idropboys Fiesta Island

It looks so innocent that little pink bike.

Monday, October29

After a few days of hard riding on a new bike I decided to do a short "easy ride on Fiesta Island followed by a 10 minute run. Fiesta Island was it's usual windy self. It's not the most scenic place but there are few cars and it's a good place to practice time trialing. I wasn't planning to time trial today. Apparently the men of the island thought differently. I start my ride. I'm just chilling and listening to some tunes. I loosen up and drop into the aero bars. I have no idea how fast I'm going or what my heart race or cadence is. I still haven't put a spedometer on my new time machine. I'm pedaling along minding my own business when I pass a gentleman. He speeds up and his legs are all over the place as he tries to keep up. His eyes become larger than saucers as he sees a girl on a little pink bike. Holy cow, he says your killing me. Dude, just because your a boy doesn't mean you are inherently faster. "Your not even out of breath" he says. No.... because I do this often and I'm riding at a pace appropriate for my level of fitness. We pass another gentleman and the two boys take turns jumping out in front of me, then dying and latching on to my back wheel. This is slightly annoying as I don't know them. I don't want them crashing in to my rear wheel in a Tour De France style crash. It's also bad form to draft somebody on a time trial bike. Ugh, so much for an easy day. I shift into a harder gear. Bikesnob NYC said everyday you ride is a race. I feel like I'm pulling a few more watts a few moments later I sneak a glance back......there are four men struging to hang on my back. Gentlemen.... your drafting a girl....on a little pink bike! I ride in a fashion that makes my legs burn. At the end of the lap 2 of the men have been dropped. The other two leave the island. One of them thanks me for the fun time. Apperently pink bikes stir up a lot of excitiment. My work is done. I continue this pace until I am on the other side of the island where I sit up and drink from my water bottle. After I finish my ride and my 10 minute run I go to Tim's house and tell him my story. He laughs and imitates me in a high pitched voice" I'm not a time trialist, I don't have the right body type" Let me rephrase "I'm only a time trialist when there are boys to be dropped.

San Diego Fires

October 29th

One week later my life is back to normal.

Monday October 22, I was evacuated from my home due to the fire.

Luckily, I had already gone to Tim's due to the poor air quality. When I left on Sunday. I thought the smoke was drifting down from the Malibu fires. I brought my computer to Tim's to work on my blog and my bike so we could tinker with it. After a weekend of riding it needed a bit of love. I also packed a pair of scrubs for work the next day. I didn't anticipate the fires would be so close to my home. On my way to work Monday morning an official evacuation was called for my area. Tim offered to get some "things I couldn't live without" but called back shortly after and said it would be impossible due to traffic. My roommate Emily grabbed a folder for me but I had know idea if she grabbed the right papers. It was weird starting my work day not knowing if I would ever go back to the place I lived. It felt like staring ahead on an empty freeway. Nobody new exactly where the fire perimeters were because it was too windy to fly. The winds were gusting up to 80 mph and the embers flew up to 2 miles. I knew 3000 acres had burned in and around Ramona. Ramona is home of some of my favorite(roll out the door from home)climbing, As you summit the grade, the landscape changes dramatically. The mountains become scattered with large rock formations that look like they could be from outer space. It is less densely populated with large farms. It has a real feeling of being rural and I find that comforting. When, I arrived at work I learned Highland Valley Road had burned. I wouldn't wish my complex to burn on for the others who live here but I'd gladly trade all the contents in my place to have that road back. The first time I rode Highland Valley Road with Tim I mentioned I was thirsty. It was hot and there were no parks with water fountains or convenience stores for miles. We came upon an estate with an orange orchard. Even though it was late in the season the oranges were perfectly ripe and hanging over the fence, and scattering the side of the road. We stopped and Tim reached the high branches picked a few and squeezed them into my water bottle. I had freshly squeezed orange juice. Hydration and nutrition in a chivalrous matter. I couldn't get the sadness of loosing this beauty out of my head as I tired to focus on my current assignment as well as prepare to receive patients evacuated from Palomar/ Pomerado hospital. The TV blared, and I learned Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Santa Fe were burning. Oh boy...they are right up the road from me. Typically I ride my bike north on Camino Del Sur. I ride East to RB or West to Rancho Santa Fe. Ugh, if they can't save Rancho Santa Fe they are not going to save my place. I still don't care about the possessions I loose. The best things in life are free. Everything else is replaceable. I learn Del Dios highway is burning. I remember riding this road for the first time with my friend Katie. She translated that Del Dios meant highway of God. It was during this ride I decided to abandon travel nursing and commit to a life in San Diego. I figured any decision made on the highway of God had to be one on the right path. With this news I feel bewildered and dismayed. I feel if my memories will burn. Life as I know it will change. This is the route Tim and I ride when he sneaks into the lab a little late. (sorry I hope Tim's boss Alan never reads this blog).

