Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sinuses & Sprockets

Not having a sinus infection since the Summer of 1994 has been nice. That all changed a couple of weeks ago though. A combination of hot, humid weather and poor air quality snuck up and hit me with its best shot. The only drawbacks were a bit of difficulty breathing at higher rates of exertion and the high velocity voiding of mucous from the membranes while on the fly. The breathing part was expected and pretty easy to deal with by just slowing down a bit if needed. The snot rockets on the fly were difficult to master at higher speeds. It took about a week before missing my shirt hit the 100% level. Until then, only the most raggedy of my Joe Shit The Ragman collection of t-shirts were deployed. Hopefully this crud will be gone completely in a few more days. I could easily go another fourteen years without a sinus infection.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Canyons at Night

A recent evening had me tripping up into about as remote of a canyon as Orange County pavement can get. Some friends up there had been trying to get me to come up to hang out, eat, drink, and be merry for quite some time.

The ride up was not too bad other than it being somewhat warm. Traffic wasn't too horrific and as soon as suburbia was escaped it was truly sparse. The hills didn't totally agree with my choice of gear inches, but nothing slowed my progress down too much. It didn't take too long to get to the canyon entrance where a final cell phone call warning of my imminent arrival was placed.

The shade in the narrow canyon was a welcome reprieve from the direct sunlight earlier. This seemed to lessen the intensity of the steeper sections. There's enough line of sight to attack the steepest sections, with a head-down and hammer type approach. This became my undoing, as the turn-off I wanted was on one of these approaches and therefore missed. The realization of the missed turn came at the Forest Service boundary. This facilitated a slow downhill run to the intended turn where it was eventually located.

A nice dinner of fresh grilled chicken tacos with all of the accoutrements was had. Of course there was some great beer to go with it, as well as a lot of catching-up in conversation. It was a pleasant visit, to say the least.

The ride back was cool, dark and very fast. What took about an hour up only took about forty minutes on the return trip. It's one that will be ridden again.