Whitney Portal Again Today

The view from my room at the hostel - how wonderful is that?

Clouds still hanging around Mount Whitney by the time I decided to ride

Today after languishing around the hostel in the morning I decided to ride after all.  I needed the extra time to just recover from yesterday.  I was still dehydrated so I blogged with a water bottle at the ready.  I had a good breakfast and a good lunch and my 2pm I felt fully recovered.  Additionally, the clouds were hanging around at the higher elevations and it appeared to be really windy.  The clouds were still hanging around by the time I got on the bike.

I got on the bike for a short but intense ride.  My plan was ride up Whitney Portal at tempo.  I felt good considering I had done 17,000 feet of climbing the day before. After a few minutes of warm-up and a few minutes at tempo I felt good and rode harder.  The 53/39 crankset and 11/23 weren’t so painful today.  Of course the legs were “fresher” from not climbing something else before Whitney. I am happy with my result 1:27 with an average power of 238 watts (3.5 w/kg) and Normalized Power of 241 watts and an average speed 8.2 mph.

When I arrived at the hostel, purely by chance, there was a Yoga class in session in the main room.  I strolled in with my noisy bike and noisy click clack shoes and felt bad for interrupting.  But then I was invited to join in.  I thought wow that is nice of them.  I guess they had just started because it was about an hour before we finished.  It felt great to stretch and perform all the movements after riding hard for two days.  Walking into that room was the other end of the extreme from what I had just experienced on my ride.  My climb up to Whitney Portal was a hard effort.  The descent was scary because of the gusts of wind were so strong they would upset my line.  The high-speed of the descent was an exercise in total concentration with every one of my senses on overdrive.  And then…the calm and the soft-spoken instructions were so soothing and relaxing.  It was unplanned,  it was unexpected and it was …just perfect.

I feel like I have been on a mini-vacation for the last 2.5 days.  I’m in a different setting than my home.  I have woken up to the majestic Mount Whitney right outside my window.  I sat in the main room blogging and seeing the mountain from where I sat.  I have been riding my bike and hanging out with backpackers.  I have listened with amazement to the stories of their ascents and they have listened to my bike stories with just as much amazement.  I have had a wonderful experience staying at the hostel.  I hope all my stays are like this.  I plan on coming up here again very soon.      So much more climbing to do up here.

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