05 April 2012

My Own Private Waterloo


Thursday, April 5th

18 miles through parts of El Dorado County

I came, I saw, I tried.
I ran away.

I had cut down some roadie's 50 mile loop of hill-suffering fun to a 'mere' 35 miles. I knew it would be tough, but I didn't know how tough.

I'm not that tough!

I set out from my house on a splendidly clear cool spring morning to brave the perils of Bass Lake Road (I only had at most 10 cars patiently waiting behind me)

and then to chicken-brake down Seranno Blvd.

Then I hooked a left on Silva Valley and stopped off at the stripmall to use the restroom.

I take great pleasure in calling this recently built "town center" a strip mall.

Then out onto Latrobe Road where, when stopping to snack, a kind person in a pickup asked me if I was OK. People are great!

Latrobe, once it has shaken off pretentious El Dorado Hills, runs through pretty ranch land.

This side of Latrobe is flat. Did I ride over there? No.

Most of Labtrobe has shoulders or bike lanes, but eventually it is thoroughly rural with no shoulder. And a long hill! Again, the drivers were very patient with me.

Finally, I got to dive off onto Cothrin Ranch Road. Now I know why it is beloved by roadies near and far. It is pretty, quiet, and has stupidly steep hills. Hills short and long, some straight, but mostly curvy. Liberally decorated with potholes for bonus points.

After some miles of this, following the route I found on ridewithgps (which routes you onto, then off of, then back onto Cothrin Ranch Road) I came to a steep hill after a steep hill on Grazing Hill Road.
I was not sure I could make it.
So I decided (with NO research at all) to turn around (down hill, thank you) and return to Cothrin Ranch Road and just stay on it.

Those of you who know this area are probably laughing your asses off right now.

Did you know that not all roads remain paved? Well, I sure do now!

CRR turned into a gravelly mess, still with hills and so on. I had to push my trike up one hill because I just could not keep from repeatedly skidding out on my "baldie" tires. And then continue to push when it turned paved again since it was steep enough I was not sure I could start moving up it.

But I got this GREAT view on that damn gravel hill.

Ok. Pavement again. Whew.
Crap. More hills.
Look, more hills. Hills hills hills hills. What was I thinking!
Every single muscle in my legs was shaking like I've never seen. I got slower and slower and slower and slooooooooooooooower. I kept drinking water, and eating food. And gasping. And watching my legs shake.

Finally, I did the wise thing, called my sweetheart for a ride. While waiting, I loafed near an emu ranch and listened to them chirring away and to a distant dog barking barking barking.

While waiting, I also ate the rest of my two oranges, a handful of turkey jerky and a Kind bar.

Trikes are rolling loungers, even when parked.

I'm really glad I tried to do this ride. My sweetheart is sure I'm out of my mind, since he got to drive in on a SMALL selection of the kinds of hills I'd been battling all morning. And he also figured out how far away from the house I had gotten.

I'm also glad I bailed out, since the terrain would only get HILLIER later.

Blue line is part of where I rode. Red blob is what was ahead if I had not bailed.

My average was a stunning 6.9 mph and my top speed (on Bass Lake Road) was 35.4. I was frantically pedaling to stay ahead of a truck on a fast downhill.

Hey. Did you notice those shoes? I finally ditched the old Velcro-closure Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drifts with a new pair that has laces. I think they may even be more comfortable than my old pair. I'll have to re-learn how to clip in since they feel different from my old ones.

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