Lots of twists and turns in my life since my last post back in July. We've decided to move to a different place across town, and the big plans for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route are likely on permanent standby. It seems Jodi has little enthusiasm for it, but perhaps a bigger factor is Patchy. I haven't done a lot of training, but his temperament is SO different from Django, our previous touring dog. Patchy is full-on ADHD cattle dog psycho. I really don't know if he can reasonably tolerate having to sit in a trailer or trot/walk along side a slow moving trike. Whenever we're out on a walk, he's moving constantly, usually at high speed, and in every direction at once! So I don't know if he or we have what it takes to get him into trike touring. So...
Interim Plan B: Ride to Peter's house!
I've done this ride in a different and shorter configuration, starting from our old home in Tehachapi. and, of course, I've pedaled through Death Valley on a number of tours. This version takes in Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve as a way of working south, thus avoiding some more developed, less attractive riding. This is remote, dry, difficult riding with mega-grades that go on forever--not for the faint of heart. It's critical, however, to do the ride in the cooler months: Late Nov. through early March is about right for me. Some folks handle hot riding better, but this route puts you sometimes over 60 miles between services. Cool weather is safer. The ride can be done in the middle of winter without too much problem, although some of the nights will likely be below freezing in the early northern part. My general plan is to ride when the highs in Death Valley and Needles are no more than low to mid 70's. Because we are in the throes of moving, I likely won't launch until late January/early February.
Since I've damaged my finger rock climbing, I'm more motivated to train on the bike, and today's effort is a perfect outing to harden up my brain and legs for a big tour.
Buttermilk Training Ride 2.0
This gains a little over 2,100 ft. in 20 miles round trip. I've taken to loading up the trailer with 30+ lbs. as a touring load, and setting off for the crank. This is the medicine the doctor ordered. The grade is relentless, long, and you can tack on as much gain as you want with sections of 9 to 10%. No wonder it felt hard! This version ends at a trail head with a good restroom, so it's a natural turn around. I'll be tackling this beast regularly to toughen me up.