Sunday, 27 January 2008

Keep The Rubber Side Down

And preferably out of the ditch...

6 of us went out to Marshall yesterday for some hills and some cold. We got plenty of both. The day started off kind of funny when someone forgot to pull the parking brake and the car rolled forward into a gully and couldn't get out on its own. Weak. Deciding quickly that it would be no worse after the ride, we let it go and busted.

Most of the ride was just plain cold. Mount Weather was pretty standard, really. A group got to the "false top" just above Heart Trouble Road at the same time, then others filtered in. The ride back down to the highway was butt cold, but as always pretty fun. Along Howellsville we actually saw a few brief glimpses of sun (perhaps visible in the picture), but then it decided to get darker, cloudier and colder.

Up Blue Mountain, things got interesting. New guy Greg was pushing a 23 (?!?!) to good effect in the front, with three of us tagging along for the ride. Greg dropped of a little after the dirt transition, and I decide not to lead the whole way up again. Bad decision. There was plenty of ice on the road, traction sucked. The two guys in front of me shifted right to avoid a nasty patch of ice and I had nowhere to go but onto some ice, got sideways, bounced off a snowbank and went down. Trying to start on a steep icy incline is a beyotch. Got started once, fell over again. Greg came up, but I couldn't get out a "don't stop" in time, so he unclipped and shared my issues. All told, I was on the ground for a while. Afterwards, I was pretty pissed because it looked like I'd miss being first up this climb for the first time. The gap was pretty huge by this point, almost two minutes, and there wasn't that much of the climb left to make up time. Son of a... Complicating issues was that you couldn't stand without spinning out and falling down. I tried my level best to get up to El Ocho and CN, but nothing doing. I closed the gap down under a minute, but had to give up my Blue Mountain jersey to the Ocho.

By the time we got back down to the highway I could not feel any part of myself. It was REALLY cold waiting at the top of Blue Mountain, and being that chilled plus a descent that takes you up to 45mph = balls cold. For clarity, balls cold is significantly colder than butt cold. There were questions about that yesterday. Anyhow, survival instinct and a good long chat with myself ("this is where the hard men are made, this is where the races are won, pretty soon we'll all be bitching about the heat," etc) got me home.

Dog leashes, when properly tied, are plenty strong enough to tow cars out of finicky spots. All I'm saying.

Off to go freeze again.

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