CA Cogal Report: It Takes Two to Cogal

CA Cogal Report: It Takes Two to Cogal

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@nate’s take:
When @sgt announced the California Cogal I knew a road trip was in my future. Unable to make it for both days for velominatus paterfamilias reasons, the first question was which day. Solvang is a bit closer to the Bay Area but the temptation of a Big Climb was too much and I decided to do Saturday in Santa Barbara. The week ahead I applied new bartape for morale (including correctly orienting the fi'zi:k bar plugs) and meditated on which wheelset to bring. Thanks to @sgt’s sage advice I decided on the tubulars. I set out in the Rule #25-mobile Friday evening once the Pedalwans were asleep and traffic died down a bit. The next morning I caught the last 15km of the Strade Bianchi, had a Belgian waffle breakfast and headed for the rendezvous. As I drove into Santa Barbara I noticed the large mountain towering over town under a cloudless sky. Clearly, serious climbing was on the menu, and on a beautiful day.

I met sgt, we compared notes on our respective team issue California Velominatus Wilier Izoards (Campagnolo components, fi'zi:k saddles and bartape), downed coffees and hit the road. The first part of the ride was a nice warmup around Santa Barbara and environs as sgt filled me in on local history, etiquette of the local peloton, etc. After a few kms we made a left and began climbing a bit as we wound over the small ridge in front of the mountain. The pace remained Casually Deliberate as we made our way past jaw-dropping real estate populated largely by celebrities. The first climb of note was Ladera Lane, straight up for 1.5 km at 10%. Not a bad warmup.

More winding through yet more trophy homes, and before long we arrived at the base of Gibraltar Road, the Main Event, which would, if I have my geography right, top out at La Cumbre Peak at nearly 1200 meters above the ocean below. We stopped for a feed and sgt briefed me on the climb — an hour of up, broken into thirds. The first third to the No Shooting Sign, the second third to Painted Rock, the third to the top.

We passed a few slower riders on the lower slopes and soon became aware of a lone riding bridging up to us. Soon he was alongside. A veritable billboard of Rule violations, from the unwashed bike that probably weighed as much by itself as our two Wiliers, to the triple chainring, to the ill-fitting jersey, to the Camelback, to the shorts he was wearing (and I mean shorts-with-underwear, not shorts-as-opposed-to-bibs – the mere thought of which nearly gave me a saddlesore), he was nevertheless friendly and introduced himself as Brian. Over the next 10 km of climbing and suffering, we learned that Brian had ridden what seemed to be every major and minor climb on the coast between Santa Monica and San Jose, not to mention numerous huge climbs in the Sierra Nevada.

As the road approached the ridge, the views of Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands were completely stunning. I soon found myself riding side by side with Brian while sgt, a few yards back, suffered at his own pace. Momentarily distracted by the view and an insane hanglider hovering overhead, I looked up to find that Brian had opened a gap.  Between his encyclopedic climbing resume and his ability to maintain a strong pace uphill, my oxygen deprived brain slowly formed the realization that Brian was some sort of Grimpeur-Savant, most likely dispatched by the Gods of Mt. Velomis to test our devotion to the métier du grimpeur.

Suffering but not yet in the red, I bridged back up to Brian, then maintained the pace, which Brian matched. As we neared the top I moved Sur la Plaque and managed to open a bit of a gap but while the elastic stretched it never snapped. Over the top I stopped at the intersection to wait for sgt and to recover from the effort, Brian arriving moments behind after me and with his composure much more intact than mine.  Respect: beneath the unassuming exterior was an engine that was not to be trifled with. As Rule #43 says, we’re all brothers and sisters on the road.

The next segment of the ride was up and down a sweeping ridge top road. Nearly devoid of traffic (as had been the case since we turned away from the coast), with long views down the road of anything coming the other way, I reveled  in Rule #85 Awesomeness.  Then suddenly I heard a loud report and thought I’d punctured. Shit. The next moment  the shooting range sgt had mentioned at the base of Gibraltar Road came into view, and I realized it had only been the sound of small arms fire, and evidently not directed at us. There was one last short ridgetop climb, with a stunning view down the backside of the mountain, which fell away into a precipitous wilderness canyon. More descending, then we took the left-hander at Painted Cave and spend the next half hour in yet more Rule #85 paradise, as we marveled at the genius of well-fitted Italian road machines going down twisty roads.

