Last Saturday the clouds and rain finally gave way to clear skies for just enough time for the AIDS Life Cycle training rides to get on their way. Let me tell you, after a week of being strapped to a stationary bike at the gym, I couldn't have been more excited to get out and ride. The week of rain still caused some disruptions, though. We left our meeting point in Culver City a little late because we were waiting (in vain) for more riders to show up. We also had to change our route due to the closure of the Ballona Creek bike path. But all was well. The ride was much more challenging than the climb up Bundy two weeks before. We eventually made our way through Beverly Hills and up Benedict Canyon on our way to Mulholland Dr. At a certain point one of our ride leaders asked, "so are you all feeling masochistic or do you want to do the normal ride up." Being stupid, I nodded my head along with the others and we proceeded to ride up "deep canyon" for the last part of our climb. All six of us who chose this route suffered together, but I was having special problems that day. I recently purchased new biking shoes, and while I had no problems clipping out, I was having a some difficulty clipping back in. This was especially clear on the steep climbs where there just wasn't enough time to get the right footing. I eventually had to stake out enough space to go down first and then turn back up the hill. And the climb itself was extremely painful By the time I reached the final crest to see the view of the valley, I felt sick to stomach. That was "deep canyon." Never again.
We spent another hour or so riding around Mulholland which was great and totally frightening. There isn't enough space for all the cyclists who like to ride around up there and many of the expensive cars don't really know what to do with us. This is me at the corner of Mulholland and Encino Hills. While it isn't very flattering and you can't see the snow-capped mountains behind, it is evidence that I was there.
According to people who saw me later that day, I was beaming with happiness. Good day! Too bad Alina couldn't make it out with me.