Thursday, June 23, 2005

Morning Ascent

This morning I got up at the crack of 6 for a ride up Bogus Basin Road. This would be my first full ascent of the year, and following as it did an evening's paddle on the Main Payette, during which I swam twice and drank the water level at least a bit lower, I wasn't sure how the body would react. I mean, climbing Bogus is a tough enough endeavor for me (I'd never be confused with a strong climber), but doing it with sore abs and arms and groinage, I figured I was just asking for a seizure. But what doesn't kill you leaves you wriggling in pain, right?

So, up we went. Me and co-worker Paul. He's 50 and could leave me in the dust when the road tilts upward, were he so inclined. This morning, he wasn't, so we did a nice steady job of work going up that hill, averaging about 9.5 over the hill's 16.7 miles.

The morning was glorious, chilly and clear, arm warmers and wind vest leaving a bit to be desired at first, but then coming off after the first couple pulls and the only descent built in to the climb. As we came up out of that valley, the sun poked up above the hill tops, and for the rest of the way up we'd be playing hide and seek with el sol, warming, cooling, warming, often at the perfect moments.

The first half of the ride, up to the Forest Service sign, was, as always, a bizzatch. Tough going al lot of the time, but the reasonable pace and the early hour kept me moving and uncramped, for which I was thankful. There were a few other riders out doing it too, but I think we were the first of the day to go the whole way up. About 2 miles from the ski lodge the climb tops out and you get a couple screaming slightly downward miles to work the kinks out of the legs. I needed it, and I quickly got over the slowly developing sense of bonk that was running just a bit behind me. By the time we turned around to go down, I felt damn fine.

And go down we did. Where Paul leaves me on the climbs, I return the favor on the descents. I bolted off and ran the corners hot, trying to hit each apex a la Il Falco and nail the tight ones with minimal braking. I think it was my fastest and smoothest ever, and it felt great. Smooth.

About halfway down I started to shake a little, as the downhill was colder than the climb was, but just easing off and stretching for a moment at a time did the trick. Up in 1:35, down in :35. What fun.

Starting up at 6:30 got us back to work at 9am. After a quick shower, I was Mr. Straightjob again, but knowing what I'd already done that morning, the rest of the day was a breeze.

Gotta make this a normal thing.

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