles. Hardest five miles of the day!

    As we turned off on a side road up to Balboa, Jim realized he had a flat (second one of the day as there was lots of debris on the road). Just as he dismounted, the real deluge shower hit. Huge hail, sleet and pouring rain (I mean, POURING) was upon us and the street turned into a small pond within minutes. Jim tried to change the tire as quickly as possible (and he did quite well!), but the rain was unrelenting and both of us were shivering with cold. After pumping his tire, he realized something was wrong as it wouldn’t fill with air. He couldn’t ride, we were about three miles from the cars, no shelter, people passing us screaming obscenities (oh, so helpful ), freezing and in a now torrential downpour with hail. Jim suggested that we get walking – good thing too, because then it started thundering and lightning! Oh, good God – could it get any worse?!!! I wanted to stop at that point and just call someone to get us or a cab or something, but it was raining so hard and truthfully, I was too scared to think. I realized I had to HTFU (in a big way), get on my bike and ride to the car so that I could go get Jim. He didn’t want me to do it (so chivalrous), but one of us had to and he couldn’t ride on a flat tire. So, shivering uncontrollably, I got on my bike and made my way to the car. It was the longest, most miserable 2.5 miles I’ve ever ridden! But I made it, retrieved Jim and we warmed up with huge hot cocoas and laughed about it.

    Phew! I had NO idea that I would be hit with the weather we were hit with today and NO warning of it. Ugh! But all in all, I had wonderful, calm and funny company (Jim really does know how to find the humor in everything) and quite an adventure. I could have done without the last hour of the ride for sure, but I’m not regretting the day one bit!

    Thanks, Jim, for your extreme weather boot camp! I now can say that I’ve ridden in every season possible!

    The sunny, lovely day that we headed off into...


    The first lovely horse we encountered on SFC...


    ...who wanted nothing to do with me


    Jim waits patiently...


    ...as I eye and attempt to pet these two beauties...
    Last edited by merider1; 03-16-08 at 09:11 AM.

  2. #2
    no more nellie
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    The views and perfect sky along San Franicisquito Canyon..









  3. #3
    no more nellie
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    The views with that sky were exhilirating!




    We stumble upon llamas...and of course, I squealed.


    But then...um...well...um...yes, this is what you think it is. Bow chick a bow wow...


    I let the llamas do their loving and I focused on this beautiful bird


    But the llamas wanted more attention


    So, I attempted to pet one, but...sigh...again no luck! (I must have stunk)


    Off to Spunky


    Finally, food!


    Oh, and yes, gas is just as high out there too!

  4. #4
    no more nellie
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    and then we hit winter...


    ...and snow!


    See? SNOW!


    And then hail...


    Or, shall I say HELL...


    Really - that's how big those chunks of ice were!

  5. #5
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    Whiner

  6. #6
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indolent58 View Post
    Whiner
    You do realize that you may be jinxing your own ride tomorrow.

  7. #7
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    I can't believe this was the same day that I had such a perfect ride just down in PV. We live in bizzaro land. Sorry the weather turned on you, but it gave you a nice tale to tell.

  8. #8
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMac View Post
    I can't believe this was the same day that I had such a perfect ride just down in PV. We live in bizzaro land. Sorry the weather turned on you, but it gave you a nice tale to tell.
    No, the llamas gave us nice "tail" to tell.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wkend_Warrior's Avatar
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    Incredible journey ME and Jim.
    Got any pictures of the rain/snow? Not that you would have been in the mood.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wkend_Warrior's Avatar
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    sorry...nevermind damn delay on my laptop

  11. #11
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wkend_Warrior View Post
    Incredible journey ME and Jim.
    Got any pictures of the rain/snow? Not that you would have been in the mood.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Uh...Gary? I have pics of both below. ??

    EDIT:

  12. #12
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1 View Post
    You do realize that you may be jinxing your own ride tomorrow.
    I think it's already jinxed.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Wow, the valley route looks nice! Sorry you have to go through the cold though.

  14. #14
    Climbing better scvroadie's Avatar
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    M.E., you could have stopped and warmed up at my house, I only live a couple of blocks off of Bouquet Canyon Rd. as you come back into Santa Clarita.

    Wait, I wasn't home. I was enjoying a beautiful, sunny, sometimes windy ride in the Santa Monicas with VB, and a few friends.

