Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Going downhill

Going downhill is scary.

I don't like it at all.

I don't like it with a box, I don't like it with a fox.

Going uphill rocks.

Of course, I'm talking about going downhill on a bike. You know, reaching speeds of 40 miles an hour, then seeing a pin curve in the road ahead. Of course, this rarely happens to me, because I'm fluttering my brakes most of the time. I know it's just practice and a bit of gall, but for now all I can think about it my last breath or what my face would look like after my skull hits a tree or tumbles hundreds of feet to my death below.

Sorry for the visual.

This weekend I rode the Sequoia Century 100k with some Meetup folks. I had been looking for a safe opportunity to climb Tunitas Creek. I had heard horror stories. So, I figured I would try it out with a few hundred other people - safety in numbers. The ride was super awesome, and I'm proud of myself for finishing my longest, most vertical ride ever. Yeah, I had to break up Redwood Gulch, but I made it. The steady climbing up Skyline Boulevard was just fine, and I even liked the 6 miles of Tunitas Creek - sections of 14% grade? Whatever. Totally doable. I met a guy at the bottom of the climb who said, "It's a beautiful ride up," and I focused on that most of the time. Trees, streams, lovely sun beams. Everything about it was breath-taking.

(Pun intended.)

I would climb Tunitas Creek again over and over if I didn't have to go down Alpine Road to get there, or down Kings Mountain to get back to the flat road. I saw a deer on Alpine Road and thought, "Oh deer, please don't move. Please don't come into the road!!" I found myself envious of the people going 6 mph up the steep parts of Kings Mountain, and I was just scared to blink on my way down at 30 mph. I know it just takes some getting used to, and I have yet to encounter such a downhill on a triathlon course so I don't do it very often.

Another metric century in the books. Except this one was 109.4 kilometers. Sneaky ride organizers!

About halfway through, at the lunch stop with GK. I sported my new SVTC riding gear. Gotta break it in! Also, next time I ride next to the beach, I need to remember arm warmers. It got rather cold, and I wasn't expecting it on a 90 degree day inland. It sucks going downhill when you are freezing. (Forgot to mention that earlier.)

After the ride with Steven. The hot meal at the end of this ride was great, and I got to spend an hour with some quality people and compare notes.

Sorry I didn't get any pictures of going downhill. Too risky.

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