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What does SSSP stand for? It is a term my friend Dave uses to describe one of his favorite training routes in the Santa Monica Mtns. It stands for Single Speed Super Pretzel.|
Now for those of you not named Crashmax, Tortuga, or Rydman you may not know that I am now the proud owner of a new Gary Fisher SS 29er called the "Rig". I have only ridden it about 10 times. I was getting used to the severe pain that it can cause while going up steep climbs in a 32x20 ratio the whole time. YOWZA!! I had never ridden the SS on a long ride with more than one major climb, and even that felt epic.
So here we go early Saturday morning. I strap on all the gear, and spin like a madman over to Peet's in SM. The wind is freakin' howling from the north at 20-30mph and its about 33 degrees. Can ya hear me STP??!! After a quick cup o' joe we head down to PCH from San Vicente. There are 7 of us, 4 SSers and 3 gearies. We spin until we get to Sunset Blvd. We take a right through the VONs parking lot and go up Sunset until I see the dreaded street sign. First up: Paseo Miramar. Now I am riding this bike to train for the upcoming racing season. I feel like I lack a lot of power. I have never ridden up Paseo on this bike or in a gear this hard.
I took a deep breath, took the left and the focking fireworks began. I don't know how long this climb is or how steep, but it takes a long time. The first paved "wall" sent me into a dark place within myself. I just kept pushing the pedals over, barely. I am getting sensations that I haven't felt since back in '91 when I 1st started mtn. biking. I could barely turn the pedals over for about 30 minutes. I kept inching my way up El Paseo. I got dropped by all my friends. Hikers were double taking at the faces I was making. The wind howled and chilled me through my five layers of clothes. I hunker'd down and tried to turn off my brain and make it to Tripplet Ranch. The gradient finally let up towards the top and the legs were able to spin some which felt very labored. Rusty decided to babysit me today and guided me off to the left for and extra helping of pain and we traversed the somewhat technical Eagle Rock trail to the hub. The thoughts " just don't put a foot down" and "you'll be stronger later" became mandatory.
FINALLY after some of the most blinding pain and an hour or so later, we are now at the hub for some dessert. We are going to rail Backbone down to Will Rogers. This is one of my favorite trails up or down. But this time since the SS had chewed me up and spit me out, I could barely keep a line going down Backbone. I was tailing off into ruts, hiting rocks, bad form in general. I was tired and there was still so much to go. The 3 little climbs going down called me out and put me into pain. Going downhill on an SS is akin to surfing. Just spin until you can't and glide on down. It has offered me quite a new experience while riding, going more for style than all out speed.
We regroup at the bottom of Backbone and glide down the back road to Sunset.
Going left up Sunset(east) we climb that nasty hill to Almafi and go right towards Capri. This is a beeyatch of a climb too. My friend are chatting while I am slobbering, boogers everywhere, just holding on. We come to Capri and go left, beginning the Sullivan Fireroad climb. While this climb is no where near as demanding as Paseo, it does hurt at speed and after Paseo. I fall back again as I am managing to keep a good spin but when it kicks up I have to stand up and crank it hard. My body, but especially my lower back, arse, and triceps are really hurting from all the standing. My quads are rocks now from the perpetual "hard as hell" pedaling.
I didn't go into purgatory on this climb yet I was feeling some new sensations, and I didn't know if they were all that good or not. The group was waiting for me at the Sullivan Canyon trailhead in the blowing wind. My nose was now chapped and dry from rubbing it so much. We bombed down Sulli Canyon. What a treat that trail is right now. It is almost the perfect blend of speed and technical that you rarely find. There was no wind down there either. I managed to stand up and crank it up the paved drainage road up to Queensferry. The boys took a right on Bayliss, YES it would be down the whole way home after that little climb up to Westridge. We get to Westridge and most take a right except a few. Dave goes left? WTF??
