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  #441  
Old 01-28-2012, 04:21 PM
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Felt terrible at work Friday, thinking it was a bad night's sleep. By the time I got home, I knew it was the beginnings of a head cold. Woke up too early this AM, and hated life. So, instead of starting at Descanso, requiring a 6:45am departure from home, I decided to start at TJ's and leave home at 7:40 instead. Much nicer.

Pace felt normal, but the cycling God was with us and we hit green light after green light. Even the few reds we hit only required slowing and rarely putting a foot down. We ended up arriving at Sierra Madre about 10-mins earlier than normal.

Cold at the Rose Bowl at the beginning, it warmed quickly after TJ's. Larger pack than lately, probably around 125+. AJ was at or on the front way too much this morning, so we'll see what he has left for the races tomorrow. He can cruise at a good clip for a long time, but is still lacking that last sprinting top end. It could just be the restricted 52x14 gear he has, though. The last two weeks, he's been hitting the top of Bradbury in the top-3 or 4 places. Although, we haven't seen too many of the top riders lately. 1 or 2, but not the normal 10+.

I made it over Bradbury in 51-secs, not my best but best this year (other times were around 54-57 secs). My HR didn't explode until about 10-20yds after the summit, which is a switch: it usually explodes 10-20 yds before the summit!

I then recovered nicely, was able to move up easily & shut down gaps on Foothill, and stayed with the main group until about 35yds before the 2nd stop sign on Sierra Madre Blvd.

Form seems to be coming along nicely. Hopefully I will continue to successfully watch the calories and drop another 20-pounds or more.
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  #442  
Old 02-18-2012, 03:21 PM
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Last ride was 3 Saturdays ago. I came down with a cold, knocked me off my feet on the following Tue/Wed & no riding after that. Then it moved into my chest, so I took the next week off as well, trying my hand at Valley of the Sun at the end of the week (mistake!). Cold appears to now be out of my chest (or at least minimal), but back into my head again. So after commuting to work Thurs & Fri this week, I rode Montrose again.

Pace seemed hard all morning, but it was probably because I haven't ridden much. The high school sprint was kinda a sprint that wasn't. The pace picked up, but the front of the pack was pretty solid. Usually, you can see riders all over the road with gaps between. Not today. AJ & Bert (Glennon) were the prime movers for the sprint.

Although a hard-ish pace, I was never past my limit and in danger of popping off except up Bradbury Hill. I was near the front just past Encanto Park, but as we slowed for a couple stop signs on Royal Oaks Dr., the field swarmed and I ended up about 2/3rds back in the pack at the start of the climb. This forced me to start off slower than I would have liked and so had to accelerate at the beginning. I passed quite a few people, including Mikey, a heavier cat 2 (I believe) crit specialist. I still managed a 54-second effort up but had to ease off further down than I would have liked. I was dangling just off the back as we descended with a very large pack just in front of me. I managed to regain contact before the turn, and stayed with.

At the end, I had to ease off as we turned up Highland Oaks Drive. The front pack was still kinda big and driving too fast for me on the climb up to Sierra Madre Blvd. I took it easy, put it in my 39x19 and tried to spin in to the finish.

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  #443  
Old 03-03-2012, 03:47 PM
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Very strange vibe during today's ride. Coming don from Descanso, a bunch of us in line managed to ride right over a pothole or something. I was sure I'd get apinch flat while I watched the water bottle from the guy in front of me roll around on the ground. I weirdly didn't flat, but another guy in front did, so we waited (tradition prior to Trader Joe's).

Then, we continued on, riding slowly behind 3 or 4 cars on the Arroyo as they slowly drove through the turns that we take at 26mph+. I think everyone else was feeling this weirdness so we rolled easily to TJ's after that. Then, a train crossing (not unusual, just one more thing). Then a stopped car in front of us so we all went around.

The most unusual? We had to have 250 riders there today, or close to it. We were never strung out single file: too many riders. We were always 3-4 or more riders wide. Weird. People along the road would stop & stare at the parade going through town.

By the finish, I was wiped out. I practiced moving up alongside the pack throughout the ride, cruising by on the side, working on my power output. Everyone else felt that we had just flown to the finish, but instead, we still got there a minute or two later than normal.

Weird.
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  #444  
Old 03-03-2012, 06:21 PM
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well you did get to trader joes a bit later than normal, so if we finished a few minutes later than normal then it was quicker, i guess...
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  #445  
Old 03-24-2012, 05:16 PM
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Long Read...

Good ride this AM. I have been off my bike for 16 days: had a flu bug and a teammate told me I wasn't allowed to ride until I felt normal again, lest I come down w/walking pneumonia.

