Christmas Day Road Ride

On Christmas Day the weather warmed up and was the perfect day to get out for a winter road ride. We left the neighborhood early afternoon, made our way across town, and headed for the climb up Combs Canyon. After a week of just commuting to and from work, I was ready to get out on the open road and put some miles in.

Christmas Road Ride
Sandie and Brent Ruybalid, Scott Russel in the background – Franktown Road

The Combs Canyon climb, a mile long hill with a medium grade, was a good reminder of where my winter legs were at. At the beginning of the climb, I was telling myself to take it easy on the climb, save some energy for the return trip, and keep from huffing in too much cold air. Something in your mind snaps though when you see your riding buddies start to inch forward ahead of you. I started my sprint way too early, my mind cashing checks my body couldn’t cash.

My lungs were burning at the end of the climb, but still we kept racing to the top. I was hurting, but figured my buddies were too, and who wants to lose the bragging rights? It was wonderful to finish off the climb and get in a few miles of downhill to Washoe Valley. It took several miles for me to stop coughing from all the cold air I sucked in!

Christmas Road Ride
Franktown Road above Washoe Valley

We cruised along effortlessly at 20mph, heading north into Washoe Valley along old HWY 395 with a slight tail wind. Not having been on the road bike in weeks, I was really stoked on the freedom of the speed and wide open country! We decided to do the Franktown Road loop clockwise, and thanks to the warm temperatures, encountered no ice in the shade of the numerous pine trees.

Christmas Road Ride
Old Highway 395

When it was time to head back to Carson City, we had to pedal into a slight headwind most of the way home. The speedy pace was slowed down to 13 mph at times, and my legs were regretting the sprint up Combs Canyon. But as tired as we were going back over Lakeview, somehow another race over the summit was agreed upon. I don’t remember how exactly, but I suppose someone was called a sissy. We finished off the ride with a fast descent back down the canyon, and then warmed our chilled bones with hot soup and a hot tub back at Brent and Sandie’s. A great end to a fun ride!

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