Today was a hard ride. The plan had some steady riding and then in the middle a really long chunk of harder efforts. My coach called these efforts "significant" and suggested that I build the first 2 intervals and then "hang on" for the last 4. Gulp! This was going to be a tough one. However, the day was beautiful and I was looking forward to spending some quality time at the office. I let Andy know that I was leaving because even though he is not here it makes me feel better to have someone know that I have headed out since I do ride by myself from time to time. I always wear my Road ID (it's who I am) but if Andy knows I have headed out and he does not hear from me for 5 hours or so he can panic from 2000 miles away. Now that I write that down, maybe I should not tell him, what can he really do?
(I came across a blue tractor today)
The last two intervals ended up being combined into a climb up Howell Mountain Road. The Tour of California went up the same road on Monday. A couple weeks ago some bikers told me it was a super tough climb and I should avoid it. Little did they know but they said the magic word. Avoid a tough climb? That is not in my vocabulary. One of them actually suggested that I ride up part of the way and if I thought it was too tough I could turn around and come back down. Uhhh...unless something catastrophic happens I am finishing something I start. So, today was the day. It was tough. A relatively steep climb without a break but I made it. I descended down into the tiny town of Angwin and I stopped at the local market. This place was a gold mine! First, I found the bulk candy section. I must have been quite a sight---standing there in my bike get up with my helmet and sunglasses still on contemplating what I was going to treat myself to. And then, I found it...Malted Milk Balls WITH Peanut Butter! I grabbed a small bag (only allowed myself 5, they were big) and then headed to the coolers for a beverage. On my way I glanced down the next aisle and it was another whole aisle of bulk candy! I just kept walking because if I started browsing I was going to be there for awhile and I still had work to do. I did say to myself OUT LOUD "the place freaking rocks." The Angwin Market definitely has a return customer. Plus, they have everything there because it is the only shop in town. It is like a grocery, hardware, pharmacy and bookstore all in one. I finished up the last hour of my ride and then headed to the pool to stretch out. Plus, that forced me to shower because if I went straight home there was a good chance I was just going to flop on the floor and not move for a long time.
Going back to Monday, I got to watch the Tour of California come through the valley. My friend John and I decided to go up and watch on Oakville Grade. It was raining but sitting out there for an hour was totally worth the 5 minutes of action we got to see. It is a steep climb and the riders were definitely working hard to get up it. I think it made us all feel better about ourselves. Cavendish looked especially gassed going up the hill. Amazing, he can sprint faster than anybody in the world but get him on incline and he goes backwards.
RadioShack leading the peloton up the hill. I think that is Horner in front and then Lance and Levi right behind him.
Here they come!
Here they come!
Tomorrow is a bit lighter and then I head to Auburn (the former capital of CA) for a challenging sprint distance race on Sunday. Should be fun and somewhat painful---in a good way.