Throughout the day I feel some hope and comfort. Support seeps through San Diego and through Scripps Mercy. I have many offers for a place to stay. Many from people I barely know. I am thanked for coming to work. I think where else would I be. This is when I am needed most. This is why I am in this field and not selling vacuum cleaners. I appreciate this renewed relevation. Tim is on call Monday night. I go to his house after work and watch the news. It is smokey, even in PB. The side of his street is reminiscent of the 4th of July, when people park on this street to watch the fireworks. I fall asleep hoping the wind dies down and things return to normal soon.

Tuesday is another nail biter but the helicopters begin to fly. We know the fire in Rancho Santa Fe is contained and Tim is able to get some of my things that it would be nice to keep. I am nervous for him to be at my place. I would rather everything burn than have him in harms way. He assures me that the winds are blowing in the other direction. He doesn't want my things to survive the fire fire only to be looted. It is nice knowing that I won't have to replace my passport and knowing that I won't have to fight with my renters insurance to replace my most expensive things. Ironically I feel blessed to have had my first road bike stolen, and my car broken into while relocating across country. The loss of the road bike prompted me to get property inusrance. Loosing the loot from my car taught me that letting go of possesions can be hard but things can be replaced.
I am working again this day. Tim and I discuss cancelling our trip to visit his family in the Bay area. We learn medical volunteers being turned away from Qualcomm. From the 10th floor of Scripps Mercy I seesmoke all around us. I learn of my coworkers who watched Mt San Miguel burn during night shift. I learn of my coworkers who saw flames out there windows. I am lucky I think.

Wednesday I work again I learn the band has been lifted where I live. Tim picks up some things so I have what I need to comfortably leave for the Bay area. He picks me up from work that evening and we head to the airport. We land at Oakland airport and the air smells fresh. I sleep well that night.

Thursday we enjoy a run (well run /walk with my IT band) on the Pleasanton Ridge. We take Tim's family dogs. Life feels selfishly normal. That evening we enjoy dinner in San Fransisco to celebrate Tim's mom's birthday. We have a nice time. I enjoy the food, company, and the sights of the city. I am very lucky compared to those more deeply affected by the fire.

Friday we return home. Tim is on call that evening. The Air Quality is improved. I pick my new bike up from the shop in Poit Loma. I take it for a few spins around Fiesta Island before heading to my place. Upon arrival home, the air isn't quite as good. As I wipe the soot from my sink, fans, and windowsills I am thankfully my place is intact. I wonder what life would be like if my house burned down. I think of those whose homes burned. When will there lives be normal? I think of those injured in the fire or lost in the fire, and those fighting what is left of the fire. They are in my prayers.


I drop boys

Where started

A Bike Is Never Just A Bike

I believe in naming my bike. Why do you think Natasha Badman at age 40 is the fastest in the world? She loves her bike. She tells it to "Go and run fast now, this is your home" After digging the picture of my first new bike out of the archives and noting the plate in front said Sweet Thunder I decided that would be a great name for my next bike. My road bike has a name too. I'm just not ready to go public with it.

