Tuesday, 29 September 2009

It's Official

After summer's last gasp over the weekend, autumn has finally set in. I felt it for sure on the ride home today. The leaves rustling along the road, pumpkins on doorsteps. The light is more yellow, but the wind still a little warm. I'm looking forward to putting on the arm and knee warmers, and going out for a nice long rides.

I went up Claremont today and saw The Intimidator:

Scary! But who exactly is being intimidated? Dead bushes?

The legs felt pretty good. I never got to that gasping state that usually hits on the first switchback. After turning onto Grizzly Peak, I bombed down South Park, then up Shasta and Golf Course Drive for a little more climbing.

Descending South Park at top speed is a supreme act of faith - and stupidity. The sight lines are long enough that you can spot cars well in advance. Still, I hit 49 mph today, and at that speed, there's no room for sudden adjustments. When I'm going that fast, I just relax and try not to imagine the carnage if a deer bolted across at just the wrong moment. Ironically, South Park is actually more dangerous over the winter, when it's closed to allow the newts across the road (yes, seriously). Besides the threat of getting newt smoothie all over your bike, the off leash dogs will kill you, literally.

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