OKAY, I turn left with a few others and we begin to ascend Westridge. My brain is fixated on the paved "wall" right before the trailhead. Am I gonna make it? I get dropped again as the wall begins. Standing up the body is just sizzling in pain. Not knowing how I made it to the trailhead, I weaved through the gates and begin to slowly crawl up to the Nike Missle Base. The wind almost makes me come to complete stops at times. I am hot then immediately cold. I am hungry like I haven't been hungry in a long time.
I willed myself to the missle base. My friends were there, but were they really there? I know I was at this moment a hollowed out soul. I left it all over the mountain. Dave said he was going to the Whoops. Like lightning my brain instantly analyzed the topography of the route to the whoops and it registered 2 more climbs. While not big, I was done, completey. Done, like done ditty done, like I haven't been since I first got on the bike. I said "fock that" and decided down Gardenland to Mandeville would be for me. Dave went off solo as the rest of us bombed down the 'Land to Mandeville. By Sunset I was frozen and starved. My phone rang: My S/O(for mister hide) said the the place had been sprayed for bugs so dont' go home until at least 3.30. It was now 12.15 or so? WHAT THE FOCK!!!
I have been dreaming of my couch, beer, and sleep now for a good while. My world was coming to end rapidly. I had 20 bucks in my pocket so first stop La Salsa. Two burritos, 3 taquitos, and 2 cokes later I crawl over to Tanner's in a daze. I ordered a coffee and received many strange looks. I am done. My friend calls and says he is at my house. I persuaded him to come over and pick me up. He drove us over to the quaint SF Saloon. Still in my tighties and all, we go up to the bar and orderd some beer. The bartender decides to give us some Car Bombs for some reason. We down a couple more beers and another Car Bomb.
My legs finally didn't ache. We headed to my house at the witching hour. Home sweet freakin' home.
Now I know what an SSSP is. Up Paseo, down Rogers, Up Sulli, Down Sulli Canyon, Up Westridge and down the whoops(remember I bailed, maybe next time) on the SS.
Miles 48-50(door to Salsa)
Climbing: 7100 ft
Posted by Papisimo a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Bike from Flogsville on 01/15/07
Responses: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Post Reply
- Re: SS SP
Dude, you need to take it up a notch, seriously......
Posted by GhostRider a 31 year old Downhiller on 01/15/07
- Re: SS SP
Paseo alone on a SS would crush most mutants.
Posted by Dirtshark99 a 44 year old Cross-Country Rider from Valencia on 01/15/07
- Re: SS SP
Gawd... This should be called SS-KK or Single Speed Knee Killer! Yah better intersperse some easy flogs in between some o' the tough ones, or you'll do like I did last week. 5 Flogs in a row = lowered immune system. A serious cold virus jumped me and I'm just getting rid of it. It's pretty bad when the s/o is outclimbing you...|
I might just be ride-worthy for the night ride this Thursday with FFW and da' Sarge. BTW, it is @&^$%% freezing up here in Lancaster/Palmdale. We're hitting lows at 11 friggin degrees! You'd better have some serious cold weather gear even for daytime rides. I thank GOD for the Assos Gator jacket!
Papo, shoot me a call, we are doing Sycamore in a coupla weeks!
Posted by STP a 48 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Stumpy HT from P'Dale on 01/15/07
- Re: SS SP
That is a ton of riding. You are the 'canary in a cage' for a physical stress test. I think a 'niner' time chaptered documentary is in order here. |
Posted by Chainsaw a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Red, White and Blue or Black one from S&M/Bentwood on 01/16/07
- Re: SS SP
Yeah...uh...what Chainsaw said, and double it!|
BTW, do your riding buds have nicknames like 'Wolverine' and 'Magneto'? :)
Posted by Dr Wellington Yueh on 01/16/07
- Re: SS SP
no no, their names are more like Trainwreck, The Purple, things of that nature.|
Posted by Papisimo riding a Bike from Flogsville on 01/16/07
- Re: SS SP
Right on! Just reading that makes the legs ache. Strangely, it only reinforces my single speed curiosity. |
Posted by CFIT on 01/18/07