Last Saturday was the Death Ride, a 126 mile ride with 15,000 feet of climbing, that starts and finishes in Markleeville, CA, just south of Lake Tahoe.
Here’s the map.
Miguel did all five passes.
I did not do all five passes. My knees hurt so bad after four passes that it was all I could do to pedal back to Markleeville with one leg. I didn’t even ride back to Miguel’s car, because it meant riding up another hill. Instead, I sat at one of the picnic tables with ice on my knees until the sun started to set, and I worried about Miguel who was still out there, until my friend Jake, who did all five passes, happened to saunter by, and we got in his car to look for him. And we found him, flat on his back asleep next to his car. At least I didn’t have to ride there.
What was going to be the center-piece of this now abridged ride report is that riding down Monitor, the first pass, my back tire flatted. It sounded like a mild explosion. I pulled off to the side of the road to fix the flat, and saw that the tire had started to come off the rim.
That’s a very sobering thing to have happen. It made me question everything.
I questioned everything for the next thirty seconds, and then I fixed the flat, and rode down the hill, pumped up my tires, and rode back up again.
I’m leaving out all the social encounters that also happened on this ride.
The ride was very painful, as I expected it to be, but more painful than last year. I don’t want to talk about it.
I don’t want to talk about it, because yesterday morning, as Miguel and I were leaving to go eat eggs benedict at our favorite cafe on Fillmore, Miguel moved my bike for some reason, and noted with alarm that my rear brakes were rubbing my rim.
Not badly, but bad enough to rip a girl’s legs apart.