Today's ride had me drooling of what's to come on the GMR mountain in two months as we had 3 or 4 of the most exciting climbers riding today. It is a ride with a couple of significant climbs, to get the VeloViet members to prepare for the high mountains.
At MSP, we had a couple of guests that the Rock Racers and brought out. Introduction quickly made, we were off!
Photo - Toan, Guest, and Loi
The first 3 miles were all chatting, as the folks caught up with one another. Those who did not ride Palm Springs were asking those who did ride on what occurred.
Photo - Loc Pham Chatting with New Rookie Hoa
Photo - Tandem Team Represented by Mac Daddy and Trang
Photo - An Leading the A2 Pack on Bushard
The A1 Team got a little itchy so went to work. Luke, Greg, The Animal, and Sang attacked a short hills on Bushard. Got everyone's heart rate up quickly!
Photo - A1 Team Cresting the Bushard Hill
Photo - Breathing Hard After the Bushard Hill
When the A1 team did not let up, but instead went faster, I went up front to check out what was happening. I saw then why the guys were working hard. Yahoo rider Kristy had joined us along this stretch. The guys must be showing off for her!
Photo - Kristy Latching on to the A1 Train on Bushard
Photo - The Gorgeous Ladies on Today's Ride
The action heated up after the stop on PCH. Along PCH, we picked up Fed-Ex, Ironman Duc, and their guest Luke (aka Kazu). These three, along with Luke "The Beast", Greg, Tuan, and Scott, rotated, turned on the speed, and quickly snapped the rubber band to the second pack as the front pack moved out. Arnel, Hoa, Kristy, and I were there. I was holding for dear life!
Then the BEST part of the ride came, the Newport Coast climb! What I saw had me drooling, yes you read it right, drooling of what was to come. Here is how it went.
The A1 pack made the left turn on Newport Coast. It was the Animal and Greg in the front, followed closely by the Tri-Crew and Kazu.
About 50 feet into the climb, seemingly out of nowhere, Luke blast past me and attacked this front group. I could not believe what I was seeing! Usually in past rides, other climbers like to hold back until at least midway before attacking Fed-Ex. Luke had no fear and truely is The Beast. He made the first blow on Newport Coast.
Fed-Ex reponded quickly to Luke surge. Kazu also responded. These three quickly distanced themselves from the others as if THEY STOOD STILL! I was way down the hill and managed to snag a quick pictures of the front action. The three riders you see in the far left of the photo is Luke (green), Fed-Ex (Black), and Kazu (black).
Photo - Luke, Fed-Ex, and Kazu in the Distance as the Rest of the A1 Team Climb Newport Coast
Up the hill, I chatted with the guys and found out Fed-Ex made it first, but for Luke to attack at the start was great! Note we were missing Steve, another great climber, and Cap't on this stretch so things definitely will be extremely interesting on the GMR mountain!
Kazu paid dearly for his effort though. His leg cramped with the horrendous surge of energy on Newport, then Turtle Ridge, and he was in a lot of pain on Turtle Ridge.
Photo - Kazu in Pain as His Legs Cramped Up After Turtle Ridge
The Yahoo rider Kristy was doing terrific on the climbs. The Animal and Rookie Hoa were escorting her up the hills. Kristy was on her recovery ride, as she climbed yesterday, and did not expect having to work so hard in today's ride.
Photo - Kristy Being Escorted on Newport Coast by Rookie Hoa
Photo - Kristy Being Escorted Up the Hill by The Animal
Photo - A1 Team on Turtle Ridge Hill
A quick downhill, a short flat stretch, and we were at the second stop. We were there for 15 minutes when the A2 Crew arrived. There were so much riders and it was as if we were a big mob. The A2 folks were extremely excited to see Fed-Ex, whom we missed in Palm Springs.
Photo - A2 Team Rolling In at the Sag
Photo - A2 Team Excitedly Greeted Fed-Ex
The A1 Team again is off. Kristy said her goodbye at the start of Highway 133 as she heads for home. The A1 guys headed onto 133.
On Hwy 133, it was Luke, The Animal, Greg, Arnel, and Tuan working extremely aggressive. These guys rotated nicely, and covered for me. They would go around me and allow me to keep my energy to keep up. Let me tell you how hard I had to work. I was huffing and puffing all the way just to maintain a draft on these fast guys. We arrived at PCH, and thank goodness they let me have a short rest. Off we go!
Photo - A1 Team After Hwy 133
PCH was exciting! I really don't know how fast we were going, as I was so focus on not dying on the road. Those hills in Laguna almost did me in. I could not believe the guys were outputting so much energy on these climbs, and they seemingly had an abundant amount of energy too!
We hit the SART trail and (thankfully) The Gear had a flat. I got a chance to rest a little. Back to MSP we go.
Photo - The Animal Protecting the VeloViet Bike While The Gear Change the Flat
The coffee get-together was great. The guys were chatting about everything. Loc Tran just came back from vacationing in Viet Nam for like 2 months, and said he was coming out next week. Good Luck Loc! The A2 Team is a lot faster now and he will get hurt!
Photo - Loc Tran (back from Viet Nam) Visiting with the Team
Fun and exciting ride, with a possible preview of what's coming up on GMR. Folks, start training for the hills!