So, finally feeling better/normal, this past Tuesday, I took my first ride (commute to work). Not-so-wisely, though, at work I did a bit of running in a staff kickball game. I haven't ran since college days & division III football (the same football that messed up my knees and doesn't allow me to walk too many stairs, let alone run). So, for the rest of the week, my right knee was inflamed a bit and my quadriceps in both legs were sore, feeling like I have a nice tear. But finally, waking up this morning, the swelling had gone way down/disappeared. The sore quads were still there and the right one would hurt like no tomorrow every time I got the bike moving from a red light or other stop. Even now, 5 hours later, it's still sore, just sitting here.

So I rode Montrose fully expecting to struggle along Arrow Highway and/or get dropped, with definite droppage in my mind up Bradbury Hill.

Amazingly, I felt great. Coming down from Descanso, I was routinely pushing the pace, feeling like I wasn't even working. I could roll off the front with minimal effort and string out the field whenever I wanted. Climbing up the Arroyo out of the Bowl, I felt everyone else was moving in slow motion as I passed most of the group, slotting in just 4 wheels back.

After the whole group joined @ TJ's, I still moved around, easily accelerating to pass riders or close gaps. The only place I was put in pressure was along Arrow Highway in Irwindale through the retail shops. I had moved up front, about 9-10 wheel, behind a small group of cat 1's & 2's who weren't at Redlands. There, they started pushing the pace. The guy immediately in front couldn't hold the wheel and started gapping off. I came around his right and started closing the gap myself, but it was too long of an effort. I decided to not blow up in the effort to close it down. Of course, right then, the Montrose Ride character displayed itself, and we hit a red light, allowing me to easily regroup and catch a breather.

I was happily surprised to be feeling so good and still in contact at this point. As we approached Bradbury, I did find myself too far back in the pack, and was resigning myself to getting dropped on the climb. I rounded the turn, stood up, and just pedaled smoothly, trying to maintain an even power output. About half way up, I sat down and tried my best to spin (in too big a gear, though). When in shape, I can get up the climb in 45-48 seconds, but today would take 57 seconds. Somehow, though, I made it over the top still in contact.

Still thinking I'm going to get dropped, the next spot would be the final climbs up to Sierra Madre Blvd, and probably early on. Somehow, the group wasn't exactly drilling it, and I managed to stay with until just after the steep section, before the 2nd stop sign, where I sat up and tried to control my breathing.

Wow. Excellent day.
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  #446  
Old 06-09-2012, 02:30 PM
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Felt slow-ish this morning. Coming down from the Gardens, we were aware police were in the area so we stopped at all stop signs. 2nd one in, cop sitting on our wheels pulls us over. He tries to lecture us about not stopping, we vociferously state that we did stop. Then he tries the old tactic of making up rules as he goes along, "You all need to ride no more than double file and as far right as possible" yadda-yadda-yadda...

We were going to argue the point, but most everyone just wanted to leave. That's the real problem: we just want to be left alone and this allows misconceptions to become "facts" for people and cops. Oh well.

I spun out at the HS sprint (53x11), probably hitting about 40-ish mph. I might have been able to go a bit faster, but was 15th wheel back and didn't feel any pressing need. Watched Bert take off from 13th spot and about 250m to the line in his 55x11 gear. He won.

I was over-geared as we turned onto the bottom of Bradbury. Hoped to just turn it over to the top, but had to shift about halfway up. By then, I was a bit cooked. 51-seconds with a PR of 48-secs.

Cops had pulled over some other rider as we approached Sierra Madre (not sure if he was with us or not). Seems like the club riders (rec riders?) get pulled over more than us for running stop signs through S.M. .

In the end, took about 2:07 to do the route. Usually around 1:59 or so. Weird.
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  #447  
Old 06-16-2012, 01:52 PM
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Good ride with a couple incidents thrown in for good measure. I tied my PR on Bradbury Hill (48secs) and set a new PR going up Salvia Canyon road coming out of the Rose Bowl (on way to ride start--a warmup). I was moving around the pack at will, helping set pace on/near the front, moving up the sides, even along Arrow Hwy. Felt good.

First incident: a rider from another group (maybe the early starting Montrose Ride?) had crashed just at the High School sprint line. My son said it looked like a car was involved, but I didn't see it. Firetruck, paramedics & ambulance were all on-scene (rider taken by ambulance), so no sprint as the vehicles were all over the road.

Second: Raul is a complete idiot. A danger to himself & others & he shouldn't be riding in groups!!! I have never had my front wheel swept so completely! He missed hitting it with his rear derailleur with maybe 2 inches between us! His butt almost hit my handlebars! Another rider immediately to my right, so I couldn't go anywhere, except stop pedaling & slow. As he passes me on the left he comes in. So blatantly dangerous even the guys around me & behind were commenting about what a jerk he is.

