I had my forced 3 day pto this week, so I decided to take Hwy 2 up to Red Box Junction, which is one the road up to the top of Mt. Wilson goes. What better day to go, on a Friday, when everyone is still in the office and don’t have to contend with crazy drivers on a normal weekend.
I started from the Rose Bowl and it was a little overcast but now too bad. One thing I forgot .. sunscreen. Overcast skies made me forget about it. I was hoping the 7-11 art the bottom of the hill would have some. I asked the guy if he had some … he said no, but I was able to find one. Does he not know what sunscreen is? Oh well, not to worry. At least I can lather up so I won’t turn into a tomato.
Once I got into Angeles Forest, the sun was out. Good thing I stopped at 7-11. I started out with a good cadence, beginning the ride in my middle ring. I was following the advise from the cycling360 podcast (http://www.cycling360media.com/gears-and-gear-ratios/) to shift often. I typically went straight to the granny gear, but today, I decided to try powering up, at least for a little bit of it. That kept the climb from being boring but the scenery and the fact that there wasn’t a constant flow of mad trucks and motorcycles, did help a lot.
My original goal was just to get up to Clear Creek Junction, and depending on how I felt, I would either continue up to Red Box, head back down, or head down on Angeles Forest Hwy, and onto Big Tujunga. Well, I got to Clear Creek around 10:45 am, and I was not completely wiped, so I decided to continue onto Red Box.
When you look at the road ahead, the climb looks daunting. It’s actually not as bad as it looks. It’s an optical illusion. I just had to continue on the same climbing cadence that got me this far. Another rider passed me, commenting that he hates this bump. I told him he looks better than me, and his response was “I don’t feel better” as he speeds away from me. He’s just sand bagging, that’s all.
I got up to Red Box Junction at around 11:30 am .. wow got here faster than I thought I would. I did start going up Mt. Wilson for a short while, but I want feeling it. I should probably head back, ago I just turned back. I was just enjoying the scenery and the thought of the long fast descent just kept me smiling.
I got back down to the Rose Bowl around 1 pm. Pretty good timing. That’s a good PTO ride. Nicer little 41 mile, 4500 feet climb. Now to spend the rest of the day like a normal human being.