Slithering up The Snake aka Rock Store Ride aka Ego Deflation

The other day I biked an (in)famous ride called “The Rock Store ride” by bicyclists and “The Snake” by motorcyclists. It’s a ridiculous road that used to be an old horse-carriage road a century ago, that is now popular with cyclists and motorists for it’s twisty, turny climb.

Here are the GPS details of my ride

Needless to say, I was toiling my way up the mountainside at a healthy 5 MPH and feelin’ pretty confident. I could hear any motorcycles/cars come up behind me and felt pretty safe. When the look out point near the top was in sight, all of a sudden HUMANS were UPON me. I thought I was alone! I almost lost control of my bike while a slender female cyclist and her extremely trim male companion ZOOM right by me (HI YOU COULD HAVE SAID ON YOUR LEFT OR LET ME KNOW YOU WERE THERE). My ego quickly deflates. It’s one thing to be passed by skinny dudes on their expensive bikes, but a chick as well? So now I felt like a massive, slow, fat goober.

I tried to make myself feel better, saying things like ‘I bet they still have their thyroids!’ and ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself, you are just getting back out there’. But the ego was punctured like a tire gnawed on by a cat.

Guess where the climbing part was?

Guess where the climbing part was?

Got to the look out point and there were two kids (I’m pretty certain they were under 18) “sneakily” puffing on a cigarette. It was pretty funny to watch. They were trying to be all covert.

We are toootally over 18 and just hanging out here to sneak cigarettes under this tree.

We are toootally over 18 and just hanging out here to sneak cigarettes under this tree.

Not a great pic of the view, taken with a camera phone and near the end of the day. But you get the gist of it.

Not a great pic of the view, taken with a camera phone and near the end of the day. But you get the gist of it.

At this point, lots of cyclists are coming up to the top of the mountain so I jump on my bike and get passed by all of them. I notice one of them has his lower right leg amputated, and then notice his Ride 2 Recovery jersey. He was the ONLY one that said hi. I called out and asked if he would be at the Ride 2 Recovery ride in Agoura and he said he would, so I hope to find him and say hi to him more in person in a few weeks.

I now went down to a road called Kanan, where everyone does about 60 MPH. Thanks to construction, I had to take up the ENTIRE LANE and hold up traffic, while doing 40 MPH NOT CLIPPED IN (long story). That was scary.

FINALLY nearing the end of the route and doing one last climb, a beautiful slender blond whizzes by me on her Specialized S-Works. FLIES right by me. I recognize her from another ego-deflation situation at the bike store. Whatever. My BMC trumps your S-works, even if you ARE half the size of me and a better cyclist. /mumbles to self.

Please reassure me and let me know if you have ever had moments like this. Or that at the very least, you do not think bad thoughts about slow cyclists you pass.

4 thoughts on “Slithering up The Snake aka Rock Store Ride aka Ego Deflation

  1. Yes! When I lived in rural Virginia where I seldom saw another cyclist I felt fast, no ego deflating skinny guys with shaved legs and morning shadows on their faces looking very aggressive in their matching team kits to share the road with, so I felt cool and fast. Then I moved to more urban Virginia where I commute to work daily, and get passed daily by ego deflating skinny guys with shaved legs and morning shadows on their faces looking very aggressive in their team kits, as well as guys on cheap mountain bikes, recumbents, single speeds, you name it. Women too pass me sometimes. So it took a year, but I am now humble and zen about it all and seldom tell myself that they are actually on ebikes any more.

    Pete

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