Today I went on a ladies only bike ride with 5 ladies and another lady with cajones. I believe his presence was a case of new love that could not withstand a Sunday morning apart. His lady wanted to go so he went, too. The leader had said any men who joined had to wear a wig and some pink but relented in the end. He went in red teamkit.
I decided to ride to the start in spite of having done that last time and not made it by the appointed hour. I missed the group ride and ended up going out alone and then flatting. This time I left earlier and rode harder. I was passed every so often by men riding at something around 20mph but I”m used to that. At one point I noticed that I was fast approaching a man up ahead of me and I was ecstatic. I was going to pass a man! As I rode by him I looked back only to see that he was at least 90 years old. Be that as it may, I PASSED A MAN ON A BIKE AND YOU CAN NEVER TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME!
I got the rendez-vous point in plenty of time and we all took off to ascend Mt. Diablo, at least to what is known as ‘the junction’. It isn’t all the way to the top but it does require climbing for about 5 miles so that was good enough for me. I was consumed with gut wrenching fear that half way up I would grind to halt and fall over but I smiled and pushed on. I was riding with our fearless leader (photo to the right) who happens to be a very competitive triathlete and a very good cyclist so I figured I could get some good coaching. I figured right. You may find this humorous in a woman who has been riding some pretty tough hills for the last 2 summers but there was a chink in my hill climbing strategy. I didn’t know how to get out of the saddle and stand on the pedals – until today. She taught me how to do it so I could get some good momentum when the going got tough. I got quite good at it after just a few tries.
I made it to the junction with a huge smile on my face. The view from up there and really all along the route was spectacular. (not my photo but it does the job)
The skies were clear and you could see far and wide. There was also the view of this young Adonis in white cycling shorts that started below his navel and ended high on his beautiful thighs. It was blinding. But I digress.
We flew back down the mountain (well – I managed to get up as high 29 mph woo hoo!) and I returned home. I looked down at my Garmin and realized that it had recorded only the time – no distance, no map, no altitude. I was bummed. I really wanted that elevation map. But then I thought, “the heck with the elevation map – I got the ride!” and I was once again happy as a pig in mud. It was a glorious day and I ended that ride feeling vital and strong and that’s what it’s all about. The rest of the day was filled with eat, nap, shower, shop, have coffee with a friend, watch trash TV with daughter. Does life get any better than that?
Tons of people do that ride and upload the results to Motionbased so here it is. My start and end were a little different and my ride was longer but the hill part is the same: