Saturday, March 31, 2012

Climbing in California

This past week has been pretty action packed so far. On Tuesday, I did some last minute "benchmark" test sets in the pool and on the bike. My swim showed some great improvements from my previous "benchmarking" 7 weeks ago, as did my cycling (benchmarking was back in early January). So with two solid test results in my back pocket, I boarded a plane to California Wednesday night a happy girl!

After arriving in LA at about midnight, I was off to Santa Ana for just one luxurious night's sleep at the Renaissance Resort and Sports Club. Well, more like luxurious accommodations and less than 6hrs of sleep. After fueling up at the breakfast buffet, it was time to hit the road to the climb destination for the day: Palomar Mountain. Palomar was roughly 19km at ~7% with over 20 switchbacks! Here's a shot of the view from the top:

I've been trying to face my fears of descending (especially on two lane roads that remind me of my crash), cars whipping by in either direction, and just riding outside in general. Coming down Palomar with all those blind  switchbacks definitely tested my nerves! I made it all the way down though without having a panic attack, but I couldn't feel my fingers and wrists anymore because I was riding the brakes MOST of the way. One step at a time, I figure.

Today's ride was a bit of a suffer-fest for me. I was having back spasms as soon as I hit the first kilometre of my climb up Tuna Canyon. There are some steep pitches of ~18%, and there were times where I really thought that I was going to topple over, mid-back spasm, in a puddle of my own sweat and have to wait to be rescued. Seriously. Some how, I made it to the top, and once again, the view from above was worth the suffering.

I'll be staying in Agoura Hills for the remainder of my stay here in California, so there are many more adventures to come. But right now, it's time for bed! I'll post again soon:)

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