Most days, I consider myself to be a reasonably fit cyclist. But I find myself increasingly going out of my way to avoid steep climbs. And I know that one of the reasons that climbing is so hard for me, is that I am twenty-five pounds heavier than I ought to be. So even with a carbon über-bike, it’s still hard climbing those hills.
But with the NorCal AIDS Cycle just five weeks away, I knew I was going to have to work to overcome that problem. With that in mind, last Saturday I drove out to Winters, to do a loop ride which takes in the steep Cantelow Road climb, famous amongst Solano County riders.
I arrived at the awesome Steady Eddies coffee house in Winters, and things were humming. It’s a definite cyclist hangout. It was a gorgeous morning, and and everything is very green. The route runs alongside I-505 for a bit, then heads up into the hills for the climbing part. This is called the “Three Hills Loop,” and the first hill was Gibson Canyon Road, a fairly gentle climb to get the heart rate going. The biggest climb though is Cantelow Road, well known among the cycling locals. It was steep, but fairly manageable, and just the right amount of conditioning that I needed at this point. Once you head over the top, it’s a steep/thrilling/scary descent to Pleasants Valley Road. The ride finishes with a pleasant cruise back to Winters on Putah Creek Road.
This is a great ride, and I’m happy to send the map/route sheet for anyone who wants to try it. Most of the roads are fairly traffic free, and the motorists who are there, are used to cyclists and give us a wide berth for the most part. And a tasty panini sandwich at Steady Eddies is the perfect end to a great ride.
Most of you know that I have been riding in honor of my friend Ken, who has lived with HIV for over twenty years. Last night, Ken finally succumbed to the disease, and joined the angels in heaven. Ken was quite a guy… unapologetic about who he was, but never obnoxious about it. He helped to form a Diocesan HIV/AIDS commission, and traveled the diocese educating folks about this disease. His contribution was very significant. He had also been a member of the Cathedral Choir for many years, and was a part of our last tour of England. Several years ago, he gave me a piece of paper with all of the music for his memorial service on it. I expect his memorial service will be in mid-May.
Monday bad-news update: While out on my training ride today, I took a significant spill right outside the CSUS Aquatic Center. I have a little road rash… my helmet did its job… but I landed on my right hip/buttock, and am having a lot of pain. Went out to Kaiser for x-rays, but my doctor thinks that there is nothing broken, since I insisted on riding the last fifteen miles back to my car. This won’t help my training, OR my work during Holy Week at the Cathedral. Pray for quick healing!