Today I had two goals:  sort out my saddle and long steady climbing… and hang out with Hartono before he moves back to Indonesia – hanging out is not a goal, it’s too important.  We’d be checking those boxes down on Palomar – apparently rated the #10 most difficult climb in California (it’s not that hard compared to the many MTB climbs, it’s paved and at a super steady grade so the world’s largest telescope could be built on top of the mountain).

So much pre-amble…

Anyway, my saddle has been a real pain lately.  Thankfully Specialized has a satisfaction guarantee so I was able to test a new saddle out today.

CeeDub recommended I get my Sitz bone’s width checked.  Steve handled that with a pretty cool device from ReTul.  I sitz’d on it twice, and he said I need to be on a 155… which is a lot wider than the 143 I’ve  been on.  Then, Steve politely took me over to all the saddles and we settled on the Romin – I’ve been on the Power.  He had a loaner, I took it.  So flippin’ simple… can I tell you how nice it was to have a pro take the time to not make me feel like a retard and kindly help me out?!  (I feel another post is coming on regarding sales).


The saddle is ace.  Perfect.  Me so happy!

8 weeks out… and I gotta get the saddle solved.

We started at Lake Henshaw.  This is my preferred route to ride Palomar.  There are many options, this one is the least traveled.  Here’s the link.

We did two  1 hour and twenty minute climbs, each finishing at the Observatory.

My personal goal here was to keep it in Zone 3.  I did that no problem and was able to climb strong the entire time with no real let off in power.

I did notice that over 8% it was hard for me to keep my cadence up and Hartono would scoot ahead.  He has a 32 on his bike, I’m riding a 28.  I need to dig into the LoToJa course and see how steep the grades get.  If they are over 8% for long periods of time, I’ll be throwing a larger cassette on for next week’s adventure.

Ride Notes:

The East Grade has been resurfaced and it’s amazing.  Black Silk.

A pickup had gone over the edge at the top of East Grade and rolled down about 200 yards – not sure about survivors.

On South Grade a wannabe moto-GP guy went down right in front of us – we were climbing up.  He came out of a left hand turn (for him) and lost the front wheel, laid it down, rolled over the bike and they both landed in the dirt.  Gas spilled all over the road.  He was fine… I stopped to help him pick the bike up… so take 20 minutes off my time up South Grade.

Car clubs were all over:  GTRs, Ferrari’s, classic BMWs.

Ran into JJ from UC Cycles Racing at Mother’s.

Saw Lori and George Everesting on South Grade – they are crazy animals.

(That’s an Enzo, about 20 other Ferrari’s)

(I prefer the GTRs)

(Right before Hartono dropped me)

(Hartono’s first time up to the Observatory, if you’ve never gone the extra 4 miles… DO IT!)