Thursday, December 27, 2007

-6 Degrees F

That's how cold it was this morning when I got up. No, not in Santa Barbara. We're up by Truckee for an extended-family gathering and some snow fun. A month ago there was no white stuff... now it is falling non-stop. Here's the view out my door across a frozen lake...

Much warmer in the lodge with xmas cookies and drinks!

A bit more skiing and snow play and then back to reality (well, as close to reality as can be in SB!)

Rewinding a bit... What a great three days of riding last weekend, starting with the Saturday group ride in SB. As I met the gang heading down State St., I spied one skinny black-and-red-clad rider whose economical pedaling could only be that of Christian Walker. Indeed, it's been at least ten years since Vampy did a group ride but it seems that even he eventually tires of solo daily Solvang loops. We were all grateful that he set a just-right tempo up the Casitas hills.

24 hours later I was meeting the Alto Velo "A ride" where it was nice to reconnect with old friend Kevin Merritt (emphasis on old! ...just kiddin') He leads a great ride and Sunday was no exception. 70 miles on beautiful roads across the SF peninsula to the coast. (I think we did the Pescadero RR course in reverse, but I can't say for sure.) It was also nice to climb the world famous Old La Honda road which is very similar to Old San Marcos in grade and distance. Lots of famous riders have climbed OLH for time and I hear the records are legend in NorCal. Anyway, the group (~20) was very controlled and the tempo was perfect. That was partly due to superstars James Mattis and Kathryn Curi who were both riding a very methodical power level.

And then Monday I had a really pleasant ride up Mt. Hamilton with Craig Nunes, leader of the Rock Solid Cycling team in SLO. It's amazing how easily you can climb 5,000 ft when chatting non-stop. The wind was howling and freezing at the top and we wondered about the Tour of California making it over in mid-February. Would a snow-storm force a last-minute reroute, or would we have our own local Gavia Pass stage ala Andy Hampsten's Giro? We'll see in two months!


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