I felt pretty strong over the past week, hill climbing pretty strong, so I felt I was ready to tackle Montrose. My speed was pretty good, and I was continually up in the middle of the pack, so things seem to be looking up. We were screaming … I mean just screaming down Huntington Dr (averaging between 25-35 mph), and I felt as if I might actually hang in with the pack for the entire ride. Then, we got to Arrow Hwy, and I was struggling to follow the wheel in front of me.
At this point, I recall a great Phil and Paul quote … “turning your body inside out” … and that’s exactly how I felt at this point. Then, I lost touch with the pack. So the next thing I know, I am now at the back of the pack, and being distanced. My heartrate peaked at 181 bpm … no wonder. I just wanted to stop and curl over. Then, suddenly, I see about 20 cyclists huddled around the slow lane. Holy crap … a crash. Reports from some of the other riders I talked to was wheels crossed, and it affected 4 riders. I also heard 1 of the riders suffered a broken hip. That sucks!
I decided to take a shortcut on Irwindale, and cut over to Foothill, then Encanto and onto the route. What was amazing is they were only 5 minutes behind, till they caught up with me.
The original plan was to go hammer with Montrose, climb Chantry, then climb St. Katherine’s. Well, hammering with Montrose really took a lot out of me, so I opted just for Chantry and not for St. Katherine. My climbing wasn’t as strong as I hoped it would be, and it probably impacted my time, so I was not shooting for a personal best on this climb.
While I was up here, I figured I might as well go up to the helicopter chopper pad. Even though I was spent, I still wanted to charge up the hill. It doesn’t seem like many people know about this climb up to the chopper pad, or maybe they just don’t care to climb this. For those that don’t know about it, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s an amazing view from the top.
Ride Stats: 53.1 miles, 3105 feet climbing (most of it after breaking off from the Montrose ride). More stats at http://www.strava.com/rides/143091