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The road trip has ended, and last weekend I had to face up to the effects of not having ridden for over 5 weeks. At just shy of half a century old, I find that it gets more difficult to rebound from bouts of inactivity. Sunday’s ride would be the test, and just to make it more interesting, I threw in a very late night prior to my morning ride. So, with little sleep, no riding in over a month, and various other excuses, I hopped aboard the Calfee and headed up to Nichols Canyon.

Before I get into the specifics of the ride, I wanted to detail a bit of the preparation. The Calfee had been away for quite some time getting a few fancy upgrades. It arrived while I was gone, so a highlight of returning home was seeing the giant box in my hallway. I settled into unpacking the bike, and brought out what has become one of my most trusted tools, the Effeto Mariposa torque wrench. With today’s carbon bikes, a torque wrench is an essential element in one’s tool chest, as most of the parts on these machines have very specific torque settings. I am a stickler for keeping to the manufacturers’ recommendations, so the torque wrench comes out each time I make any adjustments to the bike. Aside from the wonderful company name, the Effeto Mariposa Giustaforza is simply one of the best torque wrenches I have used, and it once again proved essential in putting together the Calfee.

Now, a brief description of the ride. My best time up Nichols as of now is a tad over 15 minutes. I knew on this particular occasion I would be slower, but I was not expecting the numbers I saw on Strava when I arrived home. On Sunday it took me over 20 minutes to get up the hill. A bit of shock came over me as I stared at the computer screen. After the shock subsided, I put together a list of all the reasons I was so slow. It seemed like a fair list, but now several days later, the reality has set in – everything takes longer when you are older. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something to get used to. I am convinced I will get my times back down over the next month, and all will be well. Besides, the best part is I got back on the bike, and despite the difficult climb, I had a really good ride, connected with a few folks, and was able to enjoy all LA has to offer for cyclists. All in all, a great day.