I'VE TRIED TO WRITE FOR AN HOUR... BUT THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR THE EXQUISITE EUPHORIA THIS RIDE PRODUCED.
I knew it was going to be good because the texts were coming early and fast. The only question was, Would we break the hour?
Starting about 9pm:
CH: Potential to be a wet one. We still on? 7AM in the harbor?
JA: Hope I can keep up with you animals
MS: Does any one have an extra tube, please bring one. Just had to change a flat and I'm out
KM: I do and will bring it. I owe you.
JM: Looks like we will be riding in the rain by 9 FYI based on radar. What time are we back?
TB: 930 if we hustle.
Then 5am more:
CH: I forgot my vest. can you bring out an extra one for me?
TTB: Any chance you could make me two bottles?... I'm getting off freeway.
Races had been cancelled today.
Guys were tapered.
The promised rain came early. Just about 7am. But, it was a dry rain. Not enough to drench us. It would keep us cool. And no wind. Few cars were out, we made all the lights... ALL of them. All we had to do was take the corners easy.
At 730 the hour of power/pain/torture begins. In Laguna.
For 30 minutes we'd been pulling the bow back. The group shot up the 133 at record pace. A pace line of 14. All in. By El Toro we'd lost at least 4.
The Bull and Frosty taking long meaty pulls. The rest of us off the front as quick as possible.
Gaps started to open... I'd schemed this in my dreams... those two go, then Big Kev. Now or never.
4 became 3.
We were on pace to shatter the hour.
It reminded me of the first time we cracked an hour on TMWC. 5 of us just slaying it, watching the clock with 1 eye and the butt ahead with the other.
We turned right on Tesla, and I was on my own. Adrift. With reinforcements coming up from behind.
Up Church hill I prayed, begged for a red light... it was too much. The Diesel was going to blow. No luck. I chugged on over the top and hit 52mph on the down hill.
About 5 guys had cut through at the church and united with the crew ahead of me.
But I've got girth, and I'm aero.
I connected on Aliso Creek.
I spun and spun.
There is a point in rides like this where if you hesitate for one moment you'll loose the endorphins you're mainlining. Half the crew went straight at Westwing. I didn't even consider it, turned right. The endorphins were flowing, I was spinning. Keeping the gap manageable for another bombing descent.
Unbelievably, we made the light below Soka University. Also unbelievably, Matt tore up the climb and left us wondering... then they all sped up and left me, again. But, this ride is like a roller coaster and my ballast like a magnet.
We were all back together at the bottom of Highlands, the final climb. As we rounded the turn I could see Trevor - my son, a retired Cat 2. This is humbling and motivating for him. He's getting passed and dropped, he knows he's done less than 10 rides in '18. It's just a matter of time, the desire is returning. I enjoy every pedal stroke as I pass him.
One by one we cross the "finish line".
We were tapered.
We made all the lights.
It was a dry rain.