Monday, April 21, 2008

Conquering the Big Tujunga Loop

Yesterday, I was up before dawn on my way to Angeles Crest for an epic ride. I road with the LA Tri Club up Angeles Crest to Clear Creak. Then we went north down Angeles Forest Highway. This is the route along which the final stage of the Tour of California took place this year (going in the opposite direction). There is a dark tunnel along the route and I am glad I had my blinkers, because it would be really easy to be taken out by a car in the dark. I heard that in the Tour there was a serious bike crash in this tunnel.

Then we turned onto Upper Big Tujunga. This was the best part of the route. There was some beautiful rollers along a pleasant forested stream. It was nice to have the rollers because when you ride in this area it is usually just up, up, up. There were two serious climbs though. They were not too long, but very steep. I was putting out 250 watts and it seemed like I was barely moving. Here is a elevation profile of the route.

On the way down I got a flat on my rear wheel. This is my second flat on the Angeles Crest Highway, were I never had a flat all last year. It seems that there is more rocks and gravel on the sides of the roads, perhaps because of the recent rains. It took me a while to fix the flat because it has been so long since I last used my CO2 inflator that I forgot how to use it. I finally figured out how to get it to work, but I could not inflate the tire to full pressure because I had used some of the CO2 to just get the tube partially inflated so I could install it. I had another CO2 cartridge, but I always like to have one in reserve in case I get another flat. I guess it would be smart to have small a backup pump for the time where you run out of CO2. Either that, or just hope you can beg a Co2 cartridge off another ride zipping by.

The total distance for the ride was just over 47 miles with over 5000 feet of vertical climbing. It took almost 5 hours to complete. Here is a Google Earth map.

Strangely enough I'm not that sore yet today.

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