At the bottom of the hill Brian left us to head another 20 or 30 km down the coast, because why not – he hadn’t shown the least sign of strain yet. Sgt and I wound our way through Goleta, yet more amazing real estate in Hope Ranch, along the beach and an empty bike path, and back into Santa Barbara. 110 km, 2000m of climbing, most of it on stunning and nearly traffic-free roads, with perfect weather, it had been a magnificent day in cycling paradise. Mucho gracias to sgt for organizing; I now face the daunting task of hosting him for a ride of equivalent Awesomeness on my turf. Thanks also to the Keepers without whom it wouldn’t have happened. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

http://app.strava.com/rides/4813421

@sgt’s take:

It really was the perfect plan. Two days of epic riding, meeting a bunch of my fellow Velominati, showing off my incredible form and even more incredible roads. But as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” Looking back now, I can see where things started to get a little haywire, first off, the weather forecast.  As the first Cogal to be conducted under absolutely splendid weather (20°, no wind, clear skies), I expected you all to come swarming.  Wrong!  Second mistake, the calendar. I neglected to account for both the local racing calendar and the flurry of VSP activity on the site competing for mind-share. Third, repeated Rule #11 violations on my part meant that I was sorely lacking in form. Note to self: the next Cogal I plan will be in cold, pissing rain and howling wind, in the off-season, at the end of summer so I’m not Too Fat To Climb.

I could see the first threads start to unravel when my repeated posts regarding attendance were either ignored or offered a cursory “have fun storming the castle!” from the peanut gallery. Then, one by one, my local friends and teammates started bailing… Some were racing.  Some were sick.  Some claimed “it didn’t fit in with their training schedule.” So it was with some apprehension that I rolled into Handlebar Coffee Roasters, the local cycling coffee house owned by Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson, two former pros and all-around great folks.  “Where are you off to today?” Kim asked as I ordered up a coffee. “Ladera, Gibraltar Rd., the whole nine yards,” I replied. “Great day for it!” Kim and Aaron exclaimed in near unison. I was sitting in the sun sipping away when Nate rolled up, resplendent in Witte Kit, aboard a sparkling Campy-equipped Wilier Izoard with Ambrosio tubbies and a spare tire impeccably strapped beneath his fi'zi:k Arione. Nate had driven down from Berkeley the night before, a round trip of over 1000km for the Cogal. (good on yer, Nate!) So, two Velominati on matching Wiliers…things were actually looking up! The day was warming nicely, and as we spun easily along the coast I pointed out some of the sights, while trying my best to call out turns early and often to avoid an early mishap.

After an untimely Schleck-anical on my part requiring a dismount, followed by a brief stop at a gas station to clean off my greasy fingers, we turned towards the hills. Nate asked, “Is it going to get cooler again?” in preparation for removing his arm warmers, and I chuckled and said “Not likely.” Toro Canyon, Ladera Lane and Mountain Drive slid by and after about an hour and a half we reached the foot of Gibraltar Road. Climbing 800m over 10km, it’s the iconic climb of the Santa Barbara road scene. We settled into a rhythm, but I could tell within the first five minutes that Nate was going to be dragging my sorry ass up this climb, and I cursed myself for the first time that day, but not the last.

Then psychic disaster struck.

