The idea was to get up at 3:30 and hit the road by 4:00/4:30, but it would have helped to set the alarm. Nevertheless, I woke up about 4:30 and was out the door at 5:38. It was a little warmer today, but still pretty cold. In order to get some extra climbing in, I took Panorama to Fairfax, then down to the dump road, up to the cogen plant and over to Morning. From there I followed the usual route to Comanche and Bena. I stopped at the Shell and grabbed something to eat and some hot coffee. The sun was just coming up as I got ready to head out.
After leaving the Shell, I heading east bound on Bena hoping to make it to Caliente before turning around to meet up with the Wheelmen group that was planning on leaving the Shell at 10:00. Unfortunately, the wind had it’s own plan for my ride. Just after passing the dump and descending into the little valley I was hit with a pretty stiff headwind. At one point the wind was so bad that I was my small chainring and 32 rear cog and I was doing about 10 MPH. As a result it took me, what seemed like forever, to make it across the valley to the bottom of the climb up to the Caliente turn off. On the climb the wind switched from a head wind to a gusting crosswind that nearly knocked me off my bike several times. As I was running out of time and it seemed safer to limit my descent, I turned around and headed back to the Shell. On the way back, the tailwind allowed me to maintain 32-33 mph all the way across the valley floor.
After leaving everyone at the Shell, I headed to Rancheria for some more climbing. I stopped at Coresoree’s Deli before heading up Rancheria, but after waiting about 20 minutes and still no food, I told them I would be back later. I went up Rancheria about 4-6 miles, took a couple photos and headed back down.
After picking up my sandwich I headed home.
A very nice day. 110 miles with just over 7K of climbing.
Started this year with the Kern Wheelmen New Years Day ride. C and I took off from the house with just barely enough time to make it to Beach Park by 10:00 am. The thermometer was hovering in the high 40’s, but it seemed colder as we soft pedaled down Panorama Drive towards Manor.
At the park it looked like the turnout was smaller then last year, but there was still easily 80-100 riders. For some reason they didn’t do the group photo before the ride started and moreover the ride actually left on time. Inevitably the pace was too fast as people left the park trying to stay up with the faster riders and we were no different. When C’s heart rate started running high, we slowed down and maintained a more reasonable pace. We also took the climb pretty easy, stopping about a half mile up to strip off some clothing. At the top we were treated to cookies and hot cider. After chatting some, we donned our jackets and headed back home. All in all a nice ride and a great way to start the year.
The clouds drift across/Filing the Sky with Abstraction/Natures Rorschach test.
Out of the darkness/Pedaling into the light/Moving is living.
I think we all attempt to live our lives striving for a form of balance or equilibrium. Life and death are the ultimate balance and our actions in between those extremes attempt, albiet imperfectly, to maintain that balance. Within that paradigm we seek to balance risk and reward. Cycling has so much to offer as reward, but your post is a timely reminder of the reality of the risk. Many engage in activities of great risk and never appreciate the extremity of their actions. I think this is foolish, because as you illustrated, we rarely suffer the consequences alone. For some the attraction of their actions is found in their knowledge of the risk and in their ability to engage in the subject behavior. For those who seek enjoyment from risky activities, there would be little point in completely safe activities. To some degree everyone that is alive is risking something, but it is the higher risk activities that cause the most damage. What we all have to decide is whether what we need from our particapation is worth being killed or injured and whether it is important enough to risk the damage that might result to our friends and family.
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