I piled in a bunch of increasingly longish weekend rides, interspersed with short but hard rides during the week, and felt pretty ready for the Eroica ride. At the 6am start, I rode out with my friends Chuck and Rita, and had a great time chatting with the notable old geezers who turned out for the ride as we led the small peloton into the dawn. The roads were great, the suffering was epic, and I rode strong all day. Despite missing a turn towards the end of the day and racking up 10+ "bonus miles" (I was riding behind a guy and we were cruising along at a good clip, but neither of us saw the turn we missed until at least 5 miles later...) I didn't really feel that beat up at the end of what was quite a hard ride. The vintage bikes on display (both in the concours and on the road) were really wonderful, and inspiration to keep riding my old Bianchi on more occasions.
|Lots to see at L'Eroica|
|There was quite a lot of dirt|
Fortunately, I was well ahead of the concert-goers, so I kept rolling towards the mid-point of my ride: Black Mountain. There's a great one-lane, barely-paved, steep little road that winds its way up to the FAA radar site on the top of the peak. (Not to be confused with the identically-named site in Harlan County, Kentucky!) I wouldn't go out there in the summer, but in early spring it is just gorgeous, not too hot, and the views are spectacular.
|Looking back at the one-lane road climbing up to Black Mountain|
After a snack at the top, I headed back down, and finished my loop by riding out Park Hill road to connect with Highway 58, and back in to town. The last couple miles are on the same road I started on, but in the opposite direction, which provided a great view of the huge line of traffic now heading for the Snoop Dogg concert in Pozo. I was greatly relieved not to be going their way!
Last weekend was the Delta Century ride, which is quite a contrast to all the other riding I've been doing, inasmuch as it is flat as a pancake. While Anna and Nimue undertook the metric century, I rode the "imperial" version; we figured we'd finish at about the same time this way. It was a pretty day, with a little wind and warming up into the 80's. I rode hard and decided at the end, that for me, 100 miles on the flat (with a bit of wind) is considerably harder than 140 miles of steep hills... there's no opportunity to rest the legs! At least with big hills, you get some big descents. Still, fun was had by all, and the kiddo performed admirably on her longest ride to date.