I heard some huffing and puffing behind me, and turned to see a guy latching onto my wheel on a triple-ringed Schwinn wearing baggy tan shorts, a California flag cycling jersey and a backpack with a hydration tube coming through a hole in the top. I told myself  “no worries,  he’ll hold on for a few minutes, then give up and drop back.” But no, he went around me and struck up a friendly conversation with us (I dimly recall hearing the name “Brian”) as we dieseled up the first ramps. The multiple Rules violations were flashing warning bells through my sweating skull as I watched this guy match us pedal for pedal up the first 3km, then felt my heart sink into my Carnacs as he passed me, still chatting, and he and Nate slowly went up the road ahead. Un. Fucking. Believable. Feeling any remaining snap draining from my flagging legs I prayed to Merckx, “What have I done to deserve this?” No response. Up we went, past the hang-gliders, past the hippie communes, rock climbers and ad hoc shooting ranges, all the way to the top. I arrived to see Nate at least breathing heavily as he leaned against the bars, while Brian continued to chatter about all the climbing he’d done last weekend, and how glad he was to be “taking it easy” today, prompting another round of internal cursing from me followed by the slowly dawning realization that I was the subject of a cosmic prank, and that I should lighten up and enjoy the ride.

From the top of Gibraltar we continued up the ridge to La Cumbre Peak (elevation 1,200m), with the temperature about 25°, my legs starting to cramp and Nate finally shaking Brian, continuing to climb beautifully. I throttled back to work through the cramps (which mercifully passed after a few minutes), and we finally got to the payoff: the 15km decent of Painted Cave and Old San Marcos Pass. Nate again proved to be a rider of some skill negotiating this very technical descent with perfect form, while I enjoyed the empty comfort of at least knowing I can go downhill faster than Brian. At the base of the climb we turned west, stopping briefly to fill our bottles (this ended up being a four full bottle ride for me, almost double my typical intake in cooler conditions) and proceeded along the route. Brian bid us farewell as we turned towards the beach (I’m sure he was off to do another 150km), and Nate and I pacelined the final 30km or so, through tony Hope Ranch, past the harbor and back to Handlebar.

Over lunch and the presentation of Nate’s V-Pint we chatted about the ride, laughed about life and how Fate intervenes to remind us (uh, me) of our pretensions, and how lucky we are to enjoy a measure of health and the ability to get out and do rides like this. Nate got back on the road to Berkeley (my thanks as well to his VMH and two young boys for letting him loose), and I headed home to lick my wounds and see if anyone was interested in Day 2. No soap. With temperatures forecast above 25° in Solvang and no one else committing to riding, I did the previously unthinkable: I scrubbed the mission. Instead I spent Sunday closer to home, recovering with a hike behind my house and chipping away at the honey-do list.

So there you have it, the first CA Cogal. But not the last. Nate and I will be riding this summer in his backyard, and we will have more Cogals.  You’re all invited. But Brian AIN’T. (Brian, if you’re reading this, have a heart. At least buy some shorts before you show up on some climb and kick my ass. Again.)

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/bsargent30@yahoo.com/CA Cogal Report/”/]

 

// Cogals

  1. It’s a shame it didn’t work out as planned but for sure you guys both look absolutely fantastic!

  2. Great write up!

    I’m getting very nervous about the Cogal over in Blighty in April.

  3. Fantastic accounts, although for a few paragraphs, I was thinking Brian was some sort of allegorical figure. Maybe the ghost of cogals past?

    @sgt, the next time I’m in Santa Maria, I will definitely try to look you up. Maybe we could do a Solvang mini-cogal.

  4. Nice write up. Could use some of that weather right now, pissing rain interminably again here. Dug the matching wiliers. Visited the area a long time ago, would love to ride down there again.

  5. Sgt, I feel your pain. I’ve ridden with a “Brian” and it was humiliating. We took our Brian on a long group ride, him in cut-off shorts, sneakers and toe clips on some old shit steel bike. He kept wanting to go after the fast guys, we kept holding him back. By mile 70 we let him go up the road, I blew up, arrived at the finish much later than him and his cut-off shorts.
    He and I tried to go MTB together and luckily my seatpost broke very early on and I could leave with my ego intact. I hate these guys with all this natural talent. Damn them.

    Great report, two Velominati on matching bikes, on the Cogal. Beautiful

  6. Man, that’s one big-ass Camelback Brian has on there! Was there a case of beer in it? Damn ringers! I’ve come across these guys too, tons of natural ability and usually no full-time job except riding.

    Kudos to you both for including him in your write up and not signing some Velominati pact in nipple lube that “Brian never happened, never existed . . . .”

