Flyin Tuna is cycling with Planet Ultra in California right now and she checked in with an update. As most of you know, the Cycling Blog is a beacon of truth so I was taken aback by Flyin's demand that I speak only positively about the experience she related to me or else she would not reveal where she found a neat "I climbed Fig Mountain" T shirt. I'd like to grab one when I go out there and would like to know where one would go to buy one. However, being held hostage is an unpleasant prospect so instead I'll just have to relate the truth.
Tuna is struggling, as would anyone coming through our Winter weather and who can't force themselves to ride a trainer even after having purchased one just a couple of months ago. Planet Ultra has about 29 participants and Cindy bravely went with the lead group but fell back, as would anyone who thought hopping around to Richard Simmons fitness tapes a couple of times a week would sub for time on the bike this past winter. She ended up riding with the weak from places like some guy from Minnesota, a grandmother from North Dakota and a 12 year-old from Maine, as would anyone who thought watching reruns of old Jack LaLane videos would approximate the energy loss from hiking with Mark C. That was the first day.
The second day, the group headed up Figueroa Mountain, a beast of a climb in high winds too. In fact, it was so windy, the ride leader quit the route! Tuna bravely churned on but at least once, the "wind" forced her to stop but always for less than half an hour. Coming through a saddle with several stream crossings, the road turns up again and there in a wet spot, disaster struck......Cindy stood to apply more force to get through a steep ramp, the back wheel hit a wet spot.....and........down she went. She's ok with minor scrapes. At that point, the rest of the story got a little muddled but I think she made it to the top and coasted down the front side, past Michael Jackson's old Neverland Ranch and into Los Olivos for a snack. She's having a great time and can't wait to return to dominate us. Now, my California trip begins this Friday. After years of nothing but sunshine, if the weather.com forecast holds, I'll be riding in the rain most days. Bummer. I'll post ride reports each day with gray images.