Adventure: Bianchi Hills

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So this was only 33, but it was a test. First off, my cranks were falling apart. By the time I hit mile 20 I knew I had a problem. But I didn’t have a hex wrench with me, so I gambled. Every time I stood I wondered “Hmm, are my cranks going to fall apart?” “Will I bang my ankle on the ground?” “Will I break my ankle” “If so will I feel like a total dumbass?” My original goal was 50+ miles.

The other part of this little test was what I will call my own style of interval training. Go as hard as you can for short periods, then see how long it takes to recover then go again. Luckily, the roads were FILLED with cyclists. The Tour was just on remember, so every type of cyclist is on the road, fueled by watching what the big boys can do.

Speaking of big boys. What the Hell? Where is the woman’s Tour de France? And why don’t we see that? Let me guess…no budget. Bull#$#@. I see women cyclists all the time and frankly they seem way cooler than the men. I vote for women’s TDF. Get it done corrupt cycling Gods.

Okay, back to the test. When the Tour is on television the road is filled with freaks. Great cyclists suddenly think they are elite and should be in the tour, so they ride with a chip. Good cyclists think they are great, and everyone else rides WAY too hard, too fast and takes WAY too many chances. Like shooting a gap at 30 mph on a hike and bike trail while in the middle of kids, dogs, bobcats, vultures, Boy Scouts, trash pickup volunteers and homeless people scurrying across the route. Ginormous bellies on bikes with knees pistoning outward and upward because the massive gut won’t allow for upright pedaling. Twelve thousand dollar bikes covered in dust. Squeaky chains. Flats. And group rides where the stragglers look like they died five miles back.

What does this mess mean? Well, it means you can have fun by riding up or down the scale and using the scale as a training mechanism. I’m not fast. I’m slow. And I ride with a small backpack carrying water bottles, my phone, an emergency blanket, a small journal, a knife, a pen, a flashlight, food, rain gear if need be, etc. It’s the same backpack I hike in, walk in, run in, etc. Not many fast people ride with a back pack. But for short distances I can ride fairly fast. So when a fast looking group rides past sometimes I use it for my interval training. They hate this. Because when they look behind, or stop at a light, and good old back pay guy is still with them it can lead to sneers or confusion. This is like test driving your Porsche turbo then looking in the rearview mirror and seeing some guy in a Prius tailgating you. It’s awesome. I also enjoy passing people on climbs. I love climbing. Not sure why because I’m not great at it, but I do like getting in a rhythm with both breathing and cadence.

Anyway, just another inland adventure for old Uncle Danno. Or maybe, based on the attached photo, I just rode to the beach and made this all up?

Comments 6

  1. Exactly. The women’s version of the TDF is an absolute joke. They get a one day event. Part of that is because of some asinine rule that the UCI had (maybe still does) in place which forbids women to race longer than 10 days.

    The local dentists/freds/too-much-disposable-income-folks are sometimes unbearable. It’s far worse than anything I ever encountered in SoCal. The pinnacle is the masters level racer in Boulder who was busted on doping last year. Come on. Is there really a need to dope for a masters race where the average age is late 40s? Don’t get me stated on the yahoos on their $10k+ super bikes that don’t fit with stems too high and too short while pedaling uphill at 40rpms in a gear much too big precariously balanced on unneeded aero bars… I know you know the type.

    You just keep chasing those groups with your backpack. Those confused looks are absolutely priceless. Would love to ride with you and see that. I’d probably LOL’ing uncontrollably.

    I try to mountain bike more these days. I use the road for endurance. The dirt is where I find real joy. Although, I’m not hipster enough for a ‘cross bike and Bec hates it when I start to grow a beard.

    I do enjoy a quiet road that turns into a 20 mile climb with 5000’ of vertical. When I was racing, I was never a good climber. I don’t have the body type for it. So, I learned to go down really really well. Chasing, and passing, the above mentioned crowd on the descents is also pure joy for me since most of them are too afraid to let go of the brakes…

    Sorry for the rant but, as you can see, I have rather mild opinions on the subject.

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      Just did a short ride in the Texas Hill Country. 100 degrees, rolling hills, one lane roads. So fantastic. I do a mix of riding, but my mtn bike is my Salsa, so no suspension. I love dirt roads, fire roads and love combining road and dirt on the same ride. My days of full suspension stuff are probably behind me. But, I’ll take what I can get.

  2. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Shifter… but i love what you’ve done with the place. It don’t know how long it’s been, but in the past I had only listened to the Dispatches.
    Adventure, lyme, yoga- you’re ability to be venerable with me as the viewer and share your story helps me more than receiving direct advice. It breaks down the wall and I can relate more, see myself in your words. I will admit, while I have always found myself agreeing with your views and insights on photography, I also felt very intimidated. But that resistance fades with all these personal additions, I see you as human. Your words resonate even stronger.
    Thanks, I look forward to more.
    (I chose to comment on this as I am also a cyclist :D)

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      I hope you don’t mean you were intimidated by me? If so, forget about it. I’m the least intimidating person out there, trust me. I can hear my wife laughing in the background. I’m just a flawed dude. I saw you followed me on IG. I haven’t begun my great “following” yet, but I will add you when I do. I’m still learning how modern IG works. Thanks for taking time to write. Much appreciated. Cycling, photography. A good combo. As for this site, yes, had to branch out a bit. Too much going on to focus on one thing.

    2. Hahahaha- you know that feeling you get when someone is talking down a particular characteristic people have, and in your head you have that “oh shit, i do that sometimes” moment? Your heart sinks but you maintain physical integrity and shake your head in agreement? That’s how I felt reading and listening to a lot of your work. (Being apart of the “millennial generation” I fall susceptible to many of the maladies infecting the population)
      But fortunately I have a solid ability to learn from mishaps and keep on going, which is why i come back for more.

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