  7. Oh, Brians… You have to wonder what the true back-story is with some of them. Former pros who don’t want to look the part? I don’t believe for a moment that he was “taking it easy,” though. If it hurt for you guys, it hurt for him. Perhaps he hid it better, and he definitely had a psychological advantage considering his equipment, but maybe he was throwing up on the side of the road as soon as you parted ways…

  8. Nice going, lads!!! Very cool, and I like those WilierTwins.

    “Brian was some sort of Grimpeur-Savant.” HA! I can’t believe you even got a photo of him. That is amazing to have a Cogal crashed by a three-ring ringer.

    A former PRO I’ve ridden with isn’t a full-on Brian, but the guy rides old beat up bikes & parts, his kit is awful (sometimes he wears a custom SS jersey – cut off the sleeves of a LS), he generally looks terrible. But, he of course rides like a champ.

    Nice work you two! Sgt. – nothing wrong with Rule #11 violations sometimes. I’m about to force myself into a few solid months of Rule #11 violations finishing-my-graduate-degree style. Getting married in June & I refuse to have to tell my extended family of Northeastern ball busters that I’m still not done. Oh well, I’ve had around three years to seriously develop my form so a few months of non-daily riding should kill the guns, the engine, or the fire.

    I just wish I could say to my committee chair, “Hey, I might not be done yet, but I’ve been peaking for three years now!”

  9. @Ron

    “Hey, I might not be done yet, but I’ve been peaking for three years now!”

    Some variant of this is going into my end-of-leave report…

  10. Keep your chin up sgt. What a lovely sounding ride. Great stories you both tell. Thanks.

    And “Brian” is getting added to the lexicon. That shits gold right there.

  11. @Calmante
    or maybe it was Brian Lopes….as in “you just got Lopesd” Lopesed?? Lopes’d?
    You can’t hurt Brian Lopes he’s the Chuck Norris, Jens Voight and the Bruce I’m Hard Muhammad Ali of Mtn Biking,

    Anyways if I was Brian Lopes, thats what I’d do. I’d have little buisness cards and I’d hand them to roadies as I passed them on my Ibis HD with 2.7 nobby tires! And it would say “you just got Lopsed sucker”.

    I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl today and I haven’t even had a drink. Might be to do with my first ride in two weeks!

  12. @936adl

    Great write up!

    I’m getting very nervous about the Cogal over in Blighty in April.

    I may join this yet, although Shifnal is about 1.5 hrs drive so it would make for a very long day! How many do you expect out?

    I noticed a post from you on PH earlier – small world, eh?!

  13. @sgt and @nate; You’ll roll your eyes, but you have no idea how jealous I am of the ride you did. I’ve wintered over in Carpinteria before, and while I’m not a “local” by any means, I know my way around down there. Fantastic riding, climbing and (this is my real envy) weather.
    The VMH and I are considering moving to Ojai if I end up getting the new job I’m working on. I’ll make a SB Cogal, yes I will……….

  14. @scaler911

    Your not gonna be working for Peleton are you or testrider.com, they’re based in Ojai i think. Not too far from here.

  15. Nice writeup, brings back great memories of wrenching at Hazards back when it was still when it was still on De La Guerra, and riding climbing Gibraltar 3 days a week on a mountain bike.

  16. @Flying Crowbar
    Brian most definitely is an allegorical figure, even if he is also real. I spent the entire drive home meditating on the Mystery of Brian.

    @wiscot
    I don’t think Brian is a Beer in the Bidon (or Camelback, as it were) type. However, he had enough bananas in there to feed a barrel of monkeys.

    @scaler911
    Re the ridiculously perfect weather, I didn’t mention this in the write up but I got a fantastic early start on my tanlines as well.

  17. I’m sorry that I missed this one. I did, however, end up doing quite a bit of riding in the Bay Area Peninsula hills that weekend.

    Very nice write-up to the both of you!

    Is there a Bay Area Cogal in our future?

  18. @Nate

    @Flying Crowbar
    Brian most definitely is an allegorical figure, even if he is also real. I spent the entire drive home meditating on the Mystery of Brian.

