Thursday, September 4, 2008
Weekend in Solvang: The Hay is in the Barn!
The heaviest weeks of endurance training for my races in Lake Tahoe and Moab are behind me now. So to kick off my Taper appropriately, this weekend Lisa and I are headed up the coast to Santa Barbara and Solvang for a weekend of long rides, naps, runs, naps and wine tasting. I am bringing my miraculous, new waffle maker so all bets are off!
Solvang offers some of the best cycling in the world, bar none. Lance Armstrong has stated that only Girona, Spain offers a better place to train. Many of the top European and domestic cycling teams hold preseason base camps in Solvang in January/February each year.
The forecast says over 100 degrees and little cloud cover...perfect preparation for Moab! I will have to bring extra nuun to handle the extreme heat!
Solvang was awesome! Lisa and I did a fun, mellow 50 mile spin on Saturday from Solvang through Buellton, to Lompoc, and back on Santa Rosa Road. Beautiful! On Sunday I rode alone, up and over Mt. Figueroa from the house in Solvang...past Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch...made me ride a bit faster.
The famous "Fig" climb really is a kick in the nuts. One of the more magnificent ascents I have done, including Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Cascade mountains, etc. 9.5 miles averaging 9%...several pitches over 20%. A couple around 25. Yes, I said Twenty. Ri-donk-ulous. The climb starts abruptly with a smack: an 18% grade. "Oh, reallly"...
Rather than shooting for a (quixotic) "fast" split time, I smiply tried to make it up...period. With scorching temperatures of 105 at the bottom of the climb, and high 80s at the top, I did not need to detonate on this day, one week out from a very important race. I did the climb in 1:10:05, going as easy as possible, coasting the few downhills, soft pedaling any flats.
I know Lance has gone low-50s on this climb in training. I am sure someone his size at 400 watts would break 40, race pace. In early november we plan on returning, and I will shoot for a good benchmark at that time, hopefully break the hour mark. Maybe we'll see Lance there! (I for one am stoked that he is coming out of retirement to the Pro ranks for 2009)...
Today I'm suggesting some Jerry Reed, who passed away this week of emphysema.
(If you smoke, you have a miserable death ahead of you. Your lifestyle determines your deathstyle!)
Just who the dickens is Jerry Reed, you ask? If you lived in the bayou, you would know.
But you don't live in the bayou. Do you even have a bayou by you?
All I have to say is I have 5 words for you: Smokey and the freaking Bandit!
...WE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO...AND A SHORT TIME TO GET THERE!
Elvis Presley recorded two of his songs, "U.S. Male'' and "Guitar Man'' (both in 1968).
Primus covered Jerry's song "Amos Moses", which I have included with a Jerry Reed original for good measure. After a listen you will agree that Jerry Reed is awesome.