Only one thing really mattered to me this morning. I didn’t want to be the last person up each climb, a position I’ve held rather frequently for the past couple of months. I was determined to do whatever it took (meaning suffer), and since I didn’t police the tail end, I guess you can say that I was willing to suffer more than somebody else. That’s very different from saying I was stronger! Working on that. But given the way I was (not) breathing this morning, I was pretty much maxxed out, but at the same time, not caring, just pushing past it, seeing what strength I could find in my legs, too bad about anything else. I even thought a bit about Tyler Hamilton and how he used pain to obscure/mask/help ignore the protestations of his body when pushed to the limit. It’s all in your mind, or at least enough of it to make a real difference.
Pretty big group this morning; I’ll have to look at the video to see everyone, but we had Karl, Kevin, Jan, Eric, George, Eric, Todd and I think John was there for at least the Kings segment. George was doing intervals up Kings, but other than that, nobody was taking things really seriously. Nobody except me, that is. I was determined! I’m sure any of the others would have had no problem shredding me on Kings or west-side Old LaHonda, but that wasn’t their game today. The stars and planets lined up just right. Nothing really to show for it on Strava; in fact, Strava even insulted me by claiming my time was 29:01 up Kings when in reality it was a far-more-respectable 28:58!
Weather? Pretty nice! Not warm but not really cold either. And no rain. A bit of dampness here & there (enough to keep speeds down on the descents), but not enough to require rain bikes, thank goodness. What’s not going to change, regardless of weather, will be the nastiness left behind by the “maintenance” done to Skyline and west-side Old LaHonda. A legendarily-bad chip seal job, using not enough oil to allow the chips to embed properly, and chips much larger than normal for reasons unknown. The result is a terribly rough surface, and, for a while, lots of gravel. Gravel that gets picked up and pings against your bike, gravel that sometimes embeds in your chain and causes things to totally lock up, with horrifying results for your bike. I even mentioned that on the ride, as you can see in the short video below… not realizing that, not too many hours later, a woman would bring in a bike that may have been severely damaged in exactly that way!
Hate it when that happens.