QUOTE OF THE DAY:  When we hit that first hill I almost turned around.

I kept my mouth shut.

You suckered me into the A group with all your bravado.

 I looked away, didn't want him to see my huge smile.

When did you take off?

Uh, well, ya see it was Andy's fault...

I mean what are friends for?...

Of course I shamed Big Mike into riding with skinny Paul and the rest of the circus freaks that would lead the charge from behind. I planned to join in on the idiocy but Andy showed up on his cross bike and wanted to slow roll for the first bit before turning around and heading to his office.

And roll slow we did.  Until Andy cut off, and I saw that pink Strava Segment Starts Here sign.  At that point, I hit the burners in pursuit of the lead pack of the B group on the most terrible ride...

... Bierman's Black Friday is terrible...
60 miles, 6800' of vert
with many 20+% pitches

Terrible to the point I've always pulled out the Sorry man, family in town excuse. 

But, this year I knew I could do it.  The kids were going to be scattered on Thanksgiving day and we'd have our family gathering Friday afternoon with pics and turkey dinner.

So Big Mike, Skinny Paul and I met off Ortega with the promise we'd come home right after.

It took a long time for the A-listers to catch up to the front of the B group.  When they blew by me at the aid station I tried like heck to catch on.  No luck.  Just chasing.

One of the those awful chases where you can make out each person clearly, then fuzzy, then gone.  

Fortunately, I guess, Big and Skinny weren't in this lead group.  So I shut down my meager effort and limped along with George.  We chatted.  Took our time at fuel stops. Finally enjoying the scenery and beautiful day.

The high-desert, California terrain is incredible.  Nary a car to be seen.  Plus, Barry and Eric do a bang up job with fuel stations and exceptional course marking.  You won't get lost, except in thought.  You'll definitely get dropped... or, maybe win some cash like John.

We made it home an hour ahead of schedule which made Surfergirl very happy.


Above the clouds... made us think we could soar with Bierman

My holiday WEND chain wax

Fuel Station #3

Made it just in time

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