A few days before New Year's Brooke, Alex and I (team A-LaB ?)finally piled into the car after much dilly-dallying and drove north to her parent's house which is located a few minutes north of Yosemite.
After driving as long as we could stand, it was starting to get dark so we pulled over and rode for an hour.
The next morning (Dec 31st) we had planned to do 100 miles but after talking to Brooke's dad Richard, looking at maps and seeing the kind of elevation we settled on a more reasonable 45 miles instead.
It was really cold out by So Cal standards so we were all bundled up...
The roads north of Yosemite are definately some of the prettiest and most interesting to ride. After heading out on 120 we turned off onto a road that dropped steeply into a deep valley.
The road was twisty and fun and at the bottom of the valley there was a river with a bridge that crossed to the other side of the valley where the road climbed out.
The bridge was like some hideous piece of pop art. It was completely covered in graffiti! It was kind of fun to read all the different stuff people had written, but the weirdest part of it was when you looked over the edge, the river and valley were so pristine that it made kind of a surreal contrast. Here's some pics of me, Alex and Brooke on the bridge
Me... Don't worry Nate, I don't think they meant it.
Brooke and Alex. Personally I think the arrow should point the other way. Ha, ha, sorry Alex.
After our photo shoot (I tried to leave out the really bad graffiti), we headed up the road on the other side of the valley...
(Brooke destroyed us on the climb! Notice how she is laughing and Alex's tongue is hanging out?)
....and rolled another 30-some miles before we got to our destination. That destination was a warm house where we crowded around a wood burning stove and drank hot tea before taking showers and sitting down to an incredible meal.
The next morning I decided to start the year right by going on my favorite (road) ride ever!
It's about 70 miles.
Due to freezing cold and fatigue brought on by yesterdays adventure I was riding alone.
This is definately the coldest weather I have ridden in and there was some strange, slippery stuff on the ground that made the ride kind of nerve-wracking... I don't know what it was.
(Getting my wattage up before I took this pic is like flexing when someone takes your picture at the beach)
I started out with a steep icy climb on hwy 120...
Followed by a steep icy descent on Mather Road...
Although the climb was icy, it wasn't that bad. I hadn't experienced anything like it before but I didn't fall, which was good, and when I wanted to I could break loose the rear wheel and sort of burn-out, which made me feel manly. Which was even better!
Only a short section of the descent was icy. After that it was super cool! It's called "Cherry Lake Road" and it winds through the trees just loosely enough that you never have to stop pedalling!
(Winding through the trees)
At one point I saw deer but I won't bore you with pictures. If you don't know what deer look like, Google it.
(It's a really nice descent.)
After I got back and showered it was time for Fun with Beer, where we made Black and Tans and had.... uh, Fun with Beer.
(When I first poured it there was a crisp line between stout and ale. By the time I figured out how to take a picture it was sort of muddled.)
The next day my dad and I went on a road trip to visit family in reno. Here are some pics from along the way.
"Ah say whennnnn" (Fresh-a-pepper?) I know Alex knows what I'm talking about, anybody else? Anyone? Bueller....?
I'd say these folks are on their way to Bi-mon-sci-fi-con! I am pretty sure these people must be cyclists. Probably cross country racers? I definately felt a kinship and I think they might have had a gram scale in the glove compartment.
Be there AND be square. Alf rules.
After Reno my dad and I kept going to a top secret laboratory for my christmas present.... a bike fitting! Thanks Mom and Dad, it's just what I wanted...
Perhaps you are asking yourself "Why are those red lights on him ?" No, am not seconds away from being arrested.
They're frickin' lasers. Eat your heart out Dr. Evil!!
And that pretty much concludes my journey/blog post.
Thanks for making me post John. You can be my blog coach!