Just a quick post before I (hopefully) get around to posting something more lengthy on the 2019 race season…
Next weekend I will be racing Saturday at Cantua Creek and Sunday at Pine Flat road races. It’s been a good off season. I banked some big rides over the Christmas holiday season, which I did last year as well and I think that set me up nicely for a good Spring of road racing. My intensity in training has been slowly building since then and I’ve been able to find a good balance with family, work and training time.
By this time last year I had done a bunch of criteriums already as I was still trying to get out of Cat 5. Now that I’m a Cat 2, I’m trimming down the race calendar a bit to races that I really want to do and/or ones that suit me well (generally those go hand-in-hand, but not necessarily). Because of that, I’m a little bit rusty. After a couple days of solid training (about 6.5+ hours over the last two days), I headed over to Hollywood to give it a good hard effort at the Nichols Ride.
Los Angeles was due for rain this morning, however it held off nicely until about 10 am. I left just before 7 am and made my way across the atypically quiet San Fernando Valley roads. I actually enjoy riding through the Valley early on the weekend — there’s nothing really special about any of the roads, but the contrast to what’s normal is neat. I took Hayvenhurst all the way up to Mulholland for the first time which features about a kilometer at 13% with a 20% kick near the end. Sepulveda is the easy way up, for the record.
I made it down to Nichols Canyon Rd and Hollywood Blvd with a few minutes to spare. Phil Gaimon came rolling down, we said hello, and then the group showed up. It was perfect.
Phil let it rip from the bottom and I pretty quickly reserved myself to just hold the wheel. Super chef Jeff Mahin seemed to have the same idea, and the two of us quietly suffered in a perfect paceline behind Phil. I ended up with my fastest time up, good enough for 12th on the leaderboard (featuring 37,003 attempts by 4,194 people) despite some brake checks around some of the wet turns.
We kept it going as a trio racing across Mulholland. By the time we reached Sepulveda I was tired and happy to have accomplished exactly what I was looking for.
I’ve been riding with the Cycliq Fly 6 rear light/camera on my bike. Today was my first time riding in a strong group since I got it for Christmas, so I decided to edit a little video of the effort up Nichols to Mulholland. (It’s mostly just Jeff’s front wheel!) Hopefully I will get some more interesting content from it this year…