Started scouting out a new training course for Big Lizard and I, on surface streets not far from my house in northern San Diego.
Lots of short, shallow climbs just steep enough and long enough to make me work, with equally short but quick descents that force me to stay alert, especially on our bumpy, pitted, potholed streets.
Not only that, but the back side of the course turns from north to west. That’s when it turns scenic. On a clear day, you can see across the rolling hills over to Del Mar and all the way to the Pacific Ocean, a good 20 miles away.
That really gives me a goal to shoot for — 40 miles, from the ‘burbs to the beach…and back again!
It’s the perfect course to train for a century ride — 100 miles, preferably in less than eight hours.
For now, though, baby steps — five miles first, then ten, then 20.
Unlike the relatively gentle ups and downs at Miramar Reservoir, this course is going to make bike and rider both work.
Big Lizard struggles with the gearing on the climbs, evens climbs as relatively shallow as these. Lots of pops and clicks and stutters as it struggles to push the chain onto the right sprockets.
When that happens, pedal cadence goes out the window. Methinks this cold-blooded, two-wheeled reptile is due for a tuneup. When it happens on a climb, you lose momentum, you lose energy. Man and machine go spastic. Bad news.
Could’ve ridden a good deal longer, but broke it off after two miles.
Reason 1: I took off without my helmet, something I NEVER do.
Reason 1a: Was thinking about a whole lot of “stuff” other than riding, which is what led me to take off without my helmet.
And damn-near paid for it in the first mile, when my front wheel got caught in a rut between the buckled asphalt and the curb. Good reflexes prevented a crash, but a near-miss like that will snap a wandering mind back into focus quick!
If you fall over, even from just standing flatfooted, your unprotected head will be doing roughly the equivalent of 20 mph by the time it hits the pavement. That’s impact enough to do brain damage — significant, irreversible brain damage. NEVER ride without a helmet. Never let your KIDS ride without one.
This is one mistake I aim to make only once.
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