It had been way too long since I had been out to Alpine for some Wednesday stoke with Steve (AKA Aquaholic). So some emails were sent and in the very first reply Steve was laying the ground for a lackluster performance. He saud he has been doing nothing but working on stupid human tricks on his Jet Ski and has not been on the bike in five weeks.
So I know Steve has been indeed working on said tricks, but not whining about no riding and bad fitness, that’s just classic Steve sandbagging.
Not that Steve and I race up Anderson, but I can count on one hand how many times I have gotten up that trail ahead of Steve so I was expecting to call him all sorts of synonyms for sandbagger on the ride. When we left the trailhead it was 89 degrees and we have gathered enough brain-boil data over the years to safely assume that there a few spots along the climb that are typically about 5 degrees warmer than the trailhead. After the initial bit of pavement spinning and the opening section of descending the climbing started in earnest. What the Hell? Steve was already waving me around. I declined and decided to just ease up and chit chat some. The kind of idle chit-chat that kills me when I’m struggling as it demonstrates the person behind is not completely winded and its some subliminal pressure to give moving you slug! Steve was talking about the heat. Now the heat normally kicks my ass, but I had just spent nearly the last month working in the middle-east where the daytime highs got up to as high as 108 and the night-time lows got down to maybe 98 at best. These low 90’s were just downright refreshing!
After the next wave around, I took Steve up on the offer and he slowly started tailing off. I was feeling pretty strong and the while I was not trying to push myself up the hill, I was aware that I gears were ticking over easier than they have in the past. I’m having and good day and Steve is having a bad time with the climb.
About a little more than halfway up the climb the trail has been jacked by some four-wheeler folks who got themselves stuck off the trail. There solution was to bring in a dozer and widen and “clean up ” the trail.
So I made it up Pistachio Point well ahead of Steve and had time to document the lack of any fresh Steve droppings.
Shortly after arriving Steve was curled up in fetal position and he even had to use the emergency binky that up until now had only been used to taunt the riders behind him. Shortly after this picture was taken the thing fell apart from dry rot after it first only usage.
Once the climbing was done, the tables were turned and life popped back into Steve and he was right back into the airborne routine. I was a completely different story. I had not been riding any “wheels off the ground” technical stuff as of late and I had not been out here in a long time. All the rocks looked bigger and more menacing while the ruts looked deeper.
I was able to get a little bit of air under the tires but for the most part I did not feel comfortable at all. I just did not have the feel for it today. I clearly need to get back out on these kind of technical bits more often.
The main descent back down was in summer dirt mode and the upper section where the doozer had gone through really removed much of the character of this trail through there. A few good rains should spruce it back up. It was good to get back out on the trail with Steve again. Plans for more Wednesday stoke were plotted over tasty beer and BBQ at Alpine Beer Company afterwards.