Wednesday, 4 July 2012

'Murica Day

Because these Americans like to celebrate their big day properly (by taking a day off work) I had a bonus day of riding this week. I decided to put it to good use and drag my arse up and down Mount Tam to try and build some climbing bombs ahead of next month's Downieville and Annadel races. I tend to avoid Mt Tam in the summer. With all the lush singletrack available elsewhere it seems a waste to hit fire roads. But, shamefully, I'm not that familiar with the trail geography on Tam and it IS the perfect place to train for long climbs. So I mapped out a route that had plenty of verticals, and headed out into a baking hot 4th of July to educate and flagellate myself.

Thankfully, the sun's heat was offset with a lovely cooling breeze. Just as well as my ride ended up being over 5 hours long. Not exactly race pace, but I had to keep map checking to make sure I was en route. Also, it seemed a shame to hit East Peak and not have a sit down with a Twix and a can of fizzy sugar. I'd earned it.

My route ended up being a big figure of eight. Starting at Deer Park, I worked my way up to 5 Corners, then down Shaver Grade to Eldridge. From there, I took the fun, whoop riddled fire road to Railroad Grade..... A steady grind took me past the West Point in, up to East Peak and then back down Eldridge to Bon Tempe lake. I felt pretty good, even though I was rocking flats and by now had 4k of climbing under my wheels. So I continued my plan of hitting Rocky Ridge, then onto Shaver... Then back down to Deer Park. Rocky Ridge is a fun descent, but you earn it with a steep, nasty climb. I started to feel the first twinges of cramp, but a couple of well timed rest stops got me up and over the summit.

A nice, long, dusty ride. Just what I needed and a great way to spend a bonus day off. And it's all money in the bank that will hopefully make D'ville even more enjoyable than it usually is.

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