This Friday will mark the commencement of what will be my third-annual “10 Rides In 30 Days” in the Verdugo Mountains north of Glendale. I can’t remember how I actually came to decide upon that exact number of rides in that specific number of days back in 2004, but I know it had something to do with most of the rides taking place immediately after work during weekdays, with the occasional weekend ride thrown in for good measure.

Historically the first couple rides are severe wind-sucking affairs, with me huffing and puffing and blowing myself out as I slooooowly and unsteadily climb the 2.2 miles and roughly 1,200 feet in elevation from the trailhead of the Beaudry North trail up to the water tower, like so:

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[bigger image is here]

Then it’s relatively easy going from the water tower up to Tongva Peak and the wonderful serenity I never fail to find there in the late afternoon/early evening. But by the fourth or fifth ride, I’ve gotten my rhythm and groove on and I can chug up to the top with increasing confidence and relative speed. By the time the last few rides come along I’m rolling nonstop to the water tower about 20 minutes faster than when I began. It’s a nice little positive progression.

This year I’m very much interested in seeing how much better I fare from the get-go and beyond what with my weight loss to-date. Perhaps I may even be able to make it from the trailhead to the water tower in less than 30 minutes for the first time? How much would that rock!? And will I finally break Gravity’s Curse and not fall badly and bloodily as I did last year and the year before? These and other questions will be answered beginning Friday afternoon.

And in the meantime and for purely nostalgia’s sake, here’s my Audblog post phoned in from Tongva Peak at the end of my fourth ride last year, April 5:

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