I’m so out of shape …

… ever since the Tour of California, I haven’t really been putting on the miles. Most mileage I’ve had since then is probably 30-40 miles, and none of it is really challenging. I guess those two weeks off turned me into a slug. I’ve started to feel myself gaining weight, but I am not about to weigh myself … I might commit hari kari.

So I decided to take advantage of some of the daylight while we have it, took off from the house at 5 pm (I should be able to complete Montebello and back before dark). Just in case I am too slow, I decided to carry my small blinkers (not my big heavy Niterider HID). It’s lucky that I did bring it, because as I got back, I did need those blinkers.

I knew I was going to be slow, but I made a mistake … went out too aggressive at the bottom of the hill. I guess all this time off really slowed me down. By the time I got to the top, almost 1 hour had passed by. Ugh … I was averaging about 52-55 minutes, but now it’s 60 minutes.

I made another mistake … the day before, I worked out in the gym for the first time in a while … and yes, worked out too hard. The very next morning, my mid-section on my back was a little sore. That is not a good thing to have when on a bike. So that meant skipping my morning commute. I was tired of getting everything prepared the first thing at 4:45 am anyways, so it was okay for me to skip riding in.

This is the problem I’ve always had … with the thought in my mind that I am out of shape, I try to make it up too quickly … Doh! Feel like slapping myself silly … I should know better than that. What can I say .. I’m one of those idiotic cyclists mentioned in ME’s blog

Now I did stop to take a few pictures while on my way up to the top, but I cannot, with conscience, attribute the time to the few times I stopped to take a few pictures. Besides, most of the pictures were while I was coming down the hill.

Taking pictures with a compact camera near dusk is tricky. Your eye sees a beautiful shot, but then when you take it, it has a much different appearance. I had to crop the hell out of the above shot, and needed to “photoshop” the hell out of this. I used Gimp (open source, non-paying application, similar to photoshop), and had to darken this quite a bit, and turn the contrast way up. Still, the photo doesn’t do justice to the beauty out there just before sunset.

I’ve always liked taking pictures with the sun in the background, with a dark foreground accentuating the fact that the sun is going down. This is still not quite what I had in mind, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere.

More pics here.

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