Sunday, February 15, 2009

valentime's ride

i'm not much of a joiner, but i can't say as i am really a loner either. with that in mind, this year i decided to try some of the l.a. tri chicks hill series. last year i longingly read the descriptions each week of the monster climbs they would be doing to prepare for wildflower.

i wasn't ready to "join" the girls AND i was only racing olympic distance ... so between those two lil' facts, i never went.

this year i am racing longer and i am feeling a little more open to multiple personalities, beyond my own.

so last week i packed up my bike and headed out with my friend amy (every good extroverted introvert needs a friend along as social lubricant) and we headed out to meet the "chicks" in malibu.

there were at least 30 women of varying levels of fitness, but all were there on a very early, cold (again, shush up to my midwest friends) saturday morning to tackle 37-59 (depending on your route) hilly miles.

up we went. and it wasn't so bad. in fact ... dare i say ... it was fun. i fell into a group of about 4 women and we ticked away the miles.

this week i was back for more. i had a couple of hard efforts that i was supposed to throw in as i went. on our first climb (a little 6 mile hill) i did my intervals and built up quite a sweat. it felt great at the time, but come our first descent, i was wishing someone had handed me the sunday new york times to shove down my jersey.

i'll spare you all the details (and save myself some sunday afternoon time in the process) and say that it was one of the most challenging, gorgeous rides i have ever done! 6500 feet of climbing over 59 miles. we rode through some of the most gorgeous hillsides in southern california.

check out the scenery (thank you internet) ...

yes, as you get toward the top of piuma road, it really does say "allez" ... it's that kind of a climb.

i rolled back into the parking lot, exhausted, exhilarated and more than a little relieved to be back in one piece. i had a nice 25 minute run off of the bike and some chocolate milk and glutamine waiting in the car.

by the way, this weekend's ride was the "valentime's ride" (yes, i know i wrote valentimes ... everyone in my office says it that way and it's just stuck, ya know?).

anyway, it being valentimes day and all, the ride was co-ed this week. here's my favorite story of the day ... there was a woman on the ride who is new to cycling. her husband had come out to support her. when they got to the ride he realized he had left his cycling shoes at home. homeskittle proceeded to put his sneakers back on and rode all 58 H-I-L-L-Y miles with her ... on clipless pedals. ain't love amazing!?! he get the valentime's prize of the century!



Mama Simmons said...

You're not the One who stole Lance's bike, are you??

Molly said...

Nice job! That's a hell of a lot of climbing! I'm feeling wimpy now.

Amy Beth Kloner said...

Dude, I cracked up when I saw this for some reason. Danny always says VALENTIMES and it just makes me laugh. The thing is, he doesn't do it to make me laugh. I think it just stuck with him.

Gorgeous ride!!! Keep on crankin' em out.


Pedergraham said...

Nice riding...and that guy IS super sweet. You must be having great air quality with all the rain, too. (I am an introverted extrovert and require social lubrication as well. I married it. I never had put those words together before so thank you very much for explaining me to myself!)

Beth said...

Your riding route looks absolutely breathtaking Cat!!! I was watching the Tour of CA a little today and although I know they are in Northern CA still and you live in the south - I kept thinking "this is where Cat and Marit and all these wonderful people live and it's sooooo amazingly beautiful!" :) Anyway, keep up the great work - you are going to be SOO, SOO strong from all that climbing!

PS That Ivan sure is one good looking dude... :)