Third: Coming down Foothill, a car waiting at the cross street (Alta Vista) decides to cross right in front of us. I was clocking 33mph at this section. Apparently, the driver somehow didn't see us (a pack of 45+ riders!) until too late, so he stops before completing the cross, sticking into the roadway, and decides to now turn left/parallel park as we barrel down on him. Everybody except one rider missed. The one broad-sided the car, breaking the side window, crashing onto the ground. I passed by in some sort of slow mental motion looking to make sure it wasn't AJ (it wasn't), a parents worst nightmare. Amazingly, nobody else was hit/crashed. Riders quickly surrounded the car (preventing any sort of flight) and began cursing him (not the smartest, but given the adrenaline and potential damage: understandable). A cop was spotted right at that moment coming the other way, so we flagged him down and emergency services were called. Amazing.

The rest of the ride (4-miles?) was ridden at a nice slow, conversational pace.
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  #448  
Old 09-08-2012, 01:01 PM
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Have a bad foot so I couldn't ride today. Instead, I provided (a tiny bit of) SAG for my son, AJ. I also took video. For those who have never done Montrose, this might give you a wee bit of an inkling what it's like (or maybe not):

http://youtu.be/duidwrIqKQc
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  #449  
Old 09-22-2012, 03:06 PM
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Took the long course today. Maybe a premature mistake. Two weeks ago, due to my foot issue, I took most of the week off. This week, I was feeling good, so decided to go long. Too much, too soon? Maybe.

I spent alot of time near the front prior to the split, picking out spots where I wanted to be very close. For instance, the USC/UCLA game was in the Bowl, so they had setup a bunch of traffic cones on the roads near the RB neighborhood. So, I had decided to be near the front so I could pick my own line & I did.

Then, as we joined the Trader Joe's group, I again went to the front. Other riders were stringing us out here, as well. One rider to my side asked if we "were racing".

And just before the HS sprint, we got the green traffic light (pretty rare occurrence), so I had a fighting chance in the sprint. I pushed myself, jumping wheel-to-wheel and managed a top-10. So, maybe the extra work sapped my energy for the long route.

I was OTB on each of the four climbs, but, due to some well-timed lights & stop signs, I was able to latch back on. Then I would recover a (tiny) bit, before moving up front for the next climb. Very tiring.

Not very hot out, but somewhat humid. Perspiration was dripping off me, messing up my glasses throughout (especially at stop lights).

I heard there had been one crash on Arrow Highway somewhere. As I was more toward the front, I never heard anything at the time.

As the packs split at Gladstone, it seemed we had a good sized group to go long. But after a bit, it looked alot smaller. Smaller pack: fewer places to hide. A couple accelerations going up Gladstone, but not the "coughing up vomit" relentless pace we sometimes see.

The kitchen & hammer alley both hurt as per usual. At the foot of the wall, though, again we caught a green light, so I was able to use my momentum to get half-way up before having to dig deep, dangling OTB at the top and sucking air through a straw. And Bradbury, I somehow was able to pace myself over the top.

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  #450  
Old 09-22-2012, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Took the long course today. Maybe a premature mistake. Two weeks ago, due to my foot issue, I took most of the week off. This week, I was feeling good, so decided to go long. Too much, too soon? Maybe.

I spent alot of time near the front prior to the split, picking out spots where I wanted to be very close. For instance, the USC/UCLA game was in the Bowl, so they had setup a bunch of traffic cones on the roads near the RB neighborhood. So, I had decided to be near the front so I could pick my own line & I did.

Then, as we joined the Trader Joe's group, I again went to the front. Other riders were stringing us out here, as well. One rider to my side asked if we "were racing".

And just before the HS sprint, we got the green traffic light (pretty rare occurrence), so I had a fighting chance in the sprint. I pushed myself, jumping wheel-to-wheel and managed a top-10. So, maybe the extra work sapped my energy for the long route.

I was OTB on each of the four climbs, but, due to some well-timed lights & stop signs, I was able to latch back on. Then I would recover a (tiny) bit, before moving up front for the next climb. Very tiring.

Not very hot out, but somewhat humid. Perspiration was dripping off me, messing up my glasses throughout (especially at stop lights).

I heard there had been one crash on Arrow Highway somewhere. As I was more toward the front, I never heard anything at the time.

As the packs split at Gladstone, it seemed we had a good sized group to go long. But after a bit, it looked alot smaller. Smaller pack: fewer places to hide. A couple accelerations going up Gladstone, but not the "coughing up vomit" relentless pace we sometimes see.

The kitchen & hammer alley both hurt as per usual. At the foot of the wall, though, again we caught a green light, so I was able to use my momentum to get half-way up before having to dig deep, dangling OTB at the top and sucking air through a straw. And Bradbury, I somehow was able to pace myself over the top.

Ride With GPS link.
Strava link.

Son?
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