Today I rode the ever-so-popular “Simi Ride” on my day off. I have been wanting to attend since last year when I got dropped at about the two thirds mark (at the bottom of Potrero for those of you familiar with the ride.) It is only natural that I wanted to see where I stood with my peers and fellow racers for the upcoming season. I am proud to report that although this week wasn’t the fastest week, my over-eating has not slowed my progress drastically. I went back and fourth between the first and second pack of the ride.

Today’s route:

What made this ride special, aside from the prestige that comes with the ride’s name, was that we had a little California rain to accompany us. This was by no means a torrential downpour, but my socks and the rest of my body was saturated with water and dirt by the end of the ride. Pacelining is a little more challenging with a stream of water coming from the rider in front of you’s wheel right into your face. I ended up having to put my glasses on just to keep the water out of my eyes. There were points in time where I was unable to see due to the water I had caught in my eyes. My new-ish wheels help a lot. It is safe to say that I am now a sucker for climbing wheels. Surprisingly enough, I excelled at the descents today. It was probably due to the fact that everyone was taking the wet road cautiously, while me being the young and reckless one saw it as an opportunity to catch up when I wasn’t feeling my best on the climbs.

There were times where I told myself, “Okay, I’m going to drop myself out of the pack after this” but for some reason I couldn’t let myself completely fall off of the pack. That and I saw a guy pass me with one prosthetic leg. If this guy can climb these hills at this pace with only one real leg, then I damn sure can climb it with two. I met a lot of nice and down-to-earth (which is either hit or miss for cyclists) people there. There weren’t too many egos that needed to be shoved in everyone’s face that day. Although I am told that there were a few state champs out today, I felt a sense of mutual capabilities from everyone. We all were at relatively similar skill levels, and all had a blast.

Not a single genuine complaint about the conditions; not a single crash despite the wet pavement. Oh, and for a curve ball, one of the roads we took was still in the process of being re-paved. One of the first things out of my mouth was, “Cobblestone training!” This is where the majority of the dirt came from (that and the debris that had washed up on the roads.) There were a few flats, but no catastrophic blowouts. I am glad I have my tubeless tires because I was able to corner better, and with the nasty (but enjoyable) road conditions, not once did I think that I might get a pinch flat. The temperature was cool, but tolerable and although the winds would pick up from time to time, we rolled through patches of rough weather, and patches of clear skies. All and all, I had a blast.

I wish I had more Saturday’s off so I can be a regular attendant and tear legs off this season. I cannot wait until the next Saturday I am off work and able to join this great ride.


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