What, more weekend riding?

" *&%# you! 32x18."

Yes, another weekend of riding. This one was similar to the last few in that we got on the road bikes on Saturday for a good ride, and then hit the dirt on Sunday.

Last Thursday I was reading about the new Stone Brewing Co. Vertical Epic 09. Since I didn't see "hop" mentioned once in any of the write-ups on it, Justin and I decided it'd be perfect for us to try out. The BevMo near our place had about 260 bottles (yes, BevMo's website tells you how many they have in stock), so we stopped by after work to pick two up, and immediately put them on ice to enjoy with our leftovers for dinner.

Saturday we got up at a decent hour, got in some food and coffee and got prepped for a somewhat big road ride. We were looking for around 3 hours, and Justin had included 3 decent climbs for us to hit, in addition to a ton of short punchy climbs throughout.

I need to pay more attention to the bike path walkers and less to the camera. Nearly caused a four person pile-up snagging this one

This is our good hill interval climb…but, not today!

From sunny and warm to overcast and SUPER humid

Saw this group 3 different times on our ride

Still climbing!

I wore myself out pretty good, and eventually dropped off the back!

Post-ride we got some food in our systems, showered, and got ready to head north, west, and south in an errand-running bout. Good times!

Hot air balloons going up in Del Mar

We got down to San Diego before the Padres game thanks to Trevor, a little before sunset, and made it up to the rooftop. Ryan and James had a cooler full of hop-head brews, and Justin and I brought some dark/sweeter beers to drink up!

View from the top

We aren't big baseball fans, but I stayed away from the Angels' cooler anyway ;) (BTW Ryan, nice touch with the halo!)

Padres win!

We got home super late and hit the hay with no plans to wake up early on Sunday. Ride plans were not at all made. Possibly pre-riding Bonelli, maybe an easy spin, who knew. Got up and Justin wanted to work on the bikes and get his race bike finished, so headed out to run a bunch of errands and spent way too much time shopping at Target and Henry's! Got home, made lunch, made some snacks, and eventually after some delaying Justin and I left the house around 4 to meet up with Luke at SRP for a fun evening cruise.

Justin rushed and made my day getting my Uno Niner (Dos Niner -> SS; thanks Jordan!) prepped and ready to ride. It needs to have a few things ironed out (the seatpost was about an inch too high, and the right bar end/grip came loose while I climbed up a steep hill), but otherwise it was great.

We all cruised off and I was smiling right away. I had a SS way back in January of 2006 when Justin let me get a Surly 1x1.

I LOVED my SS. But, we were doing long days in the mountains and I wasn't strong enough to ride it all day. I could do it as a weekend day two easier ride bike, but not as my solid ride. Since we started training for VQ in 2007, Justin made me sell the bike. I looked back through my ride notes and I think the last time I had SS'd a ride was just before Christmas in 2007. Nearly 2 years! SS is just so much fun. I'd like to say it's the purity and simplicity (and it is to an extent), but it's just FUN. Getting out there and just pedaling is great. I think it'll make me a better stronger rider to get out on this puppy a few times this winter.

Clean. Pure. Simple.

The "artist"

Had a pretty killer time out riding. It was funny, though. We were on the flats about a mile into the ride and I go, "Justin, what gearing did you put on this?" It felt pretty tall, you know… "32x18". What?! Why?

So, we're cruising along and I'm freaking working really hard to keep up with the boys spinning in their easier gears, and working like crazy up the short steep hills… at one point Luke decides to bonus climb up this singletrack, and I told them I was going to wait at a descent turn-off. Justin suggests I at least climb up to the halfway point, so I start up… " @*&$ you! 32x18." I made it up to the gate anyway. Legs burning, blood pumping. We continue the ride, and I know another short really steep pitch is coming up. I gear up, pedal like mad, stand, hammer, barely crank the pedals one over the other, about 5 rpm's. "*$#@ you! 32x18."

It became my motto for the day.

Seriously, I could go for 32x20 if I was ever going to do more than 10 miles and 1000ft of climbing. Justin said the 20 doesn't fit with the chain tensioner, and my frame sadly does NOT have a magic gear combo. Hope I like hiking!

Can't wait to get out on this bike some more, though. The "Uno" Niner is literally the best thing since S-Works Epic's, which are way better than sliced bread.