    @wiscot
    I don’t think Brian is a Beer in the Bidon (or Camelback, as it were) type. However, he had enough bananas in there to feed a barrel of monkeys.

    @scaler911
    Re the ridiculously perfect weather, I didn’t mention this in the write up but I got a fantastic early start on my tanlines as well.

    With love: Fuck off……..

  19. @paolo

    @scaler911

    Your not gonna be working for Peleton are you or testrider.com, they’re based in Ojai i think. Not too far from here.

    No. Medical Rep. Kinda gig where it doesn’t matter where I live, so long as an airport is reasonably close.

  20. @scaler911

    @Nate

    @Flying Crowbar
    Brian most definitely is an allegorical figure, even if he is also real. I spent the entire drive home meditating on the Mystery of Brian.

    @wiscot
    I don’t think Brian is a Beer in the Bidon (or Camelback, as it were) type. However, he had enough bananas in there to feed a barrel of monkeys.

    @scaler911
    Re the ridiculously perfect weather, I didn’t mention this in the write up but I got a fantastic early start on my tanlines as well.

    With love: Fuck off……..

    We’ve gotten close to 3.5 inches of rain in the last 5 days………..

  21. @sgt

    @Nate

    Chapeau to you both, a cool ride and great write-ups. Nate, nice effort on the travel to get to a Cogal. And both you and your machines look particularly fantastic…

  22. Brian is indeed an allegorical character. He appears occasionally on my rides here in northwest Oregon/southwest Washington, usually on a hill, and often on a Schwinn.

  23. @scaler911

    @scaler911

    @Nate

    @Flying Crowbar
    Brian most definitely is an allegorical figure, even if he is also real. I spent the entire drive home meditating on the Mystery of Brian.

    @wiscot
    I don’t think Brian is a Beer in the Bidon (or Camelback, as it were) type. However, he had enough bananas in there to feed a barrel of monkeys.

    @scaler911
    Re the ridiculously perfect weather, I didn’t mention this in the write up but I got a fantastic early start on my tanlines as well.

    With love: Fuck off……..

    We’ve gotten close to 3.5 inches of rain in the last 5 days………..

    We’ve had a dry winter… until this week. Probably an inch of rain a day all week.

  24. @Nate
    I was just joking with ya! I grew up in the high desert, and even after 20+ years in the Portland area, I’ve never really gotten used to the long wet winters.
    But hey, Rule #9 and shit right!?

  25. @Routier

    @936adl

    Great write up!

    I’m getting very nervous about the Cogal over in Blighty in April.

    I may join this yet, although Shifnal is about 1.5 hrs drive so it would make for a very long day! How many do you expect out?

    I noticed a post from you on PH earlier – small world, eh?!

    Really no idea on numbers at this stage. I’m expecting 5 or 6 ‘locals’, and then who knows? Whatever happens it will be a good day. There are places to stay in Shifnal if you want to stick around for the post Cogal beer and curry.

    Small world indeed. I don’t get into PH as much as I used to, I’m a bit disillusioned with 4 wheels at the moment.

  26. What a fantastic writeup. Brian is a class act; NOTHING WORSE. It really shakes the Faith too, eh? All those Rule violations and he still has the heart to climb on his bike. But think of it this way: think of all the Hill Repeats he’s gotta do to keep Merckx’s wrath at bay. That’s probably why he’s so fast.

    I knew a local racer in Minneapolis who used to clean up all over. For fun, he’s dress like Brian and go to the races and blow by everyone in shorts and a flappy t-shirt. What a dick.

  27. @936adl
    I’ll be really curious about your turnout as you’ve been doing a great job promoting it on twitter. Considering another spot on the site where things like that can be promoted; as @sgt says, during VSP season, a lot of things get buried pretty quickly.

  28. @scaler911

    @Nate
    I was just joking with ya! I grew up in the high desert, and even after 20+ years in the Portland area, I’ve never really gotten used to the long wet winters.
    But hey, Rule #9 and shit right!?