Sweet Thunder II

Picked up my new bike Friday afternoon. She's beautiful. If I work one more extra shift, I won't have to take any money out of savings to pay for her. That is a big accomplishment because she wasn't cheap.It might seem a little excessive. However, when you ride 8,000 miles a year it's buys nice or buy twice. I love my road bike, if I could change one thing I would have built her with better quality components because they wear over time. The fit of a time trial bike is crucial and let me tell you there aren't many TT bike designed for people who are 5'3 (with shoes). So I chose a Guru. They are built by some Italian guys in Montreal. No mass produced frame made in China. I went to my friend JT's shop, Moment Cycle Sport. He's an engineer with a pencil thin mustache by trade. He measured me up and sent the measurements in for "Sweet Thunder II" to be built. For $100 extra I got to pick my colors. So of course they were pink and blue. The original Sweet Thunder was pink. Jt's shop is small and "a girl on a pink bike" dropping boys is a good ad. He let me do a lot of things that were sort of a no profit pain in the butt for him. Like custom wheels with pink hubs and pink nipples. Tim found the pink nipples on ebay. Nipples are the piece on the rim where the spoke inserts. Wait a minute. What was Tim doing googling pink nipples? Tim..........? JT thought that I should use blue nipples. He thought there would be too much pink. The customer gets what the customer wants Tim said. JT also worried my the blue on my saddle wouldn't match and suggested I choose white for the scuff guards. I took my chances and chose the pink in blue. The saddle arrived and matched perfectly. Corey, of Moments Cycle Sport, shook his head and deemed my bike as officially ridiculous (in a good way) Anyway, the end product is pure beauty. When I ride fast it creates a pink halo. Nice.

Borrego A go -go

This weekend was a great weekend at desert camp with the tri club. Tim took a vacation day Friday and we headed out early. We had our camp set up and were rolling by 11:00 a.m. Thursday night, Tim was busy mapping out epic routes for our potential ride while I was baking treats for camp. In the car just before descending Montezuma Grade into Borrego springs we stashed some water bottles on the side of the road.This was good thinking on Tim's part, he was an Eagle scout. Soon we were climbing the pass. I love that climb. I like climbing mountain passes. The trick is to sit and rhythmically spin up the mountain. Have some patience because it takes a while. I was interested to see how the change in my bike fit would treat me and it was good. I recently modified my position to open up my hips a little. It paid off. I created a lot more power and my hips felt much more relaxed. I think this will alleviate my IT band syndrome. I was excited to hold up so well during the climb up and was happy to grab my stash of extra vitamin water at the top. On the road we went, through the farm land to Santa Ysbel. It was a little gusty during this part of the ride. There was a lot of elevation gain but I drafted off Tim and stayed comfortable. When we got to Santa Ysbel we had the option of riding 6 more miles to Julian. Julian......home of famous pies. 6 miles is nothing for a gal on a flaming pink bike, to Julian it was. As we made the turn we started to climb. So far this ride was up, up, and more up. I was feeling good though. Tim stroked my ego, saying I was firing. Inspired, I pulled out around him and fired up the hill. It was only 5 more miles into Julian. Let's get it done. There is a point were if I'm a little tired and there is a little more to go I just crank it up a get things done. Grr, I fired up and ahead. The road was very windy and curvy, out of the shade and into the sun we rode. Around every corner we turned there was more hill to climb and more sun. Ugh 3 miles to go. "Are we there yet?" When are we going to get there? I'm hot and thirsty. I think I got my stomp out a little to early.Need water...was all I could think. My stashed vitamin water you ask? Icky ....I'll never again drink Costco's generic no calorie, good4u but bad 4me, vitamin H20. It was hot and so concentrated it burned my throat. Every sip was like acid. Darn, if I only had a bucket of ice. "You alright?" Tim asked. "I'm fine, but I can only take this for 5 more minutes." Where I get my random number of minutes I don't know. In 5 minutes Tim asks if I want to stop. "No, I want to get there before I melt" Onward we press and and into Julian we roll. Finally stopping for pie. The line is very long at the Julian Pie Co, and Tim pours water on my head as we wait in line. Ahhh. We get our delicious pie. Two pieces for Tim and Cinnamon ice cream. Mmm ....cold. We sit out side and eat our pie. Soon we roll again. We have 35 miles left of our 80 mile ride. Down Banner grade we go. I love Sir Issac and his law of gravity. Now it's time for me to descend. It's really cool going from the mountain top to the valley. Wee, we make good time going down. The scenery is really pretty and soon We turn and climb Yaqui pass. It looks really steep with switchbacks but it is easy. Then it's down again into Borrego Valley. When we hit the valley, we see the hilltop. Home of the famous TCSD hilltop scramble. It looks like it is a stones throw away but really it is 7 miles. False Front. No problem as it is not up. The beauty of a climb, is that it makes flat feel easy. We roll into camp and chat with our friends who have recently arrived. Ahh a good start to the weekend.

