Frost Warning

He’ll sit on your wheel letting you pull all you want, then when you start to falter he’ll come around and make you eat dust. When you’re riding up a long ramp, your skinny corpus hiding from the sun in his shadow and thinking this big guy won’t stay when the pitch increases, well, there he is taking the climbing points from you. Think you’re a good descender and you’ll gap him? Think again as he matches you turn for turn and then laughs a belly full going past as you’re skidding off the shoulder into the gravel because you overcooked a turn.

I’m just sayin’, I’m just warning, Mike Frost has your number.

Mike Frost

Mike Frost

I first met Mike several years ago when he called me up to ask if he could come to an Andy & Renee house concert I was hosting in Torrance. He had already retired from his job and moved from Manhattan Beach, just a bit south of LAX, to Morro Bay in the California central coast. He was coming to LA to visit with his daughter and wanted to take in yet another Andy & Renee performance. I think he has been to over 100 of their performances.

Mike told me he is a cyclist and if I were to head up his way, look him up for a ride. Not only did I head up his way, I retired and moved to the central coast myself. Not Morro Bay, but just over the hill, and now we get to ride together at least once a month. Today we rode together for a promenade Mike arranged to celebrate his own birthday. I don’t know which one, just a bigger number than mine. But it doesn’t matter if it’s bigger, he puts me in the pain place anyway.

We started at Shamel Park in Cambria and headed north to Ragged Point at the south end of Big Sur, stopped for a break, then continued on to Gorda.

Between Ragged Point and Gorda, we saw a string of touring bikes loaded down with panniers, pulling trailers, or both. Looked like a struggle pulling all that weight up those slopes. We took another break at Gorda, then turned and headed back to Ragged Point.

At Ragged Point we found the touring group engaged in some serious calorie replenishment, and I took the opportunity to photograph some of their bikes.

We left them to their plates and continued back to Cambria with a short stop at the old Piedras Blancas motel. It’s no longer a functional motel, looks like one of the park services uses some of it for offices. I think it’s also a staging area for shuttling tourists to the Piedras Blancas Light Station, which I blogged about earlier this year.

From the old motel we started a pace line back to Cambria, and Mike was right in the thick of it. I started to falter toward the end and ate dust, but I had fair warning.

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