Monday, December 01, 2008

Our Turkey Day Ride....

If you're reading this and you don't live in southern California, you might not know about our strange weather. We rarely get any rain, but when we pours!!! We got hit with a huge rain storm last week. I believe we even set a record for the most rain in a 24 hour period for this time of year.

And so I woke up to the sound of pounding rain on Thanksgiving morning.... immediately different thoughts started going through my head...

"How are we going to ride in this?"
"How can I get out of riding in this without disappointing Jane?"
"Surely, even Jane won't want to ride in the pouring rain"
"Maybe I can go to the gym and do the elliptical if it keeps raining."

Then Josh came in my room, all excited and happy to be heading off to his "Turkey Bowl" (football game) and he asked me if we were still going for our ride." When I delivered a less than enthusiastic answer he said "You should go, you know you'll have fun."

Finally I dragged my butt out of bed, got dressed, checked the air in my tires and started to get excited about the adventure. The rain stopped, but the streets were still drenched and it was cold and everything smelled clean. I called Candace to make sure she was still going to join us, but I got her answering machine. A half hour later she called back with her sleepy voice and said she thought staying in bed sounded like more fun.

At 9am Jane and I headed off on our adventure. We rode out Hwy 8 to Lake Jennings and climbed up our two little hills. (Funny that I call them little now!) And then we got to fly down Lake Jennings to El Monte Rd. It was sooo fun! I love that descent. The road is nice and wide with a great bike lane.

Then we turned down El Monte Rd. to go down to the park. Truth be told, I was a little nervous about this part of the ride. I tried to ride it once before a few months ago and it was harder than it looked. It turned out to be my favorite part of the ride! It's amazing how you can be out in the "country" just a few miles from my house. We checked out the cows and horses and we enjoyed the smell of the pepper trees and the grapefruit. Jane even pointed out that there were pomegranate trees along the road. I never knew they were pomegranate trees!

Here we are at our turn-around point.

The strangest thing about riding down El Monte is that it seems like you end up with a head wind in both directions. It doesn't make sense, but no matter what it feels like you're going into the wind. Then when it looks like you should be coasting downhill, you end up peddling like crazy. Jane and I think we're going to have to come back out there and put a marble on the road to see which way it rolls. It's got to be some kind of optical illusion. Even with the wind and the strange "downhills," the ride was pretty easy. It really showed me how much I have improved over the last few months!

We had a great time riding back and we hatched a plan to take a little "detour" and stop by Candace's on the way home. We'll teach her skip out on our ride...hahaha... We thought it was funny that we never got rained on the whole way....until....ooops... was that a raindrop? First there were just a couple, then a few more, until we got hit with a pretty steady drizzle on Julian. By the time we started heading up Los Coches towards Candace's, it had pretty much stopped.

We giggled as we pulled into Candace's driveway. I thought she'd be hanging out, drinking coffee and feeling guilty over not riding with us.... Instead we caught her on her treadmill!! Turns out she felt guilty enough that she created her own little workout while we were riding.

The last mile home from Candace's was a little bit harder for me. My legs were getting tired. I probably would've been better off not stopping, but that wouldn't have been as much fun. In the end we went about 16 miles and we had a fabulous time!!!!! So much so that we have now decided it's going to be our annual Turkey day ride....and next time... Candace is going to join us!
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