Thursday, April 09, 2009
Laguna Canyon is full of little beasts. Yesterday I met Stair Step courtesy of Joe.
This is just one section of the trail "Stair Step" to show you what I mean as you read this little story of yesterday's ride.
My life has been full of all different types of workouts lately, definitely not your usual "bike racer training life". For example ---I have been running wherever and whenever I can fit it in, cross training conditioning at the gym, or practicing yoga late in the evening in a quiet corner of the cardio room, and even lately been doing sprint intervals on the bike after dark on quiet streets in Huntington Beach. Between work and all of life's demands, I have had a hard time making it out on the bike in daylight during the week, so being creative has been key ---but yesterday I made sure I was ready to hit the dirt by 5pm. I had been itching do to a ride with the guys for some time and was super excited to finally make it back out for a wednesday ride.
Here is how it went:
I meet Joe, it's chilly. He gives me an extra jersey that might as well be a mini dress on me! We bolt off towards the first climb (i swear mountain bikers don't do warm-ups!),our goal being to go get in a quick "little up then down" loop before meeting the group.
I just follow Joe in complete trust...
Joe says to me --"have you ever been up Stair Step?" I reply -- "no, never heard of it" (and what i guess happens next is that he must have had a little smirk on his face knowing full well what torture he was about to introduce me to..but since he was in front of me I couldn't see his reaction when I told him I didn't know of this trail). Let me just state that Joe is VERY good at just throwing me right into to the wolves when it comes to trail introduction....now I am just used to it and wouldn't have it any other way. It makes it all so cool not knowing what's next! The only thing I wished I had done/noticed is that I had left my front fork locked out because the last ride I did on my mountain bike finished with pavement hill repeats and I forget to release the fork, which made Stair Step even more of a challenge for "Miss Rookie" Laguna Canyon rider.....
Anyway, after a bunch of curse words and run-a-bike efforts --as well as a few monumental moments clearing some tough stuff --I finally made it to the top where Joe was patiently waiting for me. Then we skirted swiftly across some rollers and went onward to Telonics to attempt to get down fast enough so as not to miss the start of the "group ride" --- I took one look at Joe knowing full well what kind of descending I was in for and said..."hey hey hey..don't bother waiting for me, have a good ride --I'm cool on my own".
He was sweet enough to say you go to the right up here at the junction and I'll go to the left to see if I can catch them and hold 'em up for a minute.
Hahaha... a minute. Impossible.
Not only did I crash down what seemed like the dustiest day ever on Telonics, when I tumbled, somehow my bike seat landed on my calf and gave me the biggest charlie horse ever --i was stuck in the pedal and i couldn't move for like two minutes!...then I finally get up and start to walk down this dang hill to a spot where I can remount the bike (keep in mind, my top tube is tall and makes it hard for me to hop back on easily), but here's the funny part, as I am walking I slip on the "dusty" trail and go tumbling and sliding out of control with my bike rolling with me and ultimately landing dead on top of me ---- that part made me laugh out loud.
God you gotta love adventure hey.
So, needless to say, I roll by the pit and the ride is long gone, so I take myself on a little journey up Canyon Acres (one of the best ever "rideable" sustained dirt climbs that makes Manayunk Wall look like chump change) then I head up and over the rollers across to Rockit --down and back up and then basically back down Canyon Acres to my car. First I made a little pit stop by that big giant crystal place to rinse off my wounds (yep more rash) and all the dust from my barrel roll. The water running from the pretty crystal fountain was tepid and wonderful. Then onward ho and back to my car right before sunset....
After that, it was back to home to Clo Du Bois Merlot, organic sloppy joes and a tasty organic green salad --with avos and tomatoes. A lovely ending to yet another great adventure in Laguna Canyon.
I truly know how fortunate I am to be where I am, and getting to do what I do....Laguna Canyon is special and is full of challenges, lessons, beauty, and wonder.
On a side note: I can only imagine what all the people were thinking that I passed along my little solo ride when they saw my bloody arms and my body coated in dirt from head to toe --he he he ;)
Let the good times roll....