I am happy to report that I survived Thanksgiving weekend without gaining a single pound. Wow, now that’s an achievement. I was particularly nervous about this holiday season, as I worked so hard to get myself to a fitness level that I am happy with. I had a regular routine going on, with a set meal pattern, and a set training pattern, and with this, it would cause an abrupt change. Thankfully, I retained the same weight before the weekend started, despite all the good food.
My strategy on commuting during big holidays like this is to leave on the day of the holiday itself. The idea here is that everyone is scrambling to get to their destination the day before, and by the time I start out in the morning, everyone will either be sleeping, or already at their destination. I treated this day like any other work day (waking up at 4:40 am), and hit the road by 6 am.
It was nice traveling through to the first rest stop (somewhere north of Coalinga), and not have a whole lot of traffic. This picture was taken at the rest stop … notice lots of parking space still available.
This strategy worked like a charm. I ended up getting to my dad’s place in Monterey Park by noon, just in time to catch the trailing end of the Packers spanking the Lions in the traditional NFL Thanksgiving Day games.
Dinner was at 4 PM, so there was plenty of time to rest up. Unfortunately, the afternoon game was the Raiders vs. Cowboys, and it was just embarrassing to see how bad the Raiders are on national television. So what else is new?
Dinner was good. There was the normal turkey, stuffing, pineapple and ham. As usual, I eat too much whenever there is a feast like this … but I guess that’s what the word feast means … eat!!!!
I did overeat tonight … had myself two helpings, but I couldn’t help myself. Even with all this feasting, later in the evening, I didn’t really feel like I was bloated. All I knew was I had to get out and ride the following days.
Friday, was kind of a weird day. I was hooking up with Herb and the gang at Budget Bicycles, just outside of Eagle Rock. The plan was supposed to be to meet at 9:30 am, but they ran really late. I didn’t feel like waiting a long time, and getting my legs cold, so I continued on my own local ride. I did get some climbing in, but only made it 30 miles. In addition to the failed meet up, my phone was not fully charged, and my Garmin was not charged up the night before. So no ride stats, and possibility of being out there alone without a cell phone to call anyone, in case of emergency. This combination made me have to cut my ride short.
Saturday was much better planned. I met up with Herb and the gang in Burbank (actually rode over to Burbank, so already had 20 miles before starting the actual ride). However, I gotta tell you that before leaving for LA, I had taken my saddle bag off, and was going to dump it in my duffle bag when leaving on the trip. Well … um … the saddle bag was not in the duffle bag. Like a doofus, I left it at home, which had my spare tub, tire irons, etc … Yesterday, I stuffed a spare tube that I leave for my other bike, in my jersey pockets, but today, I completely forgot. So today, I was risking it, riding without any spare tubes. I didn’t want to suffer the embarrassment by telling everyone, so I was secretly hoping to make it through the whole ride without a flat … and luckily, I made it.
I was amazed at how fit I am. Jason is a really strong rider, and I was just a notch below his level, but was able to chat with him, going up the climb on Chantry Flats. It was cool, but not cold at all. I guess I am used to this cool overcast type weather, since I ride this type of weather all the time in the Bay Area. Hey, at least it wasn’t foggy going up the mountain like it was going up Page Mill several weeks ago. Instead, it was a crispness in the air. Made it to the top in 34 minutes (not like I was time trialing it). Not sure what a good time going up Chantry is, but I imagine it’s a similar length and elevation gain as OLH.
When I drove down on Thursday, the weather was gorgeous, and there wasn’t even a hint of bad road conditions going up the grapevine. However, on Saturday morning, it was reported that CHP had to escort some cars over the Tejon Pass, and there was snow on the Grapevine. Ooh, this is bad news for me. Strange how you are driving through one area, and it’s beautiful weather, and a day later, you see snow, and bad or hazardous road conditions. I had to re-think my commute back to the Bay Area, so I decided to take the scenic route, and go 101 instead of the 5. This is a longer route (adds about 2 more hours to the drive).
The weather was really nice on the drive back. I don’t know if the road conditions cleared up on the Gravevine, but I just didn’t want to take that chance. So I went ahead and drove along the coast, on 101. Again, I started out early, around 7 am, which made for a pleasant drive.