I'd intended to try to hit a hundred miles over the New Year weekend, but fell a bit short.
The weather here has been incredible - mid 60's to low 80's (depending on whether you're at the beach or inland) every day - just our normal, amazing Southern California winter weather, thank you!
Anyway, I got out late on Saturday, so opted for a short 10-mile blast to the lake and back. Tried to keep it as intense as possible, but the lake was super crowded - definitely not the place for a hot lap. It was already cooling and pre-dusk when I got back, so I decided to try to make it up on Sunday and Monday.
I got out late again Sunday and rode the 25-mile out-and-back to Adams and Park, initially intending to take a turn through downtown or maybe even Ocean Beach. When I got down to around 30th St., I was a little surprised at how much cooler and breezier it was (compared to home). Still, it was pleasant, but I decided to call Park my turnaround point, and resolved to go early and long on Monday.
When I left the house this morning, Monday at 9:30, it was just barely cool enough for the sweater I was wearing, but I had a hunch I might need it later, so I was carrying bungee cords in case I had to take it off, but hedging against cooler weather. I was only a block away from the house when I decided to turn back - that bottom bracket clunk was annoying and I decided I didn't want to fret about it on a long ride (more about the clunk in a later post). Too bad, I was really looking forward to riding the Blue bike - it felt so light and lively!
After transferring the water bottle and saddlebag to the single-speed Relic, I was on my way, and planning to do a 100K loop up to Del Mar, over the Hwy 56 bike trail and home - an ambitious ride for an old fart on a single-speed, but I've been riding a bit stronger lately, so I decided to go for it. I could always use public transportation for my bail-out plan, right?
I shed the sweater on the first climb, only 2 miles from home. It was gloriously warm and sunny, and looked like it would be a great ride day. Once I got down into the San Diego River Valley, I was glad I'd opted for the sweater and put it back on after getting to Mission Bay Park. The ride from the bay up the coast was fine, and I even felt pretty strong going up Gilman, chatting with a fellow cyclist, staying in the saddle about 3/4 of the way up, finally dismounting to walk it only up the last 70 yards or so, then re-mounting as soon as it leveled a bit, then up through the UCSD campus and over to Torrey Pines Rd. Coming down Torrey Pines grade, I was almost wishing I'd had something warmer than the sweater, but it proved to be enough once I started pedaling again.
The bike path next to Hwy 56 is really nice - rolling, clean, smooth, and quite scenic in spots. I wanted to take pictures for this post, but didn't want to fuss with digging in the saddlebag to get my phone.
Turning south on Black Mountain Road saw me doing more hike-a-bike, mostly because I was feeling a little gassed and my right knee was getting sore. Once I made it to Mira Mar road, the going was pretty easy, mostly downhill through Kearney Mesa and down to the Stadium. I was dreading the climb up to La Mesa, certain I'd be doing a lot of walking on my (now very tender) knee, so I opted for the bail-out, taking the trolley from the Stadium to within 1-1/2 miles of home.
It was a fine way to start the year, and sets a good benchmark (about 90 miles) for me to surpass. I intend to work up to 100-mile weekends in the spring (on a geared bike), and hopefully 100-mile days shortly after that, and perhaps even 200K brevets before year-end.