Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’

While I do spend many hours in the saddle with just me and my thoughts, this past week was a good reminder to me that there’s a lot of cool people that ride bikes.  And, it’s kinda fun hanging out with them too!
Tuesday, Derek organized an Unreal Cycles ride.  I sometimes feel intimidated on these rides since the guys that show up for them are often on full suspension bikes and not from the groups I am most familiar with.  But, despite being the guy in lycra, they never treat me differently and they always turn out to be rad guys/gals that happen to be able to HAUL ASS down really rocky and sketchy stuff I have to walk down.
Ten of us tackled MOTR and we all seemed to have a blast riding and BS-ing.  Thanks for the ride guys!
I met up with my Crazy Mofos homies in Jacksonville on Wednesday for another round of exploring new (to us) trails/roads.
First on the list was tackling an old road turned washed out, rutted trail known to the guys we ride with as Jed’s Climb.  None of us had ridden it and after the climb just to get to it, I wasn’t sure any of us would.  But, we did.  What a steep mother!
After a bit more climbing, we found a road that, again, none of us had been on but suspected it would get us to where we wanted to go.

15 miles later, Jacob, Shawn, Tory, and I had completed another successful round of recon.
Feeling like the C3 could use some attention, Thursday I did a quick climb up Anderson Butte until the pavement ran out.  For the record, I smashed my previous best time up the mountain by nearly 8 minutes!  I love that bike!
I quickly blazed back down the hill, grabbed a shower, and headed out to Jacksonville for the first local cyclocross race of the year.  While I didn’t race, it was really fun to hang out with more awesome people.  I even got to watch a guy break a barrier as he tried to bunny hop it as well as watch Adrian miss a beer hand up from Shawn by this much.
Another adventure awaited me Saturday morning.  It was my first time riding in and around the Colestin Valley, just South of Mount Ashland.  Once again, I was meeting some new people, while getting to ride with some cool chicks that inspired me when they rode their bikes across Viet Nam earlier this year!  Karen and Christy rock!!

The loop we rode followed an old rail grade for a good 12 miles and was never super steep.  There’s something about riding new gravel that soothes my soul and without a doubt I want to go and explore more of this area. 
Alright, that was corny.  But, it’s kinda true.
As is so often the case with riding in Southern Oregon/Northern Cali, fantastic views are never a problem.
Really, the only problem I had all week was on this ride.  One of the screws holding my clip to my shoe worked its way out and I was left with not being able to unclip from my left pedal.  Oh, man!  We all tried to get my shoe unstuck, but without a proper screwdriver it turned out to be a lost cause.  
It wasn’t too big a deal except for when I needed to get off my bike.  Let’s just say things hit top tubes a couple times that really shouldn’t be hitting anything that hard.
See my shoe resting on the rail without me in it?  Yep.
Thanks to Karen and Bryan for the great hospitality and Laura for hammering it up the hills and making me work to stay with her!!  It was a sweet day.
I finished off the week with a slow paced 40 mile road ride that literally gave me time to stop and smell the roses.  Or, whatever kind of flowers these were.
Like I said last week, I wanted to start taking it easy with my final double coming up.  Hence, the slow ride Sunday and not racing CX on Thursday.
Next Saturday is the White Mountain Double, starting in Bishop, CA.  Please send me all the luck and good thoughts you can spare!  With temps forecast in the high 90’s, low 100’s, and humidity being nearly non-existent in the desert, I’m more than a little concerned and need all the well wishes I can get.  
I’m pretty sure I can do it.  I’m more sure it ain’t gonna be pretty.  I’m positive it’ll hurt.
Aaron

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