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.

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