I had to to grab it ** kudos** ClaremontCyclist http://claremontcyclist.blogspot.com/2011/07/tour-de-france-rider-profile-thomas.html
I have been praising this guy all year (Voeckler). And this is an awesome homage to him and who he is. If you have watched any Grand tours at all this year, or even the larger 1 day races, YOU'VE SEEN HIM ! And this guy takes his work seriously.
As far as the race has gone ? Big names falling to ongoing carnage. And how about KOM Hoogeland ?
Holy crap !!
O.k. enough about that.
Saturday was a boating weekend. How do you like this sweet ride ?
it was the boys day out at the lake, ummmm I mean duck pond.
It was my fear that it was going to get stuck out there and I was going to have to get in that stenchy mess to get it back. But it never happened and we had a blast chasing rouge ducks and geese around with it ( Uh I mean ) quietly cruising it around.
Sunday was a solo effort to ride south and climb the always challenging Newport Coast Drive. It's roughly 20 miles to get there. Then you are greeted with pleasure of climbing a grade that crest over 8% for a couple of miles. It does drop below that grade at times, but less face it, it's a grind. No pun intended. And what goes up must come down, so you have that going for you. I hooked up with a guy at about mile 9 on the way out. With no conversation with each other we just started exchanging pulls. We hit green light, after green light and were averaging about 26 mph. This was by the way faster than I wanted to head out. This held up for about 4 miles then we hit a light.
I was stoked to be able to let off and recover, I'll admit I was cracking a bit, but pushing to hang in and take my turns off the front.
We pulled up, unclipped a foot and looked at each other with shit eating grins. It was no doubt a mutual relief. Conversation went like this.
ME- Where you heading ? or are you headed back home ?
HIM- I'm not sure yet, I'm thinking of climbing Newport Coast.
ME- Chuckle out loud- I'm thinking the same thing, I'll see how my legs feel when I get there, I'm still trying to get some riding legs back since a vacation a couple of weeks ago.
HIM- How long of a vacation ?
ME- Over 10 day's with no riding.
HIM- Ouch, that can be tough. Unless you get to ride allot ?
ME- Not that guy. I'm a 2-3 day a week guy, coupled with 1 long weekend ride.
HIM- Yep, I get it. You good to keep going ?
ME- Yeah, sure, how's this pace ?
HIM- A bit fast, but I'm good.
ME- O.k, so does that mean we can back off a bit.
HIM- That would be great by me. I just didn't want to be the one.
ME- O.k then I'll be the one, let's tone it down just a bit.
HIM- Lights green.
We never talked about it again. And I don't care if I was the weaker one. I would have been a mess continuing at that pace. We did the climb in pretty much tempo. He was a smaller rider and paced fast. I let him go ahead without concern, we regrouped at the bottom.
He was turning right, I was turning left.
With a waive goodbye that was done, and pretty cool.
From there I headed back down to the flats at PCH. Unfortunately that would become literal.
I managed to get a 1 " deck screw impaled in my rear tire. Thankfully it was AFTER I had made it up, then down and heading home. Well about 16 miles from home that is.
No worries, we get flats right.
However you trust your brand new unused tube will inflate, bzzzzzz, wrong ! It was useless.
Thankfully road cyclist have each others back, even when you are rolling solo, we always shout out and ask if the stopped rider is o.k.
In my case today though, a guy just stopped.
I told him the story, he broke out a spair and gave it up. He said he had 2 and didn't expect a flat anyways. (TALK ABOUT THE KISS OF DEATH STATEMENT). I hope he didn't get one, but that was a crazy thing to say. He even gave up a c02.
How about that thing was defective too. WTH ??
Just as he was willing to give up another one. Another guy just stops out of the blue. Asking if all was o.k.
We spill the story, and he's like, yah that's why I spent the $ 40.00 for one of these mini pumps. It is not as cool as C02, but you can pump your tire up over 120 psi if need be.
So there it was in unison, it all came together.
Within 2 minutes it was back together and on. Rolling again. It was about 10:15 now and the wind was starting it's thing.
Everyone mounted up and started north. I never even asked where they were heading. But it was somewhere north. I did get there names though, Andy and Chris.
Within a mile the wind was effecting the ride with a switching cross and headwind. I jumped on the front and ran lead out for the duration.
I never saw where either of them turned off. So as quickly as the showed up, they went away.
There is no moral here, just a cool roadie story.
Just under 55 miles, with some hills and drama. Racing tomorrow night. Assuring that things will go better than my last showing 3 days after vacation.
Train hard, train smart, be active.