On a more Larissa appropriate STOKED note than yesterday's post, a recap of Friday and Sunday's rides at unofficial team camp! Because let's be honest, the stress and insecurities I experienced all week couldn't possibly overshadow how amazing the rides we did were, and how much I just FREAKING LOVE RIDING BIKES!!!
|Amazing riding selfie photo skills cred: Jess Cerra (She's an amazing chef, super strong cyclist, AND an incredible selfie artist!)|
Friday we rode 104 miles, starting in Rancho Santa Fe at an amazing bakery. Have I mentioned that roadies like their pastries way more than mountain bikers? I feel like a boob for making so many comparisons between the pro roadies and pro mountain bikers I know this week, maybe that's an entire blog post in itself, but there is not a gluten-fearful woman on the team... just saying :) We headed out towards Julian and rode what's called the Henshaw loop, which appropriately goes by lake Henshaw! In the first 40 miles I got 3 flats, one in my rear tire from who knows what (thanks Adam for changing the tube in the car while we were riding!) and two in the front tire from glass and whatnot on the road. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright, but the roads were still a bit wet from the El Nino downpours all week, which usually means stuff gets lodged in tires and stays there rather than falling off. I don't remember many details of the first half of the ride because I was busy getting flats and trying to call out all the road hazards, and watching what everyone was doing to learn from them. Then we arrived at a general store close to Julian and ate the most amazing cookies of my life. They had white chocolate chips and the bottoms were perfectly crunchy while the rest of the cookie was soft... heaven :) From the bakery we rode through the high desert to an amazing climb, down a sketchy descent, and then back to Rancho Santa Fe through Escondido. Other highlights of the ride included the most amazing egg, sweet potato pocket things Jess made for us (did I mention I have awesome team mates?!) and NO RAIN!
|I know I used this pic already... good team mates stick their tongues out for pictures :)|
And Sunday we did another amazing ride out to the tiny community of Rainbow. This time Jess brought us incredible cookies for the ride, and I got NO flats. Other highlights from this ride include a few super fun climbs, in which AJ attacked the crap out of us 80% of the way up, which means I was chasing... It is SO fun riding with super fast chicks who can kick your butt and/or make you suffer like a dog just to contribute to the paceline. On one flat stretch we had a wicked fun little team time trial practice which reminded me of the good old UCD cycling team days. And there were quite a few crazy fast descents, one of which I was able to keep up on, the others I was really pushing the boundaries of where I feel comfortable on a road bike. I learned a crap load about descending alone this past week, especially how capable that road bike is, and that you can really lean it over pretty far cornering. Most importantly, I learned that I LOVE descending super fast roads following my team mates. My mental mantra on each descent was that I trust the girls in front of me to make safe choices, so if they are going fast, I can too, and if things get sketchy, they'll brake, therefore I don't need to stress about when to slow down.
|Also not my picture, but this was taken right before AJ ripped my legs off and threw them over a cliff. Literally.|
The only sad thing about the past week is that I didn't take many pictures (too busy listening, watching and keeping my hands on the bars) and that they went by SO fast. So camp is over, and I'm back at home in Orange County training solo, very much looking forward to Media camp and racing bikes with Team Twenty16!!!