Stayin’ Dirty

With the C3 still in upgrade mode due to having to wait for a part, it was back to the trusty Toa and Paru to keep me on track with my climbing goal.  I’m gonna have some miles to make up real soon.  I can’t wait!
Anyhow, Tuesday and Wednesday were just a couple of short rides on the mtb.  Tuesday, Jacob and I tackled trails on Roxy before having to cut it short so we both could meet other previous commitments.
1 Roxy Unreal Cycles
Wednesday was a rain soaked affair in Jacksonville.  It was so short and miserable, it didn’t even deserve a picture.  Moving on…
Unforeseen circumstances forced me to cancel a bike trip to the Bay Area over the weekend, so I figured I should make the most of a bad situation.
I’m not sure it was one of my best decisions, but after a year and a half of pestering, I finally caved in to one of our new Unreal riders, Ruth, and took her spin class on Friday morning.  I think I did okay for my first time, but I’ll say this: If you think you’re a strong rider, go take her class and see how you feel in a day or two.  Prepare to have your butt kicked.
But, seeing as how past instances have established I’m not the brightest crayon in the tool shed, I headed home after the class and met up with Andrew for a Britt Trails extravaganza.  I’m SO happy it poured throughout the entire ride.  I would have been disappointed with a warm sunny ride.
2 Mudfest Unreal Cycles
As the weekend approached, I still didn’t have solid riding plans. Despite receiving the hard sell from Shawn about a mtb trip to Redding on Saturday, I decided to go for a little gravel ride instead.

I got a bit of a late start, but by 9 am I was starting the climb up to Woodrat in the fog.  Fortunately, as I turned on to the gravel that would eventually lead me to Hwy 238, the sun reminded me it was still up there.
3 More Fog Unreal Cycles
By the time I started the descent down to Bishop Creek Road, I had broken free of the fog’s icy grip.
4 Descent Unreal Cycles
5 Valley Unreal Cycles7 Snow Unreal Cycles
Crossing 238, I made my way up Forest Creek and started up a side road that connects to John’s Peak at the top.  While that road wasn’t nearly as covered with snow as the last time I climbed it, there was still a bit of the white stuff from a recent storm.
6 Bishop Unreal Cycles
Once again, under the thumb of time constraints, I had to bail on the climb halfway up.  I blazed back down the fast gravel of Forest Creek, climbed Jville Hill and called it a day when I reached town.
Sunday was the big day this week.  Thom Kneeland was putting on yet another Honey Badger ride.  This time we started in Montague, CA.
A good sized group hit the road around 10 am in search of some gravel goodness.
8 Red Unreal Cycles
I managed to hang with the big boys in the front group before being dropped on a gravel climb around mile 17.  I’ll take it.  I’m really not one of the big boys anyway.
9 Front Unreal Cycles
While I would have liked to keep hammering with those guys, I took advantage of being solo by enjoying the amazing views the Shasta Valley has to offer.
10 Lake Unreal Cycles11 Colors Unreal Cycles
Truthfully though, it kinda killed me to stop and take pics.  Dominic was behind me and I was spinning my fat little legs as fast as I could to hold him off for as long as possible!  Taking photos didn’t help my cause.
I managed to keep him at bay from about mile 20 to mile 47.  With a few miles left, my legs failed me and Dominic rolled up next to me.  To be honest, I lasted longer than I thought I would.  We worked together the last little bit of the ride and shared a high five after an all out sprint to the town limit sign as we rolled back into Montague.
It was another great adventure spent with some awesome people.
12 Shasta Unreal Cycles
I’m really hoping the weather, and whatever shipping company is delivering the road bike part, come through this week.  I’m dying to start putting up some big numbers in terms of miles.  After a few months of holding back, it’s time.
Aaron

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