Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Souvenir from a ride: Otay Lakes Rd with the LUNA Chix
I think this was from August 2012, my first time heading east on Otay Lakes Rd toward Honey Springs Rd climb. I was with the LUNA Chix group ride and took this shot from the back of the group... and I wasn't progressing toward the front. It would take me another 20 miles before I thought to check if my tires could free spin and found that the rear brake was rubbing... Having ridden in to the ride from North Park area, I only made it half way up Honey Springs Rd and had a hardest time on the little rollers on Otay Lakes Rd and Olympic Pkwy on my way back to town, seriously questioning my fitness just a month shy of my first epic century ride.
It was a very humiliating experience and a very educational one. Aside from squeezing the tires to check air pressure I always spin the wheels to check for rubbing brake and/or wobble before every ride now (and even during the ride, whenever I stop I'd check the tires and wheels again before remounting and continuing). I'm also eternally grateful to the LUNA Chix ride leadership. The day's sweep rider, Ellen, refused to leave me as I fell further and further behind the rest of the group on Honey Springs Rd and all the way back on Otay Lakes Rd. Ellen carried extra water and energy bars with her and was full of encouragement. Then ride leader Barb came upon us struggling up a little hump just before Wueste Rd turn off and actually gave me a push.
Seriously, if it weren't for Ellen and Barb I might have just rolled off the uncomfortably hot tarmac somewhere east of Skydive San Diego and became coyote food before my friends could send out a search and rescue party. Instead, I went on to finish the inaugural Giro di San Diego gran fondo ride, have climbed Honey Springs at least 20 times now and other bigger mountains along the way. The LUNA Chix have been taking the winter months off from cycling, but I'm quite looking forward to more rides with them when their season starts again in a few months!
Update (11Mar2014): The LUNA Chix have re-organized! They are now called the Wheel Women of San Diego. More info on their new Facebook page (first ride of 2014 season coming up on Sunday April 13th from Moment Cycle Sports in Liberty Station).