    I don’t know if you ever get used to this shit. Its in my DNA as a Dutchman to have this weather and I am here to tell you that the rusty hammer is starting to look mighty friendly this time of year. March-April are the worst, when we’ve been riding in the rain daily since November. I can’t think of the last time I put on dry cycling shoes.

  29. @frank

    @936adl
    I’ll be really curious about your turnout as you’ve been doing a great job promoting it on twitter. Considering another spot on the site where things like that can be promoted; as @sgt says, during VSP season, a lot of things get buried pretty quickly.

    I’ll certainly be surprised to see who turns out. It’s a killer route so whatever happens it will be a blast. It would be good to get a little more exposure on the main site before the ride itself. Perhaps when we’ve all recovered from the Cobbles?

    Are you all set for the Keepers Tour?

  30. @co-mo

    Brian is indeed an allegorical character. He appears occasionally on my rides here in northwest Oregon/southwest Washington, usually on a hill, and often on a Schwinn.

    I had a teammate do a Brian at a TT once. He brought his bike, helmet and forgot his kit and shoes. Did the TT in a t shirt, basketball shorts and flip flops. He won the thing by over 45 seconds. Fucker.

  31. @frank
    Is there a way for the VSP related posts don’t show up in the feed on the right hand side of the home page? That may be a way to not have other stuff get buried so fast.

  32. Brian is living, breathing proof that Rule #5 trumps all other Rules.

  33. Nice write up. I found myself working in a bike shop in San Lorenzo in the early ’90’s. I arrived there via hitchhiking from Salem, OR and all I had to my name was a backpack full of clothes and a Bible. Within a couple of days of arriving in the Bay Area I had secured a job at San Lorenzo Scwhinn and got a little side gig putting together Bidgestone’s bikes for the upcoming Interbike show. In exchange I was able to purchase an RB-1 for $314. Brian reminded me of me as I was alway bombing around the foothills in sneakers and shorts and one time I was riding out to Sunol and back and hooked up with some dude on a titanium something or other and he gracioulsy let me suck his wheel all the way back into town. I rode to Berkely once because I heard there was a pretty cool bike shop there but I don’t remember the name of it. Then on the way back to San Leandro I was climbing a little hill and pulled over to help a girl that had had a Scheckanical on her MTB. She was a goddess of beauty – raven haired and brown skin and I kick myself for not asking her out to dinner – what could it have hurt, I was never going to see her again anyway.

  34. @Xyverz

    Is there a Bay Area Cogal in our future?

    There have been some rumblings to that effect — stay tuned.

    @Cyclops
    Berkeley shop — Velo Sport?

  35. Great ride guys! That’s what days in the saddle are all about- good friend’s, good kilometers, and great memories. Thanks for sharing!

  36. @Cyclops

    Nice write up. I found myself working in a bike shop in San Lorenzo in the early ’90″²s. I arrived there via hitchhiking from Salem, OR and all I had to my name was a backpack full of clothes and a Bible. Within a couple of days of arriving in the Bay Area I had secured a job at San Lorenzo Scwhinn and got a little side gig putting together Bidgestone’s bikes for the upcoming Interbike show. In exchange I was able to purchase an RB-1 for $314. Brian reminded me of me as I was alway bombing around the foothills in sneakers and shorts and one time I was riding out to Sunol and back and hooked up with some dude on a titanium something or other and he gracioulsy let me suck his wheel all the way back into town. I rode to Berkely once because I heard there was a pretty cool bike shop there but I don’t remember the name of it. Then on the way back to San Leandro I was climbing a little hill and pulled over to help a girl that had had a Scheckanical on her MTB. She was a goddess of beauty – raven haired and brown skin and I kick myself for not asking her out to dinner – what could it have hurt, I was never going to see her again anyway.

