Time for my monthly visit to see dad but I couldn’t get Friday off, so I had to fly down instead. That means riding my heavy, ~25 lb Pink Diamond Back, 53-39, 12-26. Karen is leading another Crystal Lake ride, so I gotta do that, but on this heavy bike? Well, I am training for DMD, so I figure it would be good training … Weight training.
As with my previous hard rides, I came with a little nap sack on my back. Karen couldn’t find a way to carry her jacket (needed for the cold descent), so I offered to carry it in my bag. That just means that she’ll have to wait for me to grind it up the hill, and most likely have to wait for me.
The lead group was fast. There was no way I can keep up with them, even if I did have my Volagi with me. I was able to hang in with Karen up to the first re-group, which was a little past East Fork Road. We re-grouped, with just enough time to take my dork shot:
… and a photo bomb!
After a short rest, we’re back to continue the climb. However, as in past rides, this is usually where I get dropped. It was even more amplified with the fact that I’m on a heavier bike, and without mountain gearing. And yes, I do get dropped here. I continue grinding it up along, and catch up to Rick, who started out about 5 minutes before we did. We rode up together for the rest of the climb to Crystal Lake.
Chatting with Rick while slogging up this long climb definitely helped pass the time away. Since I’ve done this climb a couple times before, just remembering all the points of interest also helped me gauge how far up along the climb I am. I do remember the Crystal Lake turnoff was a little past the 5000 foot elevation level, and that helped too. However, I noticed the 4000 foot elevation level sign was missing. What happened there?
Descending back down Hwy 39, we turned off on East Fork Road, on the way to Camp Williams, and onto climb Little GMR. I was Rick all the way to Camp Williams, but after we left there, I was dropped again. I think I just had a little too much climbing, and too much distance in my legs, on this heavy bike, so I just went ahead and limped along back down front side of GMR, then back to the park. Meanwhile, the rest of the group continued onto Baldy Village, and back. My legs were just not into it.
Great day, great ride, great group. I had a lot of fun, and great to re-unite with old friends.
Total Stats, 65 miles, 7871 feet climbing. It was a hard day, but excellent day.