Never be amazed that despite you best efforts at planning you will always forget something, the something that you might forget you might not actually need but rest assure that there is a space in you bag, pack, pannier or whatever receptacle it is, a small cubic volume of air that is missing something you need. Such was the case on Sunday and Latex Gloves were the item!
The planned ride was a simple loop a nice square that took me over the coastal ridgeline of the Santa Monica Mountains and back by way of two canyons, I had added a squiggly bit (a technical term for “extra miles”) to the furthest point to pushing mileage up to 60 and had estimated 4-4:30 would be the time needed. I had ridden it before but not since the Spring and my cycling legs are a little slow in returning.
I set out later than planned waiting for a full sunrise, rather than riding laden with blinking lights, and the first 10 miles rolled by easily with some small climbs and descents. The weather was partially co-operating in as much as the sun was kept at bay by a very low layer of cloud which would at time bathe me in a moist blanket fogging up my glasses and leaving everything covered in a fine but discernible layer of wet!
After a steady climb through Kanan, I surfaced through the cloud layer, was in sunlight and felt the warmth of the sun. Going over the top a swift decent plunged me back into the gloom. It’s a long decent, over 4 miles, reasonably twisty and very fast, I hung on with hand and knees and tried to stay off the brakes - but failed miserably, despite this I topped out an 42mph, plenty fast for me right now!
The flat(ish), straight(ish), fast(ish) section of PCH was the third side to the square, rolling along PCH is always a pleasure and this morning was no different, slightly lighter in traffic due to the weather I was alone for some miles and was only passed by one other cyclist, had there been more I am sure the would have passed me too. I saw a few bobbing heads of seals in the ocean, their migration south has started and the dolphin and whale populations will follow soon. After the last big downhill section I noticed a thwamp thwamp noise and looked down to see my rear tire gone flat. A flat tire is a pain and a rear flat doubly so, and it was here that the mistake of Latex Gloves was realized. Now don’t get me wrong, my bike is cleaned regularly but road gunk, lubricant and the black powder generated from the brakes gets everywhere and when you change a flat everywhere includes your hands. I gingerly went through the mechanics of switching out the old tube and replacing the new, reveling in the ease of compressed air! 15 minutes later I was done, I spent another 5 minutes waiting to cross the road to the gas station so I could clean up and another 5 cleaning up, and so 25 minutes I was back on the road. Not the fastest of pit-stops but my last flat tire was over 2000 miles ago!
With one eye on the clock I crossed off the squiggly bit and pushed through the second canyon; Topanga, just under an hour later I was at the top and it was pretty much downhill from there to home to enjoy a breakfast of champions: egg beaters, blue cheese and salsa omelette, turkey bacon and left over garlic and onion roast potatoes and toast!
I finished up with 52 and change miles on the clock; 7 less than I planned and my speed was slower than I hoped but blame that on the 6400’ of climbing.
For you pleasure the MotionBased data and photos: