Measuring Myself Against the Mountain

Plan A today was to head south on the lovely Coyote Creek trail, and depending how I felt when I got there, try attacking a new hill. The trail was blocked by a fire truck, however, as the crew sprayed water over a still-smoldering brush fire. I turned around and decided instead to test my progress toward my long-term goal of summiting Mt. Hamilton. I wouldn’t try to break my record, I decided, but there’s a nice loop that goes up the main highway and then descends on a smaller road that sees almost no traffic.

About a mile after I turned around I thought, “I should have taken a picture — fire trucks are exciting!”

It was even more annoying than usual getting to the base of the mountain, catching almost every single red light as I rode through the city. Grrr. Then it was time to climb. I have gotten better at riding very, very slowly, and I’m strong enough that I can almost sustain that snail’s pace for a decent period of time. The grade of the road is very consistent, but occasionally there’s a short stretch that’s a wee bit steeper, a difference you wouldn’t even notice while driving, but for me it’s the difference between sustainable and deficit. A little less down force on the seat post would put me over the top, I think.

I got to the turn-off for the descent, and after a short breather I decided instead to try to push up the mountain a little farther before going back down. Which is when my legs delivered their big, fat NOPE! I’d hardly gone any distance at all before I turned back and rolled on down the mountain. I added a couple of easy miles at the end for nothing more than pride.

Twenty miles to get to and from the actual ride, and six miles for the climb and descent.

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