    Sorry you had the bad weather, I have been up there in Green Valley, when it is cold and wet, I can relate.

  15. #15
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by scvroadie View Post

    Wait, I wasn't home. I was enjoying a beautiful, sunny, sometimes windy ride in the Santa Monicas with VB, and a few friends.

    Sorry you had the bad weather, I have been up there in Green Valley, when it is cold and wet, I can relate.
    Yeah, Lee, you shoud be grateful you were riding yesterday where it wasn't like the weather Jim and I went through. You would have had a hard time of it, I'm sure!

    I'll remember you live out there in the future in case we need someone to come pick us up.

  16. #16
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Wait a minute, I thought I just dreamed that!!

    Nice write-up. I just don’t know how you can capture how miserable it was out there. Neither of us had rain clothes, our clothes just soaked in the rain. With the nice cool wind, there wasn’t any warmth to be found. When I flatted the second time, it was raining so hard, I couldn’t see what I was doing and the streets were flooding over the level of our shoes. After we got the glass shard out of the tire, I put the tube in but I couldn’t prevent the tire from filling with water as I tried to put it on the rim. I just put it on anyway but when pumping it up, no air held (I guess I missed a piece of glass). Out of tubes and in no condition to patch, we started to walk to find shelter. There was none to be found. Since we were only a few miles from the car and Mary’s bike still operational, she bravely took off in the rain and wind to go retrieve a car. I kept walking because it was just too cold to stand still. She quickly returned, I hopped into her warm car and we were off. We went to Starbucks where hot chocolate and coffee never tasted so good. If they had a fireplace, I would probably still be there.

    But, aside from the end, it was a really nice ride. It was great seeing a lot of the SFVBCers especially Keith on his first big ride since his crash. The snow was falling on Spunky and the peak on Bouquet overlooking the reservoir was just simply gorgeous. It wasn’t heavy enough to stick or anything but it was beautiful for us SoCalers. As we descended to Santa Clarita it cleared until we were about at the train station in Newhall. It was just coming down in sheets. We cut over on Foothill to connect to Balboa and it turned to hail. Then the flat.

    I got home and asked my wife if it rained at all here. She so, no, it was a nice day. I realized I entered a completely different world.

    Thanks for the ride Mary, all in all, really it was fun.
    Last edited by thomson; 03-16-08 at 09:29 AM.

  17. #17
    no more nellie
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    You don't have me fooled for one minute, Jim. I know you planned that weather for your boot camp, but nice try.

  18. #18
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1 View Post
    You don't have me fooled for one minute, Jim. I know you planned that weather for your boot camp, but nice try.
    Are you a better person because of it? Are you tougher, stronger, more resilient? Fantastic Private!!

    I am not so sure about me, I am now perusing Le Catalogue des Sports d'intérieur

  19. #19
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson View Post
    I am not so sure about me, I am now perusing Le Catalogue des Sports d'intérieur
    Well, I'm perusing the Le Apartmant d'interieur Cleanage today, so I think it did have an effect on me.

  20. #20
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Great report and some nice weather along the way too! Now get rid of that stuff by next month.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    Great report and some nice weather along the way too! Now get rid of that stuff by next month.
    Next month? This is L.A., it's already gone
    just being

  22. #22
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Interesting pics Mary. Glad you and Jim got in a good ride!

  23. #23
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    Interesting pics Mary. Glad you and Jim got in a good ride!
    Thanks George, yep it was a good ride. had I known it was going to rain like that I would have brought a rain jacket instead on the sponge-jacket and rode the fixie. I just got done cleaning/lubing my bike. Derailleurs, brakes, multiple cogs/chainrings, just a lot of stuff.

  24. #24
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Fixie?

    Hey I'm happy to see you didn't ditch the evil Take-a-Look, Thomson...

    That looked fun, but yeah I had great weather where I was, too, but no Llamas...
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  25. #25
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson View Post
    Thanks George, yep it was a good ride. had I known it was going to rain like that I would have brought a rain jacket instead on the sponge-jacket and rode the fixie. I just got done cleaning/lubing my bike. Derailleurs, brakes, multiple cogs/chainrings, just a lot of stuff.
    Yeah......I can see why some commuters prefer singlespeeds and fixed gear. One less mess to worry about.

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