Milly's Riders: The Heat Was On...
And by heat I mean more than just high temperatures and ungodly humidity. There was plenty of the latter and, after spending a night tossing and turning because of it, I have had just about all I can stand. How hot was it? My bar-mount computer topped out over 100º F. Knowing how those things heat up when given a little sun, I will admit the reading may have been a little high, but not by much. Factor in the humidity, and you're right back over 100º. It was pretty brutal. Throw in some increasingly tough competition, and you have a torrid and tiring day in the saddle. I recently read of the trend in pro cycling for riders to freeze a while in special cryo-chambers after particularly hot, difficult stages. Where can I get one? Cold showers just are not quite enough.
los angeles river bike path
Anyway, the Milly's Riders p/b Squadra Folgore, came together and set out from the usual Highland Park meet up by about 8:30, basically riding a reverse of the loop we did two weeks ago. That meant tackling Mulholland earlier, but saving the heat of Sunland/Tujunga and the La Crescenta Valley later. And did we pay for that change? Did we ever.
The guys let me lead out nearly the entire way along the LA River for which I thank them. It was a heck of a warm-up. Of course when your entire game plan is built around the climb, that may not be the best thing to do, and for the most part I was content to follow wheels up Barham and Mulholland. Nick, showed that good form followed him home from Death Valley - Mt. Whitney, by playing the rabbit which everyone else had to chase. Alberto and I watched him jump away at the first major bump and there was nothing we could do. I felt a little like Alejandro Valverde watching a Contador attack. He was gracious though, saying that as long as he rode with us he would always be the young guy in the bunch. How true.
squeezing into the shade, a valuable commodity today
well, they are smiling, so the climb of mulholland could not have been too bad
down in the valley, north hollywood, maybe burbank. nick wearing the brew master jersey - something else to look forward to this cx season (though I forgot to ask if he won it in the competition)
shade, give me shade - la crescenta valley
verdugo avenue sharrow - not far now
No possibility of claiming the KOM today, and the more these guys keep riding, the more difficult it is to get away, trust me I tried on Mulholland. Some extra zigging and zagging in the second half of the loop gave us a slightly higher mileage total this time (53.28 miles) and more elevation gain (2499 ft). If you are following along, in no particular order Andrzej, Alberto, Thomas, Mason, Claudio, Enrique, Ben, Nick, Tony, Enrique's b-in-law whose name I can not seem to remember, and myself actively pursued Milly's game plan to health and happiness today. Hope everyone's weekend was just as fun (maybe a little less hot, though).