    @Cyclops

    Nice write up. I found myself working in a bike shop in San Lorenzo in the early ’90″²s. I arrived there via hitchhiking from Salem, OR and all I had to my name was a backpack full of clothes and a Bible. Within a couple of days of arriving in the Bay Area I had secured a job at San Lorenzo Scwhinn and got a little side gig putting together Bidgestone’s bikes for the upcoming Interbike show. In exchange I was able to purchase an RB-1 for $314. Brian reminded me of me as I was alway bombing around the foothills in sneakers and shorts and one time I was riding out to Sunol and back and hooked up with some dude on a titanium something or other and he gracioulsy let me suck his wheel all the way back into town. I rode to Berkely once because I heard there was a pretty cool bike shop there but I don’t remember the name of it. Then on the way back to San Leandro I was climbing a little hill and pulled over to help a girl that had had a Scheckanical on her MTB. She was a goddess of beauty – raven haired and brown skin and I kick myself for not asking her out to dinner – what could it have hurt, I was never going to see her again anyway.

    We have all been there! Should have asked, but didn’t. In any event it worked out well for me… didn’t ask the first time, but did the second and ended up marrying that one. It all works out in the end!

  37. nice effort guys and a great read, really enjoyable.

  38. Nice writeup of what looked to be a great day.

    Touch bases with the ultracycling crowd and you’ll find a dozen Brians. Dudes that look like they’re one step away from a Critical Mass rally. And every single one with tens of thousands of kilometers of riding in their legs. They’ll chat you up, then stand and dance away.

    Especially the dudes in their 60’s.

  39. Wiliers look wonderful, and the route, absolutely breathtaking. The Brian’s, I may never be able to pass them, but I can at least look fantastic trying.

  40. It was only after reading the comments that I took another look at pic number 5 and read the comment below. Cracking effort, manipulating camera at 50kph and manageing to catch the moment when Brian was hidden behind the bush…

  41. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have all that climbing close at hand. I had to go out of my way on Saturday to find 200 meters of climbing, let alone 2000!

  42. Oh, and by the way, Brian’s bike, outfit, and misshapen old camelback might not command much respect, but those freakin’ howitzers of his certainly should.

  43. @The Oracle

    Oh, and by the way, Brian‘s bike, outfit, and misshapen old camelback might not command much respect, but those freakin’ howitzers of his certainly should.

    It’s hard to tell from the photo, but did he at least have clipless pedals? I can’t imagine doing that much climbing with shoes that could just slip off at any time.

    I took my old commuter bike out to the bar on Saturday night so I could get myself home without waiting for a cab or driving. Flat pedals on that thing, which is quite annoying when you ride 99.9% of the time clipless. I should at least get some toe cages on it…

  44. @The Oracle

    Oh, and by the way, Brian‘s bike, outfit, and misshapen old camelback might not command much respect, but those freakin’ howitzers of his certainly should.

    Word. I noticed the same thing! That guys certainly spends loads of time on his bike, even if he’s not a Velominatus.

    @roger

    Wiliers look wonderful, and the route, absolutely breathtaking. The Brian‘s, I may never be able to pass them, but I can at least look fantastic trying.

    Looks like you’ve got it all worked out, mate.

  45. Sounds like we all missed out – Great ride & great weather in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Glad you boys made it happen. Anyone up for a Texas Cogal?

  46. @Nick
    Pretty sure Brian was off the back once the road pointed down.

    @mcsqueak
    Funny you should mention pedals. At one point Brian told us about how he finally upgraded to clipless only a couple months ago. I could be mistaken but they were probably MTB pedals.

  47. Nicely done! I did the route the week before, appropriately attired in V-kit as well (had to work on your weekend). The views from the ridge are some of my favorites in all of SoCal cycling. One doesn’t look out over SB, one looks DOWN on SB! I, too, have had the experience of seeing a baggie short wearing, lo-tech jersey clad cyclist on a similarly challenging ride. Turned out to be Andy Hampsten. I did not recount the numerous Rule violations to him as he pulled away up the incline. Very nice guy to chat with later, though.

  48. Had a bad day on the bike today. I was dropped by two Brians with unshaven guns and lid-mounted mirrors. I don’t even know why I’m sharing this. Humiliating.

  49. @Calmante

    Had a bad day on the bike today. I was dropped by two Brians with unshaven guns and lid-mounted mirrors. I don’t even know why I’m sharing this. Humiliating.

    I’ve a feeling there might be some who’ll enjoy reading it though.

    Can’t be too smug, happens to all of us unfortunately.

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