Heaven @ 7:30 a.m.
First day of 2009.
No other bicyclists on Palomar Mountain’s South Grade Road.
Brilliant sun. Blue sky.
All worries cast aside.
Turning pedals and working hard.
8,000 feet of total climbing over 55 miles, topped off with a screaming technical descent more fun than a child’s first trip to Disneyland.
So damn lucky to be alive, healthy, and happy.
Great family. Great town. Great day.
Rode with the Category 1/2/3 Road Race state champion from New Jersey, Ryan Pettit.
New Jersey, you ask? Home of Springsteen? Bon Jovi? Flat as the proverbial blueberry wheat germ pancake, right?
Yes. And no matter.
When you have the genetics of this guy (plus structured training and strict diet), pro-caliber mountain stage climbs are there to be tamed. Congrats, Ryan. All around, an epic day that won’t be forgotten. Even snow in the shade.
The definition of California winter cool.
Here’s Ryan at the summit: 5,260′ — and then lower down the south face at 3,000′ just a few minutes later. Safe travels and Happy New Year to you and yours!