This could go 1 of 2 ways…
Luckily today I was right! I have been trapped indoors all week long finishing up work for my fall semester. Every night since I got back from Long Beach I have been up until 1 or 2 in the morning finishing papers, busy work, tests and other unexciting things like that. I am exhausted. All week I’ve been looking forward to doing a big bike ride across the weekend to get out some academic aggression and reset my attitude, and all week I’ve been hearing about how it’s supposed to start storming starting Friday night through the whole weekend… I did my best to ignore all the bad weather news, I even got my bike tuned up on Thursday in preparation for a ride. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer on this one unless there was lightening involved, I’m smart enough to not ride through farmland on an aluminum bike.
This morning I woke up around 8:30 too check the weather to see if I could get away with a ride. It didn’t look good but I didn’t really care. The ground was wet and the clouds were looking rather ominous but it wasn’t raining right now so I was stoked enough to get going. I threw on my shorts, jersey and rain jacket and made my way out the door. Since the wind was blowing pretty hard I decided to make my way inland toward lake Lopez instead of cruising up the coast.
Map of Lopez Lake in relation to Arroyo Grande
As I made my way deeper inland the rain kept making threats but never turned on me. There was plenty of mud to remind me that it had rained not to long ago though. The nice thing about the weather being kind of gross is that nobody was out on the roads. I wouldn’t want to do this ride on a holiday weekend however. Lopez is popular with boaters and the bike lane has a tendency to shrink down to about 4 inches wide in the squiggly parts.
One of the many vineyards out here on the central coast
As I pedaled further out I started to realize that I was going really slow. I thought that maybe I was just tired and a little out of practice from my week of 18 hour days behind a computer. What it really turned out to be was a slow steady climb that lasted for miles! Funny how things can seem flat or hills can seem rolling from the safety of your car. I hit a certain point where I was out of steam and decided to quit. A hill that actually looked like a hill was staring me down and I was having none of it. I paused on the roadside and had a little bit to drink and talked myself into getting the rest of the way to the lake. I had come this far, I had to at least see some water!
The hill that would never end
I got back on the bike and pedaled standing up at about 5mph up the hill. It sucked. Within a mile and a half I finally hit the lake. I took a while to soak in the view, I earned it, and rehydrate.
Victory is Mine!
The good news about going up hill for miles is that you get to come back down! I was flying back down towards the village. There were spots where I sustained 30+ mph without pedaling and riding my brakes. Kinda scary but fun.
Now that I’m back at the house I need to get all the mud and gunk off my bike from the ride and start thinking about how I’m going to train for 2009 SCY season. I’m going to start working on some goal setting and post that stuff on the blog later.
The aftermath from all the mud and dirt on the roads
As a side note… there is a bike event coming up in February here in my area called Pedal to Pier. I’m probably going to sign up for this soon. It’s either a metric century or a half metric century that goes from Avila Beach to San Luis Obispo or Cayucos depending on your distance of choice.