Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Finds from the Grind - Clear Creek Cold

Here are some scenes from my cold climb up to Clear Creek on 3/17/2018.

There's a couple of reasons I titled this ride "cold." First, obviously, was that it was cold up at 3500 feet. The climb was actually temperate. I didn't need gloves, just a base layer and arm warmers, and no leg warmers. The descent was going to be the problem. Every day this particular week it had rained overnight. That means up on Angeles Crest Hwy it was going to be cold in the shade, and it was. When I reached the plateau before Clear Creek Junction it felt like I pedaled into a refrigerator.

Funnily enough, when I stopped to take a picture on a turnout up there, I ran into a murder of crows, or rather an unkindness of ravens (look it up; I did), playing with a thermal updraft on the side of the mountain. They were just perched on the berm, taking turns gliding in place, about 30 of them.

Anyway, I knew the descent was going to be cold, so that's when I put on my gloves and leg warmers. Thank goodness. The wind chill at 34 mph was a good reason to cover my legs. I stripped off the gloves when I got down to the bottom, but I left my leg warmers on for the 8 miles or so home. Bad idea. I felt like I was going to overheat. Which leads me to the second reason I called this ride "cold."

I picked up a chest cold from this ride! I hardly ever get sick, Last year, when I rode in the rain for two months straight, no colds, no flus, no fevers. This year, I've gotten sick twice already! Not enough to stop me from exercising, but I can see it affect my results. The first cold started as a sore throat, and that lasted a week. This cold started as nasal congestion with a slight fever and turned into a 24 hour bronchitis thing. I knew I was going to be sick on Monday when I felt a different kind of sweat and head pounding from my warmup. It's all gone as of this afternoon, but it was annoying.

I swear, some days I think I only ride my bike to try and empty my mucus glands because it doesn't feel like good exertion on the machine... Well, I also could have gotten sick because I was up late the night before drinking 5 beers - for a good cause, really! - and I still climbed 3200 feet the next morning. But I think I'm getting sick more than last year because it's actually colder than it was during all that rain. I'm ready for some real So Cal warm weather right about now.

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