Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 217 - The Big La Tuna and Ghost Bikes

September 11, 2013         No weight this week.

Today was an hour and fifteen minute easy Z2 ride day. I woke up early again at 7:30 am and ate then I realized, I might want to wait a bit before riding the canyon. The road narrows and could be dangerous with the vehicles off to work passing buy! So I waited until 9:30 am to leave to avoid some traffic. 

What a beautiful day! It was only 69° outside with a nice cool breeze.  The sign says "All Saints next right. (Sinners to.)

As I rode to La Tuna Canyon road, I was paying a lot of attention to my legs and how they felt. Also, I tried eating something different for breakfast and wanted to see how I would feel. Trying to remember to just "top off" my glycogen from the previous evening instead of saturating my system. Translation: Eat just enough to have energy for exercise and not try to fuel for the entire morning.  My post workout recovery meal will do part of that.

The ride up La Tuna Canyon felt a little tougher today but not hard.  .  .Well, until I got to my turn around point from last time. Then the grade increased and the road lost the bike lane for a mile or two. Then it got tougher. Some of the cars zipping by at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour seemed to want to get as close as possible!

I had mapped out the turn around at what I thought was the highest point on the road. When I got there I paused and looked around. The was a paved access road leading to a dirt fire road snaking up a very steep hill nearby. Looks like I'm going to need to try again to get to the very top. The only thing is, to get to the access road, I would need to climb over a short wall. Not a big deal, I just hate to get off the bike before the end.
The ride back was all decent! I was flying down the hill and nervous the entire time. Then I spotted a white painted bicycle on the side of the road with a name plaque on it for the deceased rider. Man, do I hate to see those. I feel bad for both the rider and the person the hit them. They are great reminders to always watch out. I worry most about people just not paying attention, like texting.
The ride back was so fast that I was glad to ride well beyond the turnaround point on the way up. The real test was at the end though as I still had the hill in my neighborhood to deal with. It ended up not being too bad.
When I got back, I downloaded the info from my Garmin 910xt and loaded the file into Strava. I saw that the climb up La Tuna Canyon was a category 4 climb. As a matter of fact, so is the hill in my neighborhood, just smaller!

Tomorrow I have another ride scheduled but this time for an hour and thirty minutes and it includes some fun drills. I just learned that those all white bike memorials are called "Ghost Bikes" and the rider of the one on La Tuna Canyon was not hit, he lost control on the decent after being startled while in the middle lane. Sad. Until tomorrow my friends.

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