cycling mix

I knew Mix Canyon was a tough climb. I’ve attempted the climb three or four times, but still haven’t made it to the top. I made it almost to the top once, but that was on a motorcycle (http://mt.dahhh.com/2011/05/the-mix/). On a bicycle the farthest I’ve gotten is about three miles.

So yea, I knew it was a tough climb, but until Ray sent me this link (http://www.toughascent.com/blog/?p=224) I didn’t realize how tough the climb was. Apparently it has the steepest mile in California, and is rated as the most technical descent in California. Pretty crazy. Now I don’t feel as bad for not being able to haul my fat butt up to the top. Still, I’ve made it my goal to make it to the top of that hill by the end of this year. (Note, I didn’t say make it to the top on my bike, which leaves me the option of cheating and taking the Subaru up to the top…)

So on Saturday Jiro, Ray and I tempted fate again and went out to challenge Mix Canyon. We actually did about as well as I thought we would for our first climb of the season, with each of us getting to more or less the three mile mark. Along the way we climbed Cantelow. Cantelow is where most people in the Davis/Winters/Vacaville area do their hill training. I still remember my first time on Cantelow–I rode out there with Lynn-Kai while training for my first organized ride, the Tour of Napa in 2008. That hill demoralized me and made me wonder if I could ever finish a Century ride. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s actually a comparatively small climb. It’s the little blip between miles 5 and 7 on the elevation chart above.

On Monday I went biking with a different group, the guys that I usually go backpacking with: Dan, Victor and Robert, plus Jiro. We rode out to Steady Eddy’s in Winters and back. Victor had bought a recumbent trike for his son and was testing it out. He let me ride it. It’s actually pretty cool. It almost feels like riding in a sports car, except that you have to pedal.

I used to go on an overnight bicycle trip with this group every year, but we skipped out last year. Instead I ended up doing a two week bicycle trip alone. It was a pretty awesome experience, but I think I’m done doing those epic multi-day rides. I’m looking forward to doing an easy overnight bicycle camping trip again this year.

On a completely unrelated side note– Looking at old blog posts made me realize that I used to write a few things I’m thankful for with each post. I think I’ll start that up again, because I think it’s a good habit to have an attitude of gratitude. So here goes.

Things I’m thankful for this week:

  • a good mix of cycling buddies
  • unseasonable warmth in February (which makes for good bicycling weather)
  • spandex arm warmers

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