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Every Dog Has Its Day

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Every Dog Has Its Day

Old 05-15-22, 10:06 AM
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Every Dog Has Its Day

Every Dog has its Day (And this was not mine).

So our good friend Ken organized a ride in our local mountains yesterday. The original plan was to ride over Sherman Pass ... a ride in the Southern Sierra. But the road had not been cleared yet, so he made an alternate plan ... ride from Castaic Lake up over Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road to the Ridge Route and back. The metrics werenít terrible ... 82 miles and 9400 feet.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/39298...eTWqDGwW65mfTk

What was potentially terrible was the heat. Mid 90s for the high. Mild headwinds were also predicted. Iíve ridden in worse , so I wasnít terribly concerned.







The day started out nice. A mild headwind that got a stiffer as we approached. The ride starts with a longish and steepish climb as into the hills surrounding Castaic Lake. There are some really fast riders in this group, and they took off in front of the rest of the group pretty quickly. After that initial climb, there are giant rollers. Not long climbs, but ones you definitely need to gear down for. I was riding with a friend and surprisingly, the two of us caught the lead group.




Finally, there is a 800 foot downhill, and from there, the ride is a gentle uphill until you get to Lake Hughes. I decided to stop for a drink and some endurolytes and wait for the riders approaching us from the rear. I havenít ridden with some of these guys in a long time.

The ride up Lake Hughes went well. Very warm, but with a cooling headwind. The headwind got stiffer as we went and eventually started holding us up a bit, but no biggie. Once we got to the intersection, we were out of water. We could have ridden a mile or two to a general store, but decided to wait for our sag van. I think we were there 15-20 minutes or so. While we were there, we met a friend riding a similar loop in the opposite direction.



So far, so good. Everyone is doing fine and I feel great. I moved my cleats back a bit and it was helping with my usual hotfoot issues.

By the time the van left, everyone in the group had caught up, so we were a group again. A couple of other friends were doing some extra credit riding and they caught up too. Very strong riders.

So we make a left on to Pine Canyon Road. It is also a climb, but instead of a constant gentle climb, it has some steep rollers, but also generally up.




Riding by a distant ranch, I heard the sound of someone playing ďHotel California.Ē I was riding behind some friends to take pix of them in the distance. When I caught up with them, I mentioned the music, but none of them heard it. Odd, I thought.

Later, I heard ď25 or 6 to 4Ē from Chicago. WTF. This is no where near the ranch. Only then, I realized that my phone had been on since the start, playing music, but so softly, I couldnít hear it in the wind. And it was nearly dead. I turned on airplane mode and hoped for the best. Another old man moment.

The next turn was at 3 points. If you miss that one, you end up in the Antelope Valley with a LONG ass climb back. Vertical Bob parked his truck here so no one could miss it. And here we had some cold drinks and chips. Yummy! Thanks Dee and Teresa!




Now up the upper section of Pine Canyon Road. There are some really steep hot climbs in here. But it is devoid of traffic and beautiful. These climbs chewed us all up a bit, but we all got to the turnaround point at the Ridge Route. Time to head back.




This is not one of those rides, where you get all the climbing done early and from that point, the remainder is flat or downhill. You Ďve now done a little more than half the climbing, and all those steep climbs you had before are just as steep going the other way. And it is really heating up.

I have a way of staying at the back of the pack to help friends that need it and keep them company, so although I felt good, I stayed back a bit. This is where things really fell apart.

I heard someone wretching. And I mean really wretching. One of those really strong riders doing extra credit distance and climbing. Apparently the heat got to him. I asked if he was OK. Iíve never done that on a ride before, and in all that heat with all the distance we had to go ... I dunno. Not good. But he said he felt fine and this happens often, so off we went.

Then one of us got a flat. A bummer but no big deal. Except there were a lot of snafus. He has a Lezyne pump that screws on to the threads on the stem, and it has a habit of pulling out his valve cores.




Which of course, it did. So he used one of his CO2 canisters for nada. The other canister had defective threads. Loren, the guy who was wretching before, had another pump, but it was also a Lezyne. His also pulled out the valve core. And then it broke! The threads connecting the hose to the pump body had pulled out(!). But head some CO2, which did the trick.

But weíre not done. This was a disc braked road bike, and it has an odd cassette design in which the cogs slip off the wheel when the wheel is removed. What a PITA. Somehow, we lost one of the cogs and had a hard time finding it. Turns out it was on the wheel the whole time, but we spent a good amount of time looking for that too. All this time, people were passing us and having spent 40 minutes or so on the flat, we were a good 30 minutes behind everyone, even the slowest. And it was getting hotter. And we had all those steep climbs coming up. But we got over all of them, and got to Three Points where the sag van was waiting.

