31 August 2008

31/August/2008 La Costa Solo Ride

After this morning's abbreviated ride with my son, I was still in the mood to pedal. The bike was still on the roof of my car, a fresh riding kit tucked away in a duffel in the back of the car, and my energy was high. I got in the car for drive over to La Costa. Everything seemed to be ready. After about 20 starts and stops as I fiddled with this and that, I jumped on the bike and was riding up the hill.

The temperature was cool enough and even though I was working hard something about the ride was very easy. There were technical sections of the trail that I seemed to be able to just climb like I never had been able to do before. I was on my Mojo and filled with it too. It was awesome.

I had forgotten my heart rate monitor, which usually means that I'm off my mark, but this time, I just listened to my body as it told me how much I could push and when. I don't know how long it took me to get to the top of the hill. It both seemed like it took a long time and like I was there before I knew it. I rode past the kiosk, down the singletrack to the swirly, swoopy trail that crosses the road and then continues zig-zagging around until it finally ends at the road, just primed for the downhill.

Before I crossed the road the first time on the singltrack, I came zipping over a rise and around a corner and ran smack over the neck of a rattle snake. It didn't hurt me although it must have hurt the snake, but it sure did startle me. Since there wouldn't have been much I could do to help the snake if I'd injured it, I just continued riding.

When I got to the downhill section, I lowered my seat and hammered the hill until I got to the bottom. Then, something got into my mind and I lost a lot of motivation. It wasn't physical because I did the climb back up the hill without any problem. I think I was lamenting the way the morning's ride with my son had turned out and wishing again that I wasn't riding by myself.

I rode down past the old green waste site, past the trail marker and continued down the road that eventually just dead ended. I had hoped I'd be able to find a trail out, but there was nothing that looked like it had been used by bikers. I turned around, headed back the way I came--up the fire road climb, back to the singletrack, crossing the road in the reverse of the way I'd come down. I was looking for the snake, which I never found. I figure it either slithered into the grass to recuperate or a hawk saw it and had a tasty snack. Either way, what ever happened to the snake will never be known to me.

The way down the hill was as fun and swoopy as ever, although I was less speedy then I usually am because I didn't wear my guards (the trail rash on my elbow from the morning's escapade would have made wearing elbow guards a bit painful!)