Rode downtown early yesterday to meet with friends because it was so nice. 75 degrees! Ended up with an hour to kill so thought, what the hay, I'll go up the west hills slowly. Not work up a sweat, just mosey along. I was riding Jessica J so I flipped the wheel to the 17 tooth and started up. After a while, decided I would go to Pittock Mansion, the high point of those roads. Did it. Hard! My forearms were hurting. There were three stretches of 15% plus. The final might have been 20% and it was make it or fall over. Thank you, woman for restraining your dog and standing clear. Me avoiding anything at that point wasn't happening.
Got to the top and enjoyed the view. Changed gear to the 16 to go down. Accidentally dropped my glasses case and stepped