Today was one of those earn-it-and-burn-it days, where a long sustained climb through arid mountains rewarded us with a fast and furious descent, screaming down a long mountain pass into lush, green Pasadena. Yesterday’s rollers kept us continuously shifting and changing pace, so today’s steady climb let us settle in for a while and just focus on circles turning circles.

Photo credit: David Wilcox – @the_wilcox on instragram
Yesterday’s theme—RESTRAINT—seemed to pay off today. The legs were a bit sluggish. which is what I’d expect from my non-existent training plan, but I actually enjoyed these 78 miles, with 6,600 feet of unrelenting climb up arid Soledad Canyon Road. Because despite the name of the road, I did not have to climb in solitude.
Photo credit: Abby Watson – @abbylwatson on instagram
I have found a sister in suffering who rides the same pace, can have long conversations about not-cycling (yesterday: neuroplasticity; today: turning around in sight of a summit to help a hurting climber back down, and being surprised to feel zero regret) and also knows when to stop talking and just pedal, shoulder to shoulder, without half-wheeling. Rachel Lambert is graduating with an MBA from Duke in May, and each night finds her studying and catching up on classes. We hit it off right away, and I am so glad she is on this journey. We may be the slowest riders of the group, but we are having a helluva time.
Rachael Lambert – Photo credit: Kim Cross – @kimhcross on instagram
By Kim Cross – Birmingham, Alabama – Competitor, writer, editor, mother, wife, all around bad ass. Learn more about Kim at Spokeswoman.me.

[metaslider id=5736]