It is warm due to the Santa Ana and the air is warm even at night. I hear the coyotes howl as I fall asleep. Saturday I awaken early it is hot already. I have a good breakfast of granola, drink a cup off coffee and a lot of water before I start the ride to Salton Sea. I gather my girls Tina and Elaine, and we tell Tim were going to draft off him. Although he says, he's going to draft off us girls. We form a plan that we will take turns pulling into the wind. Tim will pull for one minute and we will pull for 30 seconds at a time. We we come upon a pack of boys we will pick up the pace greatly and rotate so a female is in the lead. We will then pass the boys. Hee Hee Hee. At about 20 miles some of the fast boys pass us as we were sort of lolly gagging after a hill. Tina was looking a little pink. She's not Irish, she's Asian, so this is a bad sign. The boys say something to antagonize us and we decide to chase them down. Correction sweet southern bell Elaine says "let get em" and jumps with a powerful pull like none other. We pick up are pace and the slight downhills and tails winds allow us to roll around 33 mph. We gain on the guys are set up to pounce but the terrain changes and we have to climb. They slither over the top and get away as we make the climb. Darn...we say, as we recover, that would have been fabulous. So close we say. Tina doesn't look so good. Uh oh, I keep an eye on her as Elaine jumps and chases anyone who passes us. We want to turn around before the Salton sea as the road goes to pot once you cross the county line. The TC SD SAG wagon is not there with drinks so we have to go on 5 more miles in to the next town to Mexico. Just kidding but it is 3rd world here. We buy water and Tim and I decide to poor some on Tina's head to cool here off. We carry extra water bottle back to douse ourselves and stay "cool". Tina says not to wait for here as the slower riders would catch up and she could ride with them. I nod my head knowing she didn't want to be a burden.Also knowing I wouldn't let her out of my sight because the slower riders weren't going to be of any help to her. They would be struggling even more. Elaine says she won't leave Tina as she bonked in the desert that year. Elaine is physically incapable of controlling her pace though. I let Tim and Elaine spin up the hill as I sort of spin in place and balance on my bike. I do some zig zags and let Tina catch up. I try to pull her up to Tim and Elaine. I think she has heat stroke. I know she needs a ride back home. The only way to describe the conditions are "Hell Hath No Fury" It is 106 and the wind it so strong. 30mph gusts against us. We form a bubble around Tina and squirt her with water. She laughs and comments that she feels like Lance and we are her domestiques.Tim gives her a push up the hill. He goes as fast as he can to do this. Elaine and I ride ride like choked chicken to keep up. We reach an aid station for a century ride the TCSD is not affiliated with but we agree to leave Tina there. We have 20 miles to go and don't want her to get sicker, I know she is overheated and there is know messing around with that. You can literally fry your brain that way as the nervous system goes haywire when you over heat. We tell her to sit in the shade. We'll ride back to camp and return with the car to get her. We see our friend Don who says he is done for the day. He stays with Tina. I am glad as I didn't want her waiting by herself . We only have 20 miles to go but I know it is a brutal 20 miles. We hook up with another TCSD rider who is a skinny little rabbit with an excess amount of energy. We let him pull a lot. He chirps like a bird about how hard of a time he's having as