25 November 2011

Santa Baby, slip a gear under the tree, for me


9 miles, 900 feet in Folsom

Friday, November 25th

I could not immediately decide on a title for today's post. So I've distributed other potential titles throughout this post. Have fun.

Followed by the # sign 
I had mapped out a 17 mile extremely ambitious climbing route around El Dorado Hills. My ambitions foundered on too many gated communities. Since I never did deliver pizza for a living, I don't have the gate codes memorized. When I encountered a road interrupted by a gate, I'd pull out my phone (smart phone) and try to deduce an alternate route to my next road. I found myself, at the top of Elmores, dripping sweat onto my phone. Flying back down Elmores, frustrated by yet more gates, I nearly froze to death from rapidly evaporating sweat at 25mph.
51 degrees and I'm dripping sweat. I guess this hill-climbing stuff is work.

The Mashed Potato
I took a short break at Promontory Park, and then started up Beatty. This is a locally famous hill (attaining 16% grades in sections). Well, I just mashed my way on up there. I discovered several things: I don't like mashing; my speedometer does not read speeds less than 1mph although the odometer still functions; and I really do want lower gearing.

Leaving Promontory Park

I got almost all the way to the top when I noticed a strange sensation. My rear tire was losing traction and slipping on the damp pavement! So now I know that grades approaching 16% are too steep for my current setup.

View from my turnaround. Yeah! I climbed THAT!

Whupped by 16%
I turned around (awkwardly since I had to get a little sideways in the bike lane so I could pry myself out of the seat). So of COURSE at this moment a pack of roadies come up the hill. I would like to believe they swallowed my "skidding out, must stop" explanation, but I'm guessing they figured the broad broad on three wheels just bit off more than she could chew.
Maybe that's also true.

The part of Beatty I didn't ride on.

Yellow, with Feathers
I knew I'd be nervous coming back down Beatty, but I had not anticipated the added 'thrill' of knowing my tires might slide. So I put my Avid BB7 brakes to very good use, chicken-braking all the way down. The need for braking was exacerbated by the upcoming stop, then left turn onto Alexandria from the end of Beatty.

More Beatty

The Kneed for Speed
Mashing is just like repeated one-legged leg-presses. I don't like it. If I had lower gearing, I would turn my legs faster (mashing less) and go even slower. That would be fine with me! My middle-aged knees do not need the added abuse of mashing. I had one little twinge on the right (on my last hill) so I babied my right knee by giving it a free ride around with my left. As a result, the top of my left foot is sore from the pressure exerted by the shoe on my return pulling stroke. Where's my ice bag!?

Elmores Rd It does not look like much, but I was blazing along at 1.1 mph.

I'm Mental
I've recently become fond of the British "you're mental" instead of "you're crazy/nuts" that we'd use. Today I decided I was mental since I'm trying to figure out if swapping my 26 tooth granny for a 22 would be worth the expense and hassle. Why was I wondering this? Because I don't like being defeated by a hill and am thinking about trying Beatty again.

Today's ride:

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