Monday, March 2, 2009

Cedar Hill with a White Rhino for good measure

Two of the last three weeks we have chosen to do hill work towards Cedar Hill. Michael, Caryn and myself made it out for a chilly tide two weeks ago, where Mr. Vangeli seemed to win all the city limit signs, joyfully pointing them out as we pass them. Caryn threw down the gauntlet at the hill that leads up to the Cedar Ridge Nature Center, and easily dropping us. After we did Summit Ln. (out little Flandrian climb of 18%) Caryn and Mike missed the turn into Cedar Hill's downtown (yes, it is that small) they went a bit further and discovered a coffee shop, The White Rhino. A perfect place to reconnect when we have larger group rides down south.

Saturday was on again for a hill ride to Cedar Hill, only this time it wasn't chilly, it was quite cold. Layered with thick jerseys, jackets, neck gaitors, gloved tights and knee warmers, we were joined by Tony Tillman this week. I heard a lot of complaining as to why we were still going to do the ride, since it was sunny, 34 degrees and a north wind that was a steady 25 mph. We met on an exposed parking lot(Gospel Lighthouse Church at Illinois and Walton Walker, Loop 12.) The wind was ferocious, but when we finally started, the wind was at our back.

Michael did all the pulling, while we let the wind drive us toward Cedar Hill. A couple of hills and my aching knee was still quiet, but after the previous week's torture (where I had to really suck it up on the last couple of hills, getting way dropped by Caryn and Mike) I decided to avoid the Robin Ln/Summit Mur de Grammont. Victory one week, DNS the next. Now if I had known that Michael brought his camera and was going to download to Facebook immediately, I might have reconsidered. We did have some local wildlife attack us. This little dog actually chewed on my bootie for a second!

Michael and I waited for what seemed like a long time for Caryn and Tony. Tony had never done this climb, and we were so focused on warning him about the climb, we forgot to tell him that the brief descent was frightening the first time down. Curvy, steep, off can get to 40mph in just seconds...with a stop sign at the bottom. After both climbed it, Caryn went back up to find Tony walking down (never having done any downhill skiing, he thought better of just going down the fall line) I forgot that the first time we did it, it was 15 seconds of terror.

Two good pictures of Caryn and Tony climbing out of this crater, we then went to the White Rhino for coffee. Just like a day on the slopes, sometimes the most enjoyment is found at the lodge. We delaminated ourselves (peeled like onions...undressed) and had some really tasty coffee, courtesy of Tony. I took an out of focus picture with Mike's camera, which was on his Facebook before we finished coffee, thanks to his Blackberry.

We rode into the wind back, where Caryn heard Tony say "what are they doing?" and she said, 'City Limit signs" and he offered a parental like "Oh, right"

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