We rode to Idyllwild again. I told you we would. This "winter" we are already logging a few hours and miles, so one should expect that hitting another 90 mile day without a hitch, well that would just be too lucky. Last week I felt good, the weather was brilliant, I was completely amazing on the bike (yawn), and the bikes worked like a charm. I will remember that day fondly.
This week we were joined by Teenage Heart Throb Andrew Sjorgren and Craig Turner (we don't have a nickname for him. Yet) After riding the Lynn Pletcher Memorial ride (which was AWESOME) we headed to the hills. I unhitched on the climb as usual, and promptly flatted. Three times. we run slime tubes (I have never weighed my bike) and the slime sprayed all over my bike and I. 2nd tube in, boom. Put slime tube back in, held 10 psi. Dilemna? Uh, no. I'm a bike racer, I wanna do a stage race, so I got on the bike and rode up the mountain 50-60 minutes on a rear flat. I am so pumped I had my carbon race wheels. I never really knew the white line had such a drastic curve to the right...
Nearing the Y, Brian came back to get me, leaving Heart Throb and Craig soaking up the sun and talking about kittens and unicorns. Another really awesome thing about my race wheels is that they are deep-dish. Not only do they catch like a yacht sale in the wind, you gotta have long stemmed tubes. But I just put a hole in the last one. So we used Brian's short stemmed tube. That was comedy. we could tell it was losing air so Brian told me to hurry and get as far as I could (1.2 corners to be exact) before it went flat again. And rode it the 5 miles into town. Somewhere in there we switched rear wheels. And yes, the wedding is still on.
Once we got everything sorted, I wasn't about to be alone. I rode those rollers harder than Sisquoc to stay with the boys. On the descent I got relegated between Turner leading me through the descent and Brian coaching me through, as Heart Throb rode Blindside...I could have killed him. These boys do not stop pedalling, and they don't brake. By the time we bottomed out in Banning i was silent, eyes completely bloodshot from being pasted open in the howling wind, face covered with sweat, snot, and eye non-tears. Big Girl training has begun.
Once back to base camp, we just ate and ate.
Sunday, was so much harder. It was about 3,000ft less of climbing, way less on the wattage, but oh so hard to get up and out. Papa Breyer was my riding partner and I could not have asked for better! "Big Wheel, what's the plan today?" "Um, I gotta just stay on the bike for 3 hours...." We made it 3:09. So. Hard. My right eye really hurt, come to find out i was having some nasty reaction to something, making it ache and track poorly and look horrendous. I thought of going home a lot, I thought about what I was going to eat, a lot. But Breyer and I talked like school girls about everything from racing to the stuff school girls talk about. He eeked me to 1:35 and I started to feel like at least a recreational cyclist again, and by the end, a shadow of a racer came out of the haze, just in time to duck in the doorway.
Riding these long days I have a lot on my mind. The future, the past, Lynn Pletcher, the amazing Robert Bender, my lifes path. None of it makes sense and I am not sure it should, but I know I am extremely blessed to be able to share such days with these people, even if silently suffering wheel-to-wheel, this is the road that was meant for me.