In the world of "training rides", the Hoppers are king for putting the pain in train. Chileno Valley is the second in the series and gifts us with 80 miles of road sprinkled with 7800+ feet of climbing. Sure, everyone could just take it easy and cruise those numbers. But that never seems to happen, at least to me. Starting out in a field of 300+ riders I think it's not so bad. Stick with the pace, hang with the climbers, and keep up the effort. Oh but those efforts can burn the matches too fast! By 75 miles in, if you've made it that far, there will be thoughts of joy floating in your head. And it's not euphoria. No, it's Joy as in Joy Road. This last climb will have your legs begging for the gears from your mountain bike. I've done the paper boy weave on this road every-single-time.
But then the top rolls into view, riders and their bikes are sprawled about, bags of chips and cans of soda quickly being consumed. And it's finished. And there is joy.
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