Beethoven’s 7th

The climb begins!

Beethoven’s 7th Symphony is perhaps my favorite piece of classical music, first made known to me at the end of Zardoz (one of those self-important semi-existential sci-fi movies that you saw at an influential age and thought wow, that was deep, lots to talk about). You can give it (second movement, Beethoven’s 7th) a listen here.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to climb to music, something that would be timed such that I could relate its segments to landmarks on the way up the hill. To some extent it happens anyway, playing back a piece of music in my head. Not as often as used to be the case though, which is probably something I should work on. Obviously, quite a few people ride with their iphones hooked up to earpieces, somewhat oblivious to their surroundings, a state that I don’t feel comfortable or safe with. Perhaps if I didn’t have to worry about cars or trying to hold close to the wheel in front of me, I might. Maybe it would be worthwhile having some sort of mini speaker system on the bike? But that would intrude on the world around me, and one of the things I like about cycling is that it seems you can be part of the natural order of things without adding to it.

Right, about the ride. Fresh meat today; Gregor, one of our reps (Look pedals, Giro helmets and Blackburn accessories) finally showed up, after threatening to for several years. We don’t get too many industry folk on our rides, but maybe we can do our best to not scare Gregor away and start attracting a few. He’s finally recovering from a lengthy injury (don’t recall what it was at the moment) and while for the time being he can keep me company on the climbs, it won’t be long before he’s up there with the fast guys.

One of the more-interesting CalTrans jobs!

Roll call? Jan, Chris, Todd, Nigel, Kevin, George, Gregor, John… that might have been it. Nobody melted the asphalt this morning, thankfully for me. A lot of gravel up on Skyline, enough that it’s obvious they’re still working on the road, doing what to it being rather tough to say. We did come across a pair of CalTrans guys riding something looking like go-carts, removing some of the temporary reflectors from the middle of the road… we can only hope that’s in advance of actually laying down some new pavement!

Not as cold this morning as I had feared, never dropping below 44 and warming up to near-50 on Skyline. Not bad weather at all for a ride that you never get much of a chance to settle down and think about things like whether it’s cold or how long you can hang on. The pacing is sustainable; not easy, but not the sort of ride where people are blowing up and dropping off the back. In warmer weather, that’s not an issue, because even if you stop completely, you’re not going to get uncomfortably cold, but those days are behind us. In fact, the weekend looks not-so-nice at all! But thankfully this-coming Thursday and the Tuesday following are supposed to be dry. :-)






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2 thoughts on “Beethoven’s 7th

  1. Hey Mike- They are still working on the road but the paving work is done. What you see is what you get, and it’s about the worst paving job I’ve ever seen.

  2. I went from OLH to 84 on Skyline yesterday and they were striping. The shoulder stripe was down in the NB direction. Between the shoulder stripe and the dirt there are three layers in most places – the new layer of stuff, the previous layer of stuff which extends almost to the dirt and the bottom layer of asphalt. Even in the places where there is space to ride to the right of the stripe it is not practical now due to the uneven layering. On top of this, it looks like many divots in the underlying pavement were not patched. They are still there and pose a risk when encountered unexpectedly. The new covering makes it even more difficult to spot them. Overall, at this point I would declare this paving job a loss for cyclists.

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