Just Put Me To Pasture

Back when i was in my early thirties, or maybe i had not finished off the third decade to reach even that point yet, i was climbing over Santa Susana Pass out of western San Fernando Valley. I had just started up the SSP Road when i passed a gent who was probably about the same age i find myself at now. You know, the "not as fast as i once was but not ready to admit it" age. I was in my element, the climb, and wouldn't slow down for anything. His words were to the effect of "damn, thanks for making me feel old!"

Today i found the tables turned. I was headed up San Dimas Canyon Road when a rider all decked out in BMC Hincapie Development Team kit (a past years' kit by the looks of it - i know it is not this years kit since BMC and Hincapie Sportswear aren't collaborating now) flew past me. I was climbing respectably, but might as well have been standing still. He was charging hard up that grade, clearly putting a lot of effort into it, and that was reflected in his rapid and deep breathing. It was like a locomotive bearing down on me. You don't go that fast without a little talent and an engine to put it to good effect. I watched him pull away, but made it up to the high point before he came back up after the little descent to the turn around at roads end. As he approached, and maybe thinking this middle aged fool was having a heart attack as i crouched down next to my bike, he asked if everything was okay. Sure, all is good. It was just to snap this shot - the day i admitted to myself "i am not the rider i think i once was".

I will be damned if i am going out to that pasture yet though. There is still just too much riding for that.