It’s April and it looks like the weather is starting to look like it. After a record rain season this past winter, I’m ready for it to dry up. Temps got to 80° this past weekend, and that’s good news for cycling.
For the first time, I didn’t have to wear arm or knee warmers for a ride. It was nice (although I kept a light windbreaker, just in case it got windy or cold).
I went with Al, my co-worker, to do an epic ride, up Morgan Territory (which we normally descent). This is affectionately known as “the plunge”, but we’re doing it in reverse. The reason why we do this is the road is not completely passable on the other side in Clayton. So the plan is go up Morgan Territory, then down, then over to Mt. Diablo.
It was a gorgeous day out, however it was also very windy. Morgan Territory had some stretches of 12-15% grades, and some stiff headwinds, as well as some crosswinds. It made a tough climb even tougher. I think my fitness is starting to come back as I got to the summit at the same time that Al did.
On the descent, I wanted to be careful of the crosswinds, and make sure I don’t get blown off the cliff. There were a few times in past DMD events where a rider went off the cliff. Luckily, the crosswinds didn’t kick up too much while on out descent.
Onto Diablo, and we were heading a little bit into the wind. I kinda like flat stretches, going into a headwind. I get down into an aero position, and just power it through. I may not be fast, but get some steady power, and it feels good. Al didn’t like the headwind, so he was more than happy to draft behind me.
All that pulling may have had an adverse affect on me, when we made the turn onto Blackhawk and onto Diablo. My legs were not feeling it, and my knee even felt a twinge. I didn’t want to push it too hard, and I was way behind. I decided to just go up to the junction at the ranger’s station, and head back at that point. It took a lot out of my legs.
At least on the way back it was easier. There was a nice fast stretch on Collier Canyon on the way back. However, with the winds, and the vegetation out there, it really attacked my allergies. Eyes were all red, sneezing left and right … Yeah, spring is here. My allergies were kicking into high gear, but that’s ok. I can feel the fitness coming, and it feels good. This was a much tougher off-season than in years passed.