he picks up his pace. When it is my turn in the front of the pace line I go at a comfortable brisk pace. I don't go as fast as the guys but I give them a chance to break and drink from their bottles. When it is Elaine's turn to pull she pulls with a power from the core of the earth. I think she pulls more watts than the guys. Later she remarks her legs feel like beef jerky and she can't keep up anymore. I slow for her a few times and pull her back to the boys. I am not sure how I feel about this because I want to help but she's I'm not sure how much I have left and feel the need to roll efficiently. I also think I could dehydrate out here and slugg home,while Eliane catches a second wind a dropps all the boys. I get concerned because for I have been out here much longer much longer than a usual 60 mile ride. I only have so much energy left and I need to get home with it. The TCSD SAG wagon goes by and asks us if we want ice. Helk yeah, I say remembering my the water in my bottle is hot. I put it in my helmet, down my jersey, and in my shorts. I grab Tim britches and drop a handful of ice in them. He takes off like a bucking bronco and we are up to speed. Elaine finishes herself off by jumping to the front of the pace line and then drops back with another group of riders. There are more TCSD'ers behind us now and we are only 12 miles from home. The sag wagon has gone to pick up Tina and they will get Elaine if needed so we roll on towards home. I feel the need to get it done now. Oatbag syndrome. As we round the corner for the final 10 miles the wind comes from the side. It is very hard for me to draft as it is pushing me sideways. I am hungry and need more energy. I want to reach for my nutrition but I need all my might to keep up with Tim and the skinny chirpy guy. I push my self into the lead which seems for a strange reason easier. I dig deep. I am so close to home only 7 miles but the winds are so strong. I hang on a pretend to make it look easy as we roll into town. We reach Christmas tree circle. People are having beer. Tim asks if I want to stop. The thought of beer on an empty belly in 106 degrees is icky. Nope I want to head back to camp. We roll in to camp. It feels good. Everybody is relaxed and chatting. There are lots of big mellow dogs lying in the shade. We grab some sodas, waters, and shower up. The rest of the day we laugh and joke and exchange stories with others. Tim plays his guitar by the fire. It is a good weekend. This morning we have a TC SD breakfast and I sign up Tim for the Hilltop scramble. I did it last year and I decide to watch the monkeys this year. Tim wins a big thing of Hammer gel. Hope we like Banana. We debate on riding again. The Santa Anas pick up. A few friends are riding back to San Diego. We are jealous (in a good way jealous) Hmmm this appeals to Tim and I. We would like to ride. Somebody has to drive the car though. I'd like to do ride but the boys riding are too fast for me for 85 miles. Yes I drop boys, but they aren't boys. They are actually men and men I draft. I don't really want to ride alone. I offer the ride to Tim but he declines. We return to San Diego by car. The wind blows hard the whole way home . Dirt flies in the air. I would have had a tailwind on my bike but I would have been pelted with debris. We stop at a gas station in Ramona and dirt blows in my eyes. We arrive at my place and unload the car. I shower, start laundry and notice I smell smoke. Sniff, Sniff. I tell Tim I think the smoke isn't in my nose or head. He smells it too. We google the wildfires and 3000 acres has burned in Ramona since we drove through. Thank goodness we didn't ride our bikes. Glad to be home safe and sound.

