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Learning Experiences are Rarely Pleasant

Learning Experiences are Rarely Pleasant

I headed out on Tuesday to check out Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, using the route of the Non Dot race as a guide. It's a great route. Mathis is a stout climb, and the descent down Rock-It is challenging. Definitely right at the limit of where I'm comfortable.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy the full Aliso experience. I flatted at the top of my second climb up Mathis. Because I am an idiot.

First Ride at Aliso

Lessons learned:

  • Tubeless-ready tires will not warn you that they're running dry.
  • Test anything you're going to rely on. I relied on a pump that turned out to be garbage.
  • Accept help. Five minutes putting a tube in my tire would have saved me nearly two hours of walking.

And what am I going to do about it?

  • I'm going to put 2 CO2 cartridges and a valve on both my bikes. For long rides, I'll also cary patch kits and a pump I can rely on.
  • My bike is due for some maintainance. I'll replace the sealant immediately, and do the rest as time and budget allow.

In the bigger picture, I now know I really need to step up my technical riding. Both Aliso and Oaks feature solid technical riding, and I want to be comfortable on both routes.

And I'm getting to know the style of the local race courses. There aren't a lot of long, sustained climbs. I need to build legs that will crank up shorter, punchier climbs like the East Ridge at Caspers, or Mathis at Aliso.

So, goals for the next few months of training are coming into focus. I really want to land in March ready to rock.

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