Today was the day that every cyclist dreams of...the first day of the year without leg warmers, knee warmers, or booties, just straight shootin' shorts. Weather forecast was perfect for the day: Partly sunny, high of 58. I was itchin to ride so I figured what better way to welcome the fair weather than with the accent up Mountain Lake. I was feelin' a little gumpous so I said hell, why not make it two trips up the mountain. So I packed up the Mazda and drove to the Newport YMCA, that way I would aviod having to ride 10 miles on a 4 lane divided highway.
For those who don't know, Mountain Lake is the local epic climb. I've actually grown pretty fond of the climb over the past few months. The climb has an average grade of roughly 7% over 6.5 miles covering over 2,500 ft of elevation gain. Time wise, if you make it to the top in less than 35 minutes, you prolly aint lolligagin'. For those who still don't know...thats pretty big.
I changed and rolled out from my car and cruised along the creek that makes its way to Mt. Lake Rd. where the road starts to kick up. The first time up the climb was uneventful except that it was the best I've ever felt up the mountain. I rolled over the top and it was time to enjoy the next 10 min. railing 40mph turns. Sweet. The second climb back up wasn't quite as nice. I was about a third of the way up when I felt my rear tire getting a little squishy. Flat tire. With nothing in my pockets except for the keys to get back into my car, all I could do was limp back down the mountain trying not to slide out of control. Along the way I was fortunate enough to have a dog come after me. Trying to sprint away from a dog under these conditions is less than ideal but nontheless, I managed to make it back to the car safely. I quickley loaded up and sped home where I cooked up a manly portion of fresh pasta.
It was so much fun, I'm gonna do it again tomorrow...