Winging it

Last week I mentioned that riding the Toa had set me back when it came to my mileage goal for the year.  So, of course, Tuesday I hopped on the Toa and headed for Roxy in search of some much needed dirt therapy.

After two trips up to the peak, once on each trail, I felt a little better and was ready to tackle the rest of the week on the road.
Wednesday was a good ride out to Jacksonville, up to Gold Hill and back home.  With the days getting shorter, about 40 miles at a good pace is all I can squeeze in after work and before dark.  

For a couple years I’ve been hearing I should go check out the roads up in the East hills just above Ashland.  Thursday, I got a text at work from Jacob telling me about a loop out that way that he had just ridden.  I now had a ride in mind for that afternoon.
Although there was nothing overwhelmingly magnificent about it, the area is definitely worth throwing into future rides.  With some decent climbing and a couple short but fast descents, it will make a good addition to my after work Winter routes.

Having logged 95 miles for the week so far, I decided to do a relatively flat 100 on Saturday.
The sky was overcast and it was in the low 40’s when I rolled out at 7:30 am heading toward Talent.  I stuck to the back roads as much as I could and by mile 38 I found myself in Eagle Point.
With the warm temps we experienced up until just a week or so ago, the trees still have a lot of leaves left on them.  Having grown up in Humboldt County and surrounded by the never ending green of Redwoods and Doug Fir, I truly appreciate the color we get around the Rogue Valley.
Reaching Butte Falls Highway, I turned left and worked my way over to Agate Road which I followed all the way back into White City.  
From there, I took more back roads until I was climbing Blackwell Hill and subsequently cruising down the other side into Gold Hill.
Several people have recently asked me how I decide where I am going to ride on any given day.  Sometimes I ride with someone else and it’s their route.  Other times I want to go explore an area I haven’t been to yet.  But, usually I just go into a ride knowing how many miles I want and which direction I want to ride.  From there, I just wing it.
That’s what I was doing Saturday.  After Gold Hill, I was really tired of all the jerks I had dealt with all morning that felt getting their kids to a soccer game, or making their weekend trip to Walmart was more important than waiting a couple seconds until they were able to safely pass me.  So, to take a little break from feeling like I was going to get ran off the road at any minute, I decided to take the lightly traveled and unpaved Foley Lane back over to Blackwell Hill.
 
25 miles of making it up as I went along and I had just over 100 miles for the day.  Time for a big, fat, juicy burger from Debby’s Diner!
I woke up Sunday knowing I was going to get rained on if I rode that day.  I decided not to ride.  Yeah right.  GET REAL!!!
Once again, I planned on riding out to the CX race at Red Lily out in the Applegate.  This time I was joined by three lovely ladies!  All you guys can go do your racing around  in the mud and jump over stuff while it’s raining.  I’ll take riding with some girls over that any day!
The cold front was just moving in, so we were braving a nasty headwind all the way out to the race but Ruth, Sheri, and Sage are tough and we all took turns at the front.
We didn’t get too wet on the ride out, but everyone got fairly soaked right around the time the B race started.

 

A lot of funny things can be seen at a cyclocross race.  Example – Apparently this is normal in Canada.  Adrian doesn’t realize we don’t ride with umbrellas here in the States.
Despite the cold and wet, the ride out and back was fun and was a great way to wrap up another big week.  I know I keep saying I doubt I can hold this pace the rest of the year, but I really mean it.  230 + miles this week and 220 + last week.  My legs are feeling it and mentally I’m feeling bummed that I can’t just go ride whatever I want to.  Maybe 8500 miles is acceptable.  I think I may just wing it and see what happens.
Aaron
 

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