Timmy Baby

Tim and I both have careers that require us to work more than occasional weekend or holiday. Since I was working this weekend I had to live vicariously through Tim's performance. So I'll blog his story.

Tim is a better swimmer than he admits. He left the water 2ND in line. After T1, he quickly dropped the others. He was out in front. The leader of the pack. Maybe it was the pumpkin pie for dinner. Maybe it was Pumpkin the bike. Something went awry. Nobody passed him. Faster and faster each lap he went. He rolled into T2 and dismounted his bike. It was there he had quite a fright. He was surrounded by others who had been nowhere is sight. They were getting off their bikes and starting the run. Surely they couldn't have all missed a lap. Uh -oh . Poor Timmy baby, maybe he was going too fast, maybe he was having too much fun. More likely he thought 4 laps around Fiesta Island was weak sauce. (Sorry race directors--but it is)Maybe he just couldn't control Pumpkin the TT bike. That bike has a mind of it's own. Oh dear, to his dismay, he went for an extra lap around Fiesta Island. Down but not out he quickly donned his running shoes and picked up the pace. If he wasn't going to win the race he was going to get to the breakfast line as soon as possible. Lucky for Timmy baby....he needn't worry. His girl is more impressed by the extra miles and the good story. Thanks for keeping things......interesting ;)

Love ya.


Climb Palomar

October 12 th

Description of Palomar according to SD Velo

The climb to the top of Palomar Mountain Road is 12.5 miles if you start in Pauma Valley on State Route 76. The ascent starts on SR 76 just west of Valley Center Road. The climb is made up of two distinct sections. The first section on SR 76 is 5.8 miles and the second section on Palomar Mountain Road is 6.8 miles. Palomar Mountain Road is also known as South Grade Road. There is a flat section of approximately 1/2 mile between the sections.

The climb on Palomar Mountain Road is often compared to Alpe d'Huez. Both have 21or so switchbacks and the mountains are similar in elevation. Palomar has more pine trees at the top, but there are no Alpine glaciers nearby. Alpe d'Huez is a bit longer and much steeper. However for Southern California standards, this is one of the best climbs around. Many locals think this is the hardest climb in Socal

Here's my account:
Today my ride was good despite waking up with a sore and swollen throat. Hmm, maybe I should stay home. The people I'm meeting I don't know well yet. They will think I'm a big flake. Might as well do it I decided. Mainly because I wouldn't ever want anybody to think I wimped out of Palomar. My sinuses usually feel best when I am on the bike anyway. My lungs held up just fine. The ride was fun although I am exhausted now. I am moving like somebody sedated with Ativan. I want to do this ride with Tim soon. I'm going to jimmy his breaks and let the air out of his tires so he thinks I've dropped him. My legs.hips, and low back seemed to be getting tighter and tighter as I climbed. I decided it was time to be refit on my bike. I felt like I am squirming in the saddle to inefficiently create power at the expense of torquing on my muscles.(That's because your sick ...Tim said) I ran for 10 minuted post ride. Julie and Ken dropped me on the way up as I expected but I think by the top I was catching up. Unfortunately for Eric Lavoie, he got dropped by a girl on a pink bike. I learned another option today. When you get to the top you can ride on 5 more miles and go to the observatory. Ken went on but Julie had to turn back due to time constraints so I opted to turn back with her. Also, because I had started descending the five extra miles rapidly rapidly and was getting the chills. I felt OK riding but in general today I feel run down and a little sick. It was very cold. Frosty the snowman toes. Julie and I turned and headed up for the big D. We caught Eric who said he was out of gas and invited him to ride back with us. Eric put this cover over his helmet and honestly you know what I was thinking. Then we started descending. Wee, it was fun. Descending Palomar is one of the best descents ever. It is like tasting fine Tirimisu, there are many layers. Brrrrrrr.......even with my jacket, arm warmers, and toe covers I was way under dressed. Ice cream headache. Ow, ey Doctor. Cold. Cold. Cold. Should have had a helmet cover. From the base of Palomar to Lake Wolford the ride ain't so great. You climb up a long canyon but there is not much shoulder and a fair amount of traffic (casino). It might be fun to climb Palomar from the Lake Heneshaw side. Anyway when we got back I ran w/ Eric for 10 minutes. My IT band hurt at 7. Ken wasn't back yet. I had originally told him I would ride to the observatory, then I turned with Julie because it was cold and I had a cold. I didn't feel like waiting around any longer so I left. Is that bad riding etiquette? I figure he anyone who drops me on a climb can handle themself. He's a big boy.

