Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cruisin' the Conejo

This is a first. For the first time, I had fun pedaling for 100 miles in the Cruisin' the Conejo event. No, the course wasn’t that great, we had to stop at what it felt like a 100 signal lights in the suburban mall & condo nightmare that is Thousand Oaks. For a while, however, we revisited the Santa Monicas, climbing up to Mullholland drive then down a steep roller coaster descent. Long stretches among the fields and unending climbs back to Moorpark and then to the starting point completed the day. Yet, even if only half of the course had worthwhile views, climbs and twisties , it was a glorious day, mostly spent passing other people, which definitely adds to the fun.

We started fast, but not as fast as a group of middle aged riders wearing a light blue Amgen jersey. They were fairly organized, and took off after a little while. We had to let them go, feeling their rhythm was unwise at seven in the morning, having several hours of riding ahead, and some of the worst climbs after twenty miles or so. It was with great satisfaction of course that I met all of them again twelve miles from the arrival. They did not look so fast then, but still traveled as a group in the flats passing me and clogging the road ahead at the first hint of a hill. After the recent Saturday event I don’t feel really comfortable riding in a group of obviously tired people whose overall riding skills are unknown. After a couple of replays of the same game, I just could not stand it anymore, and went around to pass them all uphill. I raced down the other side, never looking back, grabbed a couple of green lights and they were gone forever.

I’m adding one additional 100 miler to the training program, but the focus though May and June will be hill climbing. Today, muscles are sore, but I can’t wait to put my rear end on the saddle and my feet on the pedals: must be a good sign!

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