Friday, July 17, 2009
So I'm finishing up my hill repeats last night on the inside of Torrey Pines. I selected Pandora (Look 585 Elle Road Bike) instead of Torch (Kuota K Factor Tri Bike) since I'm taking her on the century ride next weekend. She's a dream to climb on. Anyway, I'm cooling down on a final, mellow climb on the outside of Torrey Pines (longer but less steep), and this fit, muscular guy blows past me on his sweet-lookin', black-and-yellow Specialized Transition. I am temporarily humbled and my ego gets knocked down a few pegs. No biggie, I tell myself. You did a good, solid workout today. Just focus on the cooldown.
Then, a 2nd guy on a tri bike passes me. Only he's got skinny, hairy legs and is riding a Fuji. Now it's getting downright humiliating. But wait a minute....he's slowing down. The dude used all he had to pass me, and now he's slowing down! I'm gaining on him. I take my time, slowly reeling in my prey. We still have 3/4 of a mile to the top. He's clearly struggling, weaving all over the road, shifting awkwardly, as if uncomfortable with the TT bike. He stands up out of the saddle to climb for a few jerky pedal strokes, then plops back into the saddle, weaves, repeats. Standing to climb on the outside of Torrey Pines? It's only a 4% grade. Wasted energy, wasted energy.
Then, I realize I'm going to pass him. I take my time, savoring the process, a cat playing with an injured mouse. I'm closing in on him, evaluating him closely. Did I err in my judgement? Is this guy saving a burst for the top? I'm on top of him now, practically breathing down his neck. Because I've taken my time closing the gap, I'm well-rested, my breathing is calm and slow. I make my move with efficient, calculated pedal strokes, forced to call, "On your left!" since he begins weaving erratically all over the shoulder again. He pulls to the right, and I blow by him, shifting to a bigger gear as I pass. Click! My speed increases by 2 mph, and I drop him. I'm on the final third of the hill and the steepness begins to level out. Instead of slowing and beginning to recover as is the instinctual tendency, I increase my power and intensity to finish strong, leaving him in my metaphorical dust. Maybe I sound a little harsh, maybe I was a little too mean but I have never, never, ever been able to pass people climbing hills before. The victory is glorious. I resist the urge to throw my arms in the air and blow kisses to the crowd. I feel like I've just won an Alp stage at the Tour de France. I can almost hear the guy's friend (on the Specialized), who is waiting for him at the top, "Dude, you just got totally CHICKED!"
PS--Jumbo Humboldt squid have been washing up at La Jolla Cove. I just love new swimming partners, especially when they have tentacles!