1. first and foremost, i hate american airlines. they are slow, rude, and they lost my bike (on the way home). and, i have a pretty bad cold.
2. we had the most fun on the plane ride there because the baby was doing the mombo in mrs. k's tummy. very crazy baby.
3. mrs. k's company set us up at the embassy suites in la jolla. (that's la hoya to us 'mericans). this place was killer. it had an awesome king size bed, a big livingroom, cable tv including hbo, and really cool elevators and a fish pond, inside.
4. monday, day 1. i looked at a map and decided i was going "that way." i rode 50 miles, found a few neat roads, but mostly fought traffic. it sucks not being local. i saw tons of cyclists and really wanted to hook up with some of them to find the real routes. the missus and i ate at PF Changs. my cold is the pits.
5. tuesday starts with rain, but only until noon, then i got on the bike and went "the other way," which, in this case was north along the ocean. torrey pines road goes along the pacific in spectacular fashion, along with some good climbs. i went inland and found some devastating climbs that unfortunately end when the mountains start looking really good. stopped to relieve myself and fill my speedplay cleats with mud. i struggle to clip in and out the rest of the ride. nice. 50 miles again. the wife and i turn in early, and i cough a LOT. ug.
6. wednesday, i want to take it easy. my cold and the previous days climbing make me feel like a lump of coal. this guy on a dirty trek rides up to me in my first 4 minutes of the ride. he stays behind me until the first big climb on torrey pines, then drops me. "that's ok, i'm going easy today..." i say to myself. a few minutes later, i find myself putting down some power to catch him, and i do. i stay behind him through del mar, passing cyclists as we go. finally, i catch him and ask him how far he's going. he says he's getting ready to turn around unless i'd like to ride some more. sure, let's go. well, he puts the hurt on me for 50 miles. this guy is my age and races for jwfloors. i kid you not when i tell you he pulls me along at 33mph on flat ground. i kid you not when i tell you he climbs marshall road-like climbs at 20mph. we went on some killer roads, and i kept up with him mostly so i could find my way home. really, i didn't keep up. he dropped me 10-12 times. oh, the humiliation. i finally got the scoup out of him...he's good. i didn't really need anyone to tell me that, since i felt like i was outclassed by a category or two. at the end of the torture, he tells me of a group ride meeting the next day at noon. i'm there, i tell him. i don't sleep that night, staying up coughing the whole time.
7. thursday morning, i get off the couch at 11:30, after fully expecting to sit there the whole day bitching about being sick. i rush to the meeting place at performance bicycle shop on sorrento road. i was the first person there. hmmm. i sit around, and slowly but surely, people start showing up. soon, there are 25 people. mind you, this is noon on a thursday. by the time we roll out of the lot, the group has grown to 48. shit, i'm dead meat, i think. i'm sick, i have no sleep, i got bitch-slapped by a local yesterday....not good. well, sometimes things do go my way. the ride starts slowly, then goes ballistic. there are several guys with time trial bikes and gear the push the pace on the flat sections to 35mph. when the wind, which is vicious, comes head on, three of these guys are drilling it at 27mph. who the hell are these guys??? then, eric, the guy with the dirty trek from yesterday, takes his turn at the front, he pulls just as hard and fast as the tt guys. i'm pretty proud of myself for being in the front group of 5-6 guys. after 15 miles of this circus act, we come to a climb. this is the moment of truth. the strong guys go to the front and i follow them. i look back and the group is gone. whoa. as the hill mellows before the final steep part, more fast guys fall off, and i close in on the final 2. i don't make it, but i was one of the last few guys standing. awesome. the ride turned toward home and i decided to take an active roll. i couldn't pull at the speeds the tt guys were, but it was good. i attacked the last climb and bridged to a group that had floated away. i felt vindicated, especially since these guys ride all year and are already seriously racing.
8. friday, i rode to the beach and took some pics with a disposable camera. mrs. k had the digital with her. we went to the mall across from our hotel and ate lunch, packed up, and headed to the airport. a call home confirmed that rudy ate a box of thin mints. american airlines lost my bike. still no call. luckily, it's not the new one.
9. home sweet home!!!