Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Barn Burner.

There is no doubt about it, Summer riding is here.  Our shop ride group today consisted of Mel, Chris, Darren, and Gio (me).  Meeting early for the ride would prove to be necessary the second we hit the dirt.  The temperature was predicted to top off around 100 degrees today, so we needed to get on the trails quick, before the heat really turned up.

To start things off, we decided to take on Dan Cook, and get some elevation in the legs.  To say the least, this climb hurt more than any of us expected.  We have all ridden Dan Cook numerous times, yet we were not prepared for the amount of pain this climb would put in the legs.  For some reason, the trail seemed steeper than usual (probably due to the heat), making things a bit more challenging for us.  Dan Cook is one of those climbs you love to hate, yet every time you make it to the top, it feels so good.  First climb of the day was over, but you could bet it wasn't the last.
Chris Hammering.
Beautiful Day Today! 
After summiting Dan Cook, we headed out to Wall Point for more climbing, and of course, a blistering descent.  After stopping for longer than we probably should have, all of our legs were feeling like jelly (climbing can do that to you).  Wall Point is one fast descent, with short, punchy climbs scattered throughout, giving our legs little time to rest.  At this point, the heat was starting to kick up, making conditions even more challenging.  The ride had quickly changed from a 'casual' shop ride, to all of us digging deep and giving each other hell.  To get away from the heat, we tore down "Sandy Hill" into the valley of Castle Rock.

The views made it all worth it.

Chris and Darren.
The green is gone, and the Golden Hills return.

Heading down Wall Point.


The valley of Castle Rock Park is always a good place to rest on hot days.  Being covered in shade, especially after being exposed to the sun and heat for the past hour was much needed, and much deserved.  Flying through the fire roads and stream crossings (and almost wrecking once), was a blast.  We took our time as we turned around to head back to the shop, and to suffer up one more climb.  Sandy Hill is a relatively short climb, but is extremely steep, only made worse on top of the fact that we were all exhausted already.

As we finished the final climb, it was all downhill from that point.  The group coasted back to the shop, but not before Chris went head over heels in the Macedo parking lot as we were horse-watching..

Tired, sweaty, hot, and happy to be back at the shop.  We all recovered with plenty of food and tasty beverages, reminiscing over the ride and just how tough this one was.  This was one of the hardest days i've ever had on my cyclocross bike, and the hardest shop ride in recent memory.  Thanks Darren and Mel for suffering with us!

Join us every Sunday morning at 8:30 for our weekly shop ride, and every Thursday at 6:30pm for the off-road evening ride in the Diablo Foothills.

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