Ramp it up!

After riding whatever I wanted the last several weeks, I realized that as of  August 12th I only have a month before my final double century.  I guess I wasn’t paying attention with all the fun I’ve been having.  It was time to get back to business, so I set a goal of 200 miles for the week.  I also wanted to push a little harder so I planned for the week’s rides to have a little extra elevation thrown in.
Tuesday, I got more than I bargained for.  Having never ridden up Cantrall Road out in the Applegate I decided to give it a try.  The climb started out kinda steep and never got much better.  40 miles later, I was done for the day and had 4500 feet of climbing under my belt.
Feeling like I could do for a recovery ride, I threw out the elevation idea for Wednesday and rode to Ashland.  Problem was, Mother Nature was not cooperating and I fought a stronger than normal headwind all the way to my turnaround point.  Not really a recovery ride, but I ended up with another 40 miles and 1500 feet of gain.
With my legs feeling a little less than optimal, Thursday I did a short 20 but still managed another 1600 feet.

Having logged 100 miles during the work week, I was feeling the need for an adventure as the weekend drew nearer.  Having got a couple people on board for an epic ride one of my friends was planning for Saturday, it was a bit of a bummer to have to cancel Friday night due to the friend changing his plans.  No worries!!  Conde Creek always awaits!
Jacob, Tory, and I set out at about 7:15 am Saturday morning on a quest for some peaceful, remote, climbing goodness.
The Conde Creek Loop is still easily my favorite local road ride.  After leaving Lake Creek and heading toward Dead Indian Memorial Road, traffic pretty much becomes non-existant.

But less than a hundred yards into the big climb that Conde is known for, Jacob had a flat.  That’s ok.  The climb wasn’t going anywhere.

As I said, this was a rather remote area.  It’s absolutely beautiful and peaceful as, at times, all we could hear were the birds singing, squirrels rustling in the brush, and our tires slowly grinding up the steep grade.  

Nearing the much more heavily traveled Dead Indian Memorial Road, the road exits the deeper shade of the forest and at the same time levels out, so while we were starting to pick up speed, we also started to feel the heat a little more.  By the time we hit DIM, we were all ready for the 13 mile descent to Ashland and a good meal. 

After telling the boys goodbye and stretching the ride out a little bit to 80 miles and 5400 feet, I was only 20 miles short of my goal with a day of riding left.
So, Sunday, I headed to Jacksonville with the Toa loaded up in the adventure wagon.  Jacob has been wanting to do an epic gravel grinder on the West side of I-5 and though we have ridden almost all of the roads one time or another, there is a connector on John’s Peak we have yet to confirm as a viable portion of the route.  I figured I could get 20 miles and a bit of climbing by checking it out.
Unfortunately, after having descended the backside of John’s Peak to a posted map of the area I knew about, I was greeted with dumbassery.  Thanks for shooting the map with a shotgun, douchebag!

Oh well, despite feeling like a cougar was going to pounce on me and make a feast of my bountiful carcass at any time, I chose one of the roads at the intersection which I had yet to ride and set off once again.
I didn’t get far.  It ended up looping back to a point I had already ridden after about 2 and a half miles of exploring.  At least I know where that road leads to now.
After playing around on John’s Peak a little more, I called it a day.  20 miles and 4100 more feet.

In all I ended the week with just over 200 miles and 17,000 feet of climbing.  Mission accomplished.
Since Cyclocross season is approaching, I’m going to have to decide between focusing on training for long distances or short booze-filled racing.  Hmmmm….
Aaron

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