After two days of climbing, I knew today wasn’t going to be a day to chase PRs on the Friday Ride. I told myself, treat it like the recovery ride it is for the big kids, save some gas in the tank to get some elevation in afterwards. It seemed like we were rolling fast today – the big kids were dropping me on the big sprints. (I lucked into a few PRs thanks to traffic lights changing at the right moment.)

The painful drop happened when the light changed at the wrong moment on La Cienega. Traffic was backed up, so riders were splitting lanes or taking the sidewalk to avoid the stopped cars. I got caught at the Venice Boulevard light, right before what I think is the scariest part of the day – the three blocks from Venice, under the 10 (as cars are exiting at close-to-freeway speed) and through traffic to the cut off to Crescent Heights. When the light changed, two cars passed me at high speed and with little room to spare, just so we could roll up at the next light at the same time. Thanks, guys!

I made it safely to Crescent Heights, but then a van from Asher Electric passed me way too close – and then, when it had an opportunity to pass me again, where there were two lanes headed north? The van swerved into my lane for another close call.

I was so grateful to catch up to my group before breakfast.

After breakfast, I decided to detour up Nichols to get some more climbing in. As usual, I left the “wall or no wall” decision until the last minute, but my inner monologue was pretty much, “don’t look at your speed, look at your surroundings” when it wasn’t, “Jesus, do you really need to pass me right now and risk a head-on collision with that car descending? The stop sign is in 100 feet, and you could safely pass me there!” I was not the only rider out today. I had some shifting issues as I turned up Woodrow Wilson toward Mulholland. (My sincerest apologies to the nice woman walking her dogs for all the f-bombs I dropped in her vicinity. It was about my shifting skills, not you.) Not a fast day, and the last few feet weren’t easy, but like Wednesday, I didn’t feel like I was about to barf. NBD, didn’t even stop for a picture, just turned around and headed downhill.

Halfway there, with two days to go!