It was like I had entered some alternate reality hell. I could barely see, the wind was screaming so that I might as well have been riding on the runway at LAX, the rain really hurt and made navigating extremely difficult, I was freezing now, and my brakes were giving up the battle.
Riding. In the mountains. In a 50 year storm. Through a gauntlet of boulders being cut loose by a combination of fire followed by rain. Sound fun? For your weekend entertainment here’s a tale of an epic ride from my friend Aaron.
I’ve ridden this loop many times. And I’ve ridden it in the rain. But I haven’t seen it during a 50 year storm. And certainly not after the worst fire season in the history of the area, where the rain turned one of the most beautiful mountain passes in the USA into a road cyclists’ version of the North Face of the Eiger.
It wasn’t until I’d made it about a mile down that I realized I was a true idiot and had made a terrible mistake. As I was navigating through a relatively entertaining mine field of baby head sized sharp rocks on the road, I heard a crash from 40-50 feet up and saw a boulder smashing down the hillside on a collision course. No Fucking Way. People do NOT get killed by boulders while road riding! I grabbed what brake I had in the wet and swerved…
It’s posted in a more apropos home, on the Ritte Van Vlaanderen cycling site. This is my new team, which you’ll certainly hear more about as the season kicks in. Started by my friend and fellow birthday challenger Spencer, it’s pretty much the embodiment of why I ride and sometimes race. To train hard, to have fun, to mix it up at the races, do epic rides, look cool,look really cool, but never take yourself too seriously.
pics: aaron’s favorite doper, the lion of flanders, and the ritte boys doping retro.