"A dazzling place I never knew
But when I'm way up here
It's crystal clear"
Yes, I had the song from Aladdin stuck in my head most of yesterday. I started a few minutes back from Luke and Justin trying to get my GPS to find satellites, and never caught up. I was trying to keep the HR sub-threshold, but wound up really hitting some high numbers on the opening climb. Got up to Trabuco and we barely stopped. I asked the guys let me go ahead for a shot at the first switchback, and they obliged.
I took off after them and was really shocked to be on Luke's wheel. He hasn't bee off road much, and I know isn't as familiar with Trabuco as I was. But, I still felt really confident descending a somewhat technical trail, and that hasn't been the case for me on the Dos in MONTHS. I don't know if it was wearing glasses and really being able to see the trail, if it was my tire selection (I took off my "cross" tires for some beefier rubber that was better for training time) with the Racing Ralph up front and the Captain in the rear (seriously good tire combo IMO), or a combination of both.
Either way, I was stoked with my descending. My climbing left much to be desired, but at least I didn't feel like an idiot going downhill.
We also stopped at the Christmas tree for a (newly made) "annual" tradition
I even made one of the rockier creek crossing sections, right before Horsetheif. I don't think I've ever cleaned any of them before.
Luke heading through
At the midway point
Got down to Holy Jim pretty quickly and I made the boys take a quick break so I could put some food in my stomach. Off we went for the singletrack and the climb.
I felt pretty good, even with the HR spiking most of the time. Justin was playing photographer.
Was it always that low??
I saw the boys at the last creek crossing before the switchbacks, and then it was a really long time before I'd see them again. There were quite a few boyscouts and leaders hiking up the hill to put in mile marker sign posts. I passed a few of them. Seemed like I was moving at a decent pace, but never seemed to be able to see Justin or Luke up ahead. I came around one of the rockier sections to see Luke with his bike upside down on the trail. Minor chain in the spokes problem, and off he rolled.
I finally caught back up when he had stopped with Justin just before the switchover to the last mile of Holy Jim.
Felt like I was really making it up there quick. Not fast, speed-wise, but just moving along pretty good. I had to tripod around a few switchbacks and walk some hairier sections, but I never stopped for a break.
Before I knew it I was at the turn where Main Divide becomes visible, and shortly after I was at the nice HAB.
Justin decided to hit up the Divide and down Upper HJ, but my hammy was giving me some problems, and also I knew I had a road ride coming up the next day. Luke was content to hang with me, and we sent Justin off on a hard effort since we didn't want to wait too long!
We got moving again soon after (took less than 30 minutes for the loop!) and we were back to traversing the divide. We hit "the wall" and Luke found his climbing legs. I didn't see anything of him (except his jersey) until the end of the ride back at the truck!
Justin hung back with me for the most part.
It was such a crystal clear day! We could see all the way to Catalina.
I enjoyed my new kit also...
My legs were thoroughly trashed after the ride. Haven't felt that bad in awhile! Tried to elevate and rest them most of the afternoon, and we wound up in bed early. That was good, since it was up at 3:15. *grumble* I went back to bed from 5:30 to 7 or so.
Was due to ride with Luke around 10, and while I was worried my legs wound be trashed still, they felt great most of the ride. Took it easy for the first half, and second half was some harder efforts, especially into the headwind. Was definitely glad for the company; it would've been pretty lonely out there!
Looking forward to the rest day tomorrow, and watching Christmas Vacation tonight with my sis!