July 4, 2011

Melting on Montebello

The heatwave settled in for the long holiday weekend; summer really has arrived in the Bay Area. One local thoroughfare was so clogged with traffic yesterday that a motorist called out to me:
Is there a parade, or something?
Sort of. A parade of beach-bound cars cutting through town, hoping to save time by detouring off the clogged freeway. And that is why I walked to the farmers' market, and back home with a basket packed with fruits, salad fixings, and flowers.

Then I took a cue from my cat, and napped. When I donated blood earlier this week, my hemoglobin level was running somewhat lower than it has been—and my body balked at the deficit. Correlation? Probable. Uncontrolled experiment? Totally.

I was determined not to miss our club's traditional Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast today, followed by a traditional bike ride to burn off those calories. Despite the heat. Despite running low on red cells.

My goal: slowest time up Montebello Road, ever. With a watchful eye on my heart rate, I ascended at a snail's pace. I did not pass a single rider, but many passed me. Surely they thought I was pathetic. It is especially humbling when the guy riding his fixie passes you like you're standing still. On a good day, I climb the steepest sections in my lowest gear.

Satisfaction at the summit turned triumphant when a couple arrived in a white convertible and saluted us.
You ladies are amazing, biking up this hill!
I want your autographs!
Before crossing the five bridges deep into Stevens Canyon, I envied the families picnicking in the shade and the children splashing in the creek. Maybe I should sign up for How to Relax: Introductory Level. It probably does not entail climbing 3,370 feet on a 50-mile bike ride in 90-degree heat. [Just guessing.]


  1. Hey, your tracklog only says 43.7 miles!

    -- Alison, who rode about 10 total

  2. True, 6.8 miles from home to pancakes was recorded to a separate track. Thanks for helping with the breakfast!