Friday, June 24, 2011

Favorite Climb: Fremont Peak

This shot was taken from the observatory on top of Fremont Peak looking toward the Gabilan Range.

This is one of my favorite climbs because when you set out to do it, you have committed to riding all day with your posse. The last time I rode this mountain Mike Moore had me on the ropes so bad, I was praying for a flat. I have a story to share about this particular Mountain.

12 years ago this guy named Dave Reid called me up to do a long ride with him. He was really starting to get into the cycling thing and had some serious fitness. As a matter of fact he was laying down the foundation for his nick name as it was (Super Dave). I recently got the riding bug again and had been doing a little secret training myself. We set out to do San Juan Grade however, when I jokingly pointed out the right hand turn for Fremont and said, "we could always do Fremont Peak" he unfortunately said, "Yes,........where does that go?". I told him that it was about 12 miles long and packed quite the punch. What did I just get myself into? I immediately did an all systems check on my legs (remember Dave Scott) and luckily had a few calories left in my pockets. Its amazing how fast one innocent little suggestion can turn into an hour of pain cave riding.

We settled into our groove (freaking fast) right out of the shoot and I found myself glued to his rear wheel. My plan was simple - stay with him as long as humanly possible. The climb undulates for a few miles to the south and then turns west which starts the actual climb. I was feeling comfortable and found myself thinking that I might do ok as long as he did not pin it over the steep sections.

About three quarters of the way up Dave had me suffering so bad that I would have lost contact with the smallest acceleration. Like any decent ex-racer, I would like to think that I was hiding my pain fairly well. At that very moment, Dave looks over his shoulder and asks, "how much longer to the top?". You have no idea how sweet those words were to hear. It was like he just served up some silky smooth chocolate. My inner voice was saying, "Oh really, someone else on this mountain has some chipped armor." I could not resist this golden opportunity and I accelerated opening a gap that was never to be closed. Little did he know that he could have dropped me so bad minutes ago. This was a dirty Jedi move but he had me suffering so bad I felt I had no choice. If he knew the route, I would have been dropped like a bad habit.

This story is timely as Super Dave and Tyson are about to tackle an Ironman in the morning. I am assuming they know the course so some knucklehead can't play mind games on them.

VIVA Super Dave!

For the record: we did find a 9 year old boy at the top of Fremont Peak who's parents accidentally left him there. That made for a long day as we waited for them to drive back from their house in Prunedale. I will tell the full story sometime.

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