I might be too tired for swimming tonight. I'm exhausted but at least I have 225 in this week. 2* 10 minute runs and 2 swims. Not bad for rehabbing the IT band and fighting a cold.

October 13th
Working with sniffles.

October 14th
Sick, must be a virus. Couldn't be from over exertion climbing Palomar. Never.

Julian Pie Ride

Julian Pie Ride
October 6th

Today Tim and I accompanied by several of our hardcore or hungry for pie friends rode from Pine Valley. We summit ting Mt. Laguana (3500 ft climb) and ventured in to Julian for the Apple (Pie) Fest. The day was perfect not a cloud in the sky. Tim and I were very excited. This is our favorite local ride. We rarely get started early enough to make the 1 hour prerequisite drive to start the loop. You see the speed we have on our bikes is all the speed we have. We are world class dawdlers. Meeting our friends committed us to an early start. 1/2 the group started early to ride Kitchen Creek road, my favorite road. Kitchen Creek is longer, steeper, and has more total elevation gain. It is basically a fire road and closed to cars in sections. Elaine and I hammered up the longer route with the boys. (Tim, Flo, and JT) We had so much fun razzing the "men" as they huffed and puffed to keep up. OK that may be a lie but this is my blog. If you want more accurate details write your own blog. Elaine pushed my pace. She has guns for quads and uses them. She laughed later and said she thought it was going to be a little hill she could bust over the top. I don't know were a sweet southern belle gets such strength, but she could make a grown man puke. At the top of the hill we stopped at a little store and met up with the others. It was cold up there. I had the shivers with my Velo Bella vest and toastie arm warmers. Fellow Bella Shannon didn't even have a vest so we did some swapping. By the time we left the store Shannon wore my vest. I wore Tim's jacket. Tim wore my arm warmers. See pic.

Once on the road again we were hammering. The guys sprinted up ahead but the Bella Velos put on their own show. You could call it pace lining. Actually, I think it was a series of attacks. It was surprising how strong everyone was and how fast we moved. Finally we hit another climb that blew up the pace line. After the summit it was "tuck and go" until the turn to Julian. That is my favorite section to ride in Southern California. There is one way to take this section. It is as fast as humanly possible. The way to drop boys on the descent is as follows: Get low in the drops, knees on the frame, and pardon me but boobs over the tubes. Top tube that is. Hammer as hard as you can and the uphills can be stomped. It's a perfect section to work on the "Craft". Soon we regrouped and headed up the windy road and down the big descent into Julian for Pie. Yummy. The pie was good and I was able to get some blood back into my frozen toes while we ate.

The ride and pie combo is an art that requires some finessing. Eat too much and you'll be hurting. Go to hard to early after pie and you'll cramp. Ironman... I may not know. How to climb on a belly full of pie...... That I know. I started the climb out of Julian relaxed and comfortable. When some people made a stomp, I sat and spun easily. Later, those who went out hard were hurting. The other secret to this ride is not to let your candle burn out until you have made it to the car. Some boys give it all they got when they see the "Pine Valley 5 miles" sign. This is a sorry mistake, but the perfect opportunity for an "I drop boys" girl. There is a final climb into Pine Valley that is long and tiresome. As we rode the final stretch the gals passed JT (aka the chicken) He had lost his spark claiming he bonked claiming he should have had a second piece of pie. Elaine, informed us she dropped him while riding a flat. Tim managed to jump in front of Shannon and I on the last descent. I believe he said "I'll go first, I want to go fast" Believe me that sparked an attck back. The pressure he felt to keep the girls behind him was palpable. Tina came sailing into the parking lot with an ear to ear grin. Next time, I 'll have two pieces of pie she said. What a girl. As we loaded our gear into our cars Elaine said it best. "Epic"