The Little Engine that... Yes! More Accordion

Is that an accordion I hear? It sure sounds like it. I know that after the San Dimas Stage Race I posted that there should be more accordion at races, but I didn't really expect anything to come of it...

After yesterday's bust of a day - no Rwanda Ride, no All Gaucho Reunion, no Fullerton Loop Swap Meet, no Rockabilly Festival, no anything but a dead battery in the engine - I didn't know that there was anything on the calendar today that would turn the weekend around. Then I saw Richard's post about riding up to the Notch before beginning his volunteer shift at the Battle of the Brews. I also knew that the L' Etape du California would be finishing up their long day at the same place as the Battle. There is two times the excitement in one little place, and with that I rushed out the door this morning, Mrs. in tow. 

It was a gorgeous day up on Baldy, the kind that makes you forget anything but being in that moment. Even so, I frequently found myself wondering why my last ride up the Notch was, at least, a year and a half in the past. The mrs. seemed to have forgotten what a grind that climb can be, but she kept the pedals turning (except a few walking stretches), pushing on, slow but steady, to the top. Our three compatriots this day, Richard, Doug, John were tucking into a quick lunch at the Notch Lodge when we arrived, but we all saddled up at the same time for the quick and sudden drop back down where brews, Pappas (for the riders and volunteers), and sweat-stained, salt-encrusted, leg-weary, and lung-busted riders finished their L'Etape circuit, and settled into seats in the shade, or wandered around in an daze of exhaustion, while the chords from an accordion-playing Frenchman drifted through the mountain air.

the Falls

Almost there


the Serious Cycling guys

photo with Jens, of course

Pappas Artisanal serving some hungry riders


As I do with race photos, there is a Flickr album with a few photos (74); check them with a click, and congrats to all you L'Etape riders - that is one killer route, and you did it.