By now, I was feeling pretty good, but had run out of endurolytes. And we had some significate climbing before got back to Lake Hughes Road. George, the guy with the flat started to have difficulty here, and after finally summiting the last of the steep climbs in the heat, we talked him into at least doing the descent back to Lake Hughes.

This descent was interesting. Some pedaling involved, but you make distance really quickly. And somewhere around here ...

TWANG

.... a cramp in my thigh. Not a terrible one, but WTF is that about? I get to the top and that starts on the downhill? Not a good sign. And my stomach wasnít feeling great either.

Vertical Bob had met us at the intersection to give us water and some support, and George decided to sag. I felt OK, and since Lake Hughes Road is a long downhill, it should be OK ... UNTIL, that is, we get back to those huge rollers at the beginning of the ride.

The first is the worst. 700-800 feet and steep. That was going to suck. Iíve done this ride before, and it always sucks, but with the heat, it was going to be an extra special suck today. And Loren had miraculously recovered! OMG. How can anyone be wretching at one moment, do all those steep climbs, and feel BETTER? I guess that is the difference 20 years makes. But I digress.

What is clear to me is that I am in trouble. Instead of recovering, I am feeling worse. Lake Hughes Road is a bit beat up and although the descent is long and fun, it beats you up a bit. And the more we went down, the hotter it got. I did recover some, but I knew the climb once we got to the bottom was going to suck.

And it DID suck. I watered up and started up. I had been climbing in the early part of the day in bigger gears, but now, I was in my lowest gear (~30 inches) and was literally crawling up the hill. My pulse rate was about 165 .. not terrible, but not great, my stomach was sour, and I was looking at this bit old hill and behind it, even more rollers with even steeper climbs. Loren had recovered and was standing up much of the hill, and now I was completely off the back. I made it to the first turn out where Bob was waiting, looked at the top of that 700 foot climb (at that point, it looked like 7000 feet).

If there was no sag and no options, Iíd have sucked it up. I would have had to. There isnít even any phone service out there. But feeling the way I did? I did something for the very first time. I sagged.




There is a first time for everything, and this was it for me. I heard later that some got off their bikes and walked. I wasnít the only one cramping (Loren was cramping, and that was one reason he was standing on the climbs).

And you know what? Iím actually kinda proud of myself. I have a habit of pushing myself to and past my limits, and frankly, at my age, that is not smart. All it does is chew you up, and Iím already plenty chewed up. The way I look at it, I finally demonstrated to myself that I have limits and I have some idea where they are.

Great ride though. And great to finally ride with some people I havenít ridden with for a long time. It was a heat/sufferfest, but it was awesome!
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Old 05-15-22, 11:03 AM
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Have only done a ~65-miler, myself, and the temperatures weren't catastrophic. We stopped frequently for fluids, and carried much with us. Had a small lunch, at the turn-around point. My big issue with the day was that my riding buddy was a serious amateur competitive cyclist. Keeping up with him was, um, hard. Did fine on the ride, even up through the end of the route, but boy did I pay for it over the next couple of days. (All sorts of little cramped/tight muscle issues.) 100km ain't bad, but still.

Glad to see some folks can still "bring it" on the long stuff. Even if it got a bit sketchy, at spots.
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Old 05-15-22, 11:04 AM
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Great ride report! Beautiful country.
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Old 05-15-22, 11:43 AM
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How jealous I am of the places you have to ride out there. Your great write up and pics of everything didn't help my envy either! <grin>
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Old 05-15-22, 01:59 PM
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I did a similar route 3 times with the Adobo club but they always did it in winter. Like you, I never SAG, just suffer through. The last time I did it with the Adobos the SAG driver rolled up and told me I was the last one on course. I took it to mean everyone else was finished but he really meant I was last on the road. Anyway I got on the truck and when we started catching up to other riders I had him let me out so I could ride the rest of the way. That was the year some pros did the ride. They passed me on Pine Canyon and their line looked like a machine.

Ken told me Francis is not riding anymore and has gained weight.
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Old 05-15-22, 04:59 PM
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Sometimes you get the bearÖ sometimes the bear gets you. Good call being sensible and taking care of yourself!

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Old 05-15-22, 05:39 PM
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great share, no shame, you guys sound like really strong & experienced riders. I've wondered about ppl who have had tragic outcomes & what choices could they have made, that would have saved them. not that you were "on there verge", on this day. sometimes it's harder to make the right decision. sometimes heat exhaustion can affect decision making. sounds like your organized group is well organized
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Old 05-16-22, 09:11 AM
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Thanks, everyone!

Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Have only done a ~65-miler, myself, and the temperatures weren't catastrophic. We stopped frequently for fluids, and carried much with us. Had a small lunch, at the turn-around point. My big issue with the day was that my riding buddy was a serious amateur competitive cyclist. Keeping up with him was, um, hard. Did fine on the ride, even up through the end of the route, but boy did I pay for it over the next couple of days. (All sorts of little cramped/tight muscle issues.) 100km ain't bad, but still.

Glad to see some folks can still "bring it" on the long stuff. Even if it got a bit sketchy, at spots.
Next weekend is my first double century in quite a while. It's one of the "easier" ones ... only about 8000 feet of climbing. Ordinarily, not big deal, but we'll see. I have a feeling that I am not the man I used to be. lol

Originally Posted by big john View Post
I did a similar route 3 times with the Adobo club but they always did it in winter. Like you, I never SAG, just suffer through. The last time I did it with the Adobos the SAG driver rolled up and told me I was the last one on course. I took it to mean everyone else was finished but he really meant I was last on the road. Anyway I got on the truck and when we started catching up to other riders I had him let me out so I could ride the rest of the way. That was the year some pros did the ride. They passed me on Pine Canyon and their line looked like a machine.

Ken told me Francis is not riding anymore and has gained weight.
Yea, the old Tour de Francis route! I don't think they have done that since they had to cancel it because of nonsense Forest Service objections. I've done the route a few times before, and even in some pretty good heat, but it really fried me last weekend. Molly and I saw Francis a month or two ago on GMR. He has gained some weight, but he was still out there riding. By chance, I wore my 2009 FC jersey and he had too! I have a pix of us somewhere.


Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
great share, no shame, you guys sound like really strong & experienced riders. I've wondered about ppl who have had tragic outcomes & what choices could they have made, that would have saved them. not that you were "on there verge", on this day. sometimes it's harder to make the right decision. sometimes heat exhaustion can affect decision making. sounds like your organized group is well organized
It's a good group of friends. Most of that group have done a lot of radonneuring and double centuries. And were really supportive of one another. Honestly ... honored to be part of that group.

One of the guys said that he was feeling chills at the top of the last climb ... and thought it was the beginnings of heat stroke. OMG ... that is nothing to play around with. Frankly, I was surprised that I was clear headed enough to call it quits.
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Old 05-17-22, 07:02 AM
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Just bought that green Rapha jersey last week. On sale for $55. I am planning to break it in during a long weekend tour starting this Friday. I already have one in red. Love it. It's supposed to be 92 (and possibly hotter) and humid on Saturday. The route is pretty much flat though.
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Old 05-17-22, 10:17 AM
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Amazing and strong riding!!! I bet if you hadn’t stopped so long for the flat tire maybe things might have been different. For me it’s hard to get back going at a hard pace after sitting for that long. The heat can be our worst enemy. Our temperatures might not get quite as high but the additional humidity can get to you in a flash. I’ve lived in this general area my whole life and probably a little more acclimated than some. One of my golf partners is from up North and he can’t tolerate the heat.

Good luck with the upcoming Double!!!
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Old 05-17-22, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Amazing and strong riding!!! I bet if you hadnít stopped so long for the flat tire maybe things might have been different. For me itís hard to get back going at a hard pace after sitting for that long. The heat can be our worst enemy. Our temperatures might not get quite as high but the additional humidity can get to you in a flash. Iíve lived in this general area my whole life and probably a little more acclimated than some. One of my golf partners is from up North and he canít tolerate the heat.

Good luck with the upcoming Double!!!
Thanks! I'm actually kinda excited for it. And they just announced that the Eastern Sierra Double is going to happen, if nothing else, using leap frog support, which should be awesome. Hope I finish both!

And yea, staying in back had it's consequences. It was hot enough to be uncomfortable even if you weren't riding, and I ran out of Endurolytes and other stuff. I probably should have eaten more too.

From a personal standpoint, it is a lot easier to struggle up a hot hill when you're doing it with company. At that point, I was an hour off the back and by myself, and the heat and wind were just too much. It had to happen some time!
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Old 05-20-22, 04:02 AM
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Thanks for writing and sharing the ride.
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Old 05-20-22, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Next weekend is my first double century in quite a while. It's one of the "easier" ones ... only about 8000 feet of climbing. Ordinarily, not big deal, but we'll see. I have a feeling that I am not the man I used to be. lol
Old injuries, here. I don't get to see much elevation change on the routes I do, myself. By design. One leg simply can't take that sort of climbing, anymore.

Kudos to those who can. I suppose 8000ft across a century ride isn't all that much, all things considered. Could be worse. Could have been the Stelvio Pass (Italy) or the GroŖglockner HochalpenstraŖe (Austria).

Not the man I once was, either. Therapy sessions are on Tuesdays, by the way ... at the cafe, 7pm.
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