1) Today is my wife's birthday. She's the cutest pregnant girl in San Diego at the moment. At 6 mos, she's very much starting to show, but she heads to the pool at the YMCA every morning and gets in a 1500 to 2000M swim nearly every day. We just got back from a nice lunch at Point Loma Seafoods and then a walk along the water in Point Loma, at the Cabrillo National Monument. We had some great clam chowder in sourdough and then walked and enjoyed the summer... I mean winter... sunshine. There's a pretty good surf swell coming through at the moment, so the view along the coast was pretty spectacular. She's beginning to enjoy life in San Diego, though she certainly misses home in Taiwan and her family. I'm blessed to have her here- something I do not take for granted.
2) I rode with the usual group of agitators on the Chili's Ride this morning. Unlike last week, rather than test my legs right from the beginning, I sat in the front group and stayed out of the wind instead of trying to get into the thick of things and go with attacks. Last week I was done in the first 40 minutes, so I wanted to relax this week and see if a week of riding would help me stay in things until the end.
I managed to stay out of trouble, for the most part, and was in the lead group over the first small "climb/ hill" through La Jolla Village. Once over that bump, I sat in and recovered until we hit the downhill into Sorrento Valley. Once on Sorrento Valley Rd, I was hanging on for dear life as the pace picked up and we went up the long incline before heading to Carroll Canyon. I managed to stay in the front group again, but it was by luck only. Once we hit the real hill of Carroll, I was shot out the back of the lead group and struggled to finish the climb in the top 20. Thankfully I had a minute to rest at the regroup spot before we headed along Mira Mar to Kearny Villa Rd. I started off a little further back than I like, but I was chatting with a guy who knew some friends of mine and was having fun before the fireworks started. Eventually, the entire Adams Avenue Bike Shop team hit the front and made life harder for me. I managed to work my way back to the front again, sitting in nicely in the group and staying out of the wind. As we got closer to the final big sprint, the sprinter's instincts began to kick back in, like Pavlov's poor dogs hearing a bell, and I began sizing up the sprinters in the group- looking for my free ride to the finish. As we got really close, I was sitting nicely and my senses were in "go mode". The move came with a jump of acceleration on the front, just two wheels ahead of me and then it happened... I nailed the deep, sharp-edged pothole that the rider in front of me dodged with a very loud "thwack". It sounded like I broke the frame! But no "pop" of the tires, so I thought I was safe and jumped back on the wheel ahead after a quick glance at my wheels. I wound it up and was feeling like I might even have a chance sitting in third wheel of the train... and then I could hear the sound of aluminum rim on asphalt as the front tire finally went flat after the pothole.
With the wheel totally flat, I pulled off to the left to the center median and let the group go by... quietly cursing my bad luck. I'd flatted in nearly the same spot from a piece of glass about a year earlier, with a similarly good shot at the sprint. As they say in France, c'est la vie. Fortunately, James- a rider with the Jamba Juice team and truly nice guy- stopped to make sure I had all I needed for the flat and to keep me from riding alone. I fixed the front flat and we thought we were ready to roll away... until I noticed the rear tire was now also flat! DOUBLE PINCH FLATS! That sucks! Since I was not out of tubes, James gave me one of his and saved me from having to walk the 10 miles home or call for a ride. Needless to say, I was very grateful he stopped. We finished up the ride and stopped by Adams Ave- I bought 2 tubes and a patch kit, giving one of the tubes back to James.
In the end, outside of the flats, it was an excellent ride and I was super happy to have been in the heat of the sprint before flatting. I don't know if I had the power to finish it off, but considering that I was so shelled out last week, it was a moral victory to even be trying to sprint!
Ride stats; 2:05:16, 18.7av/43.1mx MPH39.16mi, 72av/ 122mx RPM, 146av/ 183mx HR. Started morning at 208lbs (ugh...) and came home at 206.8... still way too heavy (fat), but getting better than the 215 I allowed myself to balloon back up to.
3) This weekend is also my team's mini training camp in LA at team HQ. Due to work issues, I wasn't able to attend this weekend's camp, but I'll be there in February (I hope) for the second mini camp and a chance to meet the team and hopefully offer guidance to some of our younger riders. Team Becher+ has been my home for the past 4+ years and I am very happy to be part of such a great group. Have a great camp guys and gals!
Heading to my wife's birthday dinner at my mom's very soon, so I'll see you kids later; don't spill anything on the rug while I'm gone. NO POPCORN ON THE COUCH!!