I spent some of Saturday riding up Palomar Mountain’s South Grade Road. No base layer. No knee warmers or arm warmers. Splendid.
On my first descent, I was surprised to see the OUCH / Maxxis Pro Team on their way up (much, much faster, I might add).
The big thrill: seeing Floyd Landis, 2006 Tour de France winner, who was later stripped of his title when testing positive for synthetic testosterone. On Palomar, Floyd was just coming through the shade past the Mile 41.6 marker — and he was flying on that small straight-away of 6% grade. Say what you will about the doping scandal, the man can turn the cranks.
It was great to see him on Palomar, great to see him getting ready for the Tour of California, and great to see his poker face once again.
No, I didn’t actually ride with Floyd. Or Tim Johnson. Or Rory Sutherland. Or any of the other OUCH / Maxxis team members.
But I rode up South Grade Road on the same mountain twice, atop a Moots titanium frame with training Open Pros, the rear 32-spokes, tied and soldered. Not exactly built for climbing. Oh hell.
The friendly hand waves and helmet nods from OUCH / Maxxis were renewed motivation for a guy like me who doesn’t race, but loves the sport just the same. It’s not always how fast, but how much fun.
Saturday was akin to practicing on the field at Petco Park while the Padres run wind sprints in the outfield. How often does any baseball fan get to do that?
20 miles up: 6,800 total feet climbed
20 miles down: net loss of 6,800 total feet
Getting stronger. Maybe even a bit lighter. Time to break out the Tarmac Pro SL for the next Palomar session.