Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Hike and Bike Weekend

Looking north, towards Lancaster with Mojave in the distance...
Hi all,
Yesterday, I took the Surly LHT out for a spin. I had intended to test ride my route to work, double-checking the shoulders and other assorted safety issues. But, as I got to Palmdale Blvd, I stopped to take a picture, looking west towards Leona Valley. As I got back on the bike, I had to wait for another cyclist who was coming up the bridge. As he passed, we chatted briefly, and after a short discussion about not having any particular direction to go, we decided to head west together, towards Leona Valley, not east as I had planned.

Looking west, and Elizabeth Lake Road and miles of gentle climbing...
This turned out to be one of those good news/bad news situations. The good news was that the ride towards Leona Valley was lovely; a nice sunny day, not too much traffic, and nice country cruising. The bad news was that I am woefully out of shape and as I climbed west up Elizabeth Lake road, I was wheezing and shifting to easier gears. I guess due to moving, and all the work travel, there hasn’t been a riding season for me, and it feels like I have wiped the slate clean, and am starting over again.
Joshua trees and Juniper trees, just west of our house...
In the long run, it was a lovely ride. I met a new friend; Dave, a contractor/engineer who lives close and works up north in Mojave. He likes to ride brevets and enjoyed not being in a particular hurry as we rode. The scenery was lovely; the company pleasant, and that’s all you can ask for on a bike. I will test ride the commute to work route later this week. Who knows, I might just ride in and see how it works!

Today, Kathy, our neighbor, Leena, the pup-dogs, and I went for an early morning hike into the foothills near the house. We hiked the Joshua Ranch trail, and climbed about 400 ft. above the valley.
Looking east, towards Palmdale Airport and Plant 42. Our house is down in the lower right corner...
A nice hike! great views of the valley, and a nice mix of Joshua trees, Yucca trees, California Junipers, and pleasant friendship. Now that the weather is tolerable outside, it was great to get out and enjoy some more of the local area. Nice to be outside when it's not 110 degrees!

A hot husky!
More news and pictures next week.

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