Lost over and over
So the theme of these two rides is Divergence. That is code for I lost the group, I was not paying attention to the right signals.
I'm feeling pretty cocky. 4 Days of riding and I have found I can keep up with these people. In fact, as I have said, going up the hills I like to get the pain over so I actually am passing them. Noisy, but passing. Monday ride is advertised as Meet at Alexander Hughes Community Center in Claremont. A 20-mile ride including some climbing in north La Verne and a ride around Puddingstone Lake with a breakfast stop.
Fairly large group, 10+, we start off. Two of my favorite women climbers, Beth and Kathy are present. We are just working our way West, have not started to head south to Puddingstone lake yet. A Divergence! All at once Beth and Kathy peel off to the right. I have missed the signal. Was not tuned into the right station. In my inimitable fashion, I yell wow wow what was that. I am told they are off to do an extra hill that I should not do. I kind of remember some earlier talk that I was not listening to. Anyway, I turn and follow them. But, they are already around the corner and by the time I get around, they are out of sight! I have no idea which way they went. I assume up so I go up. I turn back to catch the main group. Now they are gone also.
OK, I'll slavage the day. I get out my phone and note what may be the bike path we were on Saturday. In order to get to it I have to descend all the way down to Baseline Rd. I make it down, long downhill. I am putzing along, stopping every few intersections to check the phone google map to see if this is the road I should head up on. Some bikers pass me. Then some more and someone says my name. The gods have smiled on me. It is the CSBG. I am back in the game!!!
They now head over on fairly flat terrain to the area I went to Friday and Sunday, Bonelli Park. I think we go through the park and then into an area people refer to as La Verne. There is at least one long killer hill. Dan has taken over looking out for me. He tells me that we will turn at the first right. As I have said, it is now my habit to pass people on these steep hills. I turn in to wait and Dan has to tell me that he was wrong. He was thinking of the Wednesday route. Today we keep on climbing. I pull back out on to the hill. There are a couple cars pulled over but room for me on the right. As I pass, one of the cars veers toward me, pushing me toward the guard rail. I yell and the car moves on. Dan asked if I was attacked there. I like to be optimistic. I think the driver just was not paying attention and veered toward me. Again, compared to the pain of pushing the peddles up hill, it was a non-event. No need to sweat the small stuff.
Anyway, some great hills that leave me feeling very good about my climbing. I'm trying to be really attentive and stay at the front. Doing so is hard given that I fall behind at each stop and lose the group on the down hills. I'm always afraid of another divergence. I did lose the leaders on the trip back from Victoria Garden the first day with CSBG.
Our course today takes us through a camp ground FULL of trailers and people. This is really a mobil home park. It has a very permanent feel. Then we are back to the airport and race track. The airport is a private one. The race track is for dragsters and about every 5? minutes a car runs the 20 second course with the noise of an airplane taking off. Across from the track is a industrial area with the La Verne Brewery and Genes Grinders. I assume that is where we sat down for the normal CSBG breakfast. I'm certainly not eating and I am holding back a little to get the lay of the land but finally I sit down and of course enjoy telling my story. After breakfast, I ride back the short distance to Claremont with a few people at a leisurely pace. As usual, people just drop off and I proceed home.
Day 6 was planned as another trip to Victoria Garden: Below is the official blurb from the Meetup.com posting.
Meet at Baseline and Mills in Claremont. Ride to Victoria Gardens and back to the Euro Cafe for brunch (does NOT stop at Corner Bakery, though some riders may opt to do so). Route is mostly flat (easy) but pace may be challenging for some riders. (30 miles).
Pick-up points along the route:
- 18th and Benson in Upland (about 8:15 AM)
- 19th and San Antonio in Upland (about 8:22 AM)
- Sapphire (about 8:32)
Contact: Larry Castorena
Join the CSBG Yahoo Tuesday/Thursday rider email list (members only) to receive email notifications about this ride.
But did Tom read that about the email list and sign up, no. And, there had been a lot of talk about the Meeting Point of Baseline and Mills. Turns out there was construction starting there and a lot of the riders coming in from the East could not get to the meeting place. There is actually a VONS supermarket at the corner. It has a customer promotion involving a monopoly game and so I had been directed by my daughter to do my shopping there. I showed up at my normal 7:30 but no one had appeared by 8:10. As I said, there had been a lot of talk about changing the meeting place but no definite change when I was with the group yesterday.
OK, I have done this before. I find a way through a median around the construction and start off for Victoria Garden. Its a long haul but I'm moving and have some confidence where they will be. And there they are! Same bakery, same chairs. This time I pull up a seat for a few moments before they are ready to go off. Larry and a couple on a tandem are up for hills so I join them. It is hard, but nothing like yesterday. I have to stop for a drink from my water bottle, something I rarely need. I think it is the desert climate drying me out. Anyway, Larry is careful to help me find Benson road and it takes me home.
Sorry there are no pictures. I should learn to be crafty and take selfies with others in the background. Part of the problem is that I have killed so many brain cells going up the hills that I don't have a lot of creative thoughts.