Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Palm Desert to Hemet

64 miles today, much of it into a 30 mph wind. After FC 508 .....no big deal. Less wind and only lasted 30 miles!
(posted via cell phone)

UPDATE:

Woke up to a beautiful morning. We were at a much lower elevation than previous mornings and there was no danger of frost today! I had been riding most of the ride so far at my own pace, and was solo much of the time. Not that I mind that, but decided I should attempt to be more social today and try to ride with the group. As I was preparing my bike I noted that the battery on one of my speedometers had died. I was glad I had a backup and figured when and if I passed a store that had batteries I'd try to get a replacement. We were notified that after loading our gear on the truck there would be a group photo so most hung around for the "official start".

Before long the group pedaled off, me included. The route today took us to Hemet, along the way there was a section that was notorious for headwinds. Probably a good day to be in a group! The group moved along about 13 mph, a little slow for me, but this wasn't a race. I was about 2/3 of the way back in the pack. The accordion action was a little frustrating. I moved up around the group to get photos of the leaders. As I pulled up next to them the leader asked "Don't you like to ride in a group?". I snapped the photo and dutifully got back in line.

I visited with the gal I was paired with, found her name to be Sheila. She was frustrated with the pace as well. We forged an alliance to form our own little breakaway when an opportunity arose. Before long that opportunity came around. The group pulled off at a gas station/convenience store to use the restroom. Something about me taking care of that before riding, and the sight of 30-40 people lined up for the one restroom made me think this was as good a time as any to just ride on.

Sheila missed the opportunity having need of the stop.

I pedaled on westward. I was making good time, riding along about 18 mph, just enjoying the morning. I was riding in a valley paralleling a range of low hills on each side. As the valley turned a bit and narrowed I began to experience some of those fabled headwinds. Before long wind generators came into view, telling me that wind here was not uncommon! The wind eventually was directly in my face at ~25 mph. I was on the aerobars with head down and just pedaling. I was holding about 11-12 mph. I was beginning to think about that peloton that was surely gaining on me in these conditions. I was wondering how long it would take them to catch me. Finally my mind wandered to that night in Death Valley where I was riding against the 40-60 mph wind. I smiled. Unlike during the Furnace Creek 508 where I was riding 4-6 mph with the prospect of doing so for the next 230 miles, here I was riding twice as fast, with the end of the day's ride only 30 miles away. I could do this, I am the Desert Coyote! I put a bit more power to the pedals and continued on.

After about 25 miles the valley opened up and the winds subsided. The peloton had not caught me. I sat up, took in the view and cruised along.

About the time the winds were abating a bit I came to Cabozon. There are stories of Furnace Creek riders hallucinating after many hours of hard riding. I began to think that this little wind had done me in. On the horizon I saw.....dinosaurs.
I took photos of a few of them, just as my crew and I had taken photos of scorpions in Death Valley to verify that they were real and not just imaginations running wild. ;-)

I pulled off the course to take a closer look at the dinosaurs and make a stop at Dairy Queen for a light snack.

Before long I was back on the bike pedaling into the remnants of the headwind.

We had been warned that part of the route had not been scouted. I experienced that first hand. As I crossed over the freeway onto a frontage road I noted that it was a very low traffic route. It was paved but there were signs it wasn't used much. After a couple of miles I came to a slight bend and dip in the road. It turned to, what can only be described in the most generous terms, gravel. It was a mix of sand and rock, some the size of baseballs. I walked the bike, having had enough trouble with tires already this trip. This primitive roadbed continued for 0.97 miles. I hopped back on the bike and pedaled on.

I came to the town of Beaumont and passed right by a Walmart. I stopped to get a battery for my speedometer. There was still a bit of wind and as I leaned my bike against the stone pillars by the door the bike rolled back a bit....putting the first scratches on my carbon fiber frame. :-(

They did have a battery though, and I installed it and re-calibrated my speedo.

There was a nice long scenic descent as the route made the final turn to Hemet. I noted a lush green valley below..........and crossed over a sucked dry San Jacinto River. Coincidence? I think not.

I arrived in Hemet quite early. That was good since I had kitchen duty tonight. I had plenty of time to prepare the bike for tomorrow's ride before helping out with dinner.

A good ride today..........except for the scratches on the bike!


video


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles Today
.................64...............0.................64
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........503.....+.........0........=.......503
November........664.....+.........0........=.......664
December........830.....+.........0........=.......830
Year to date..10,606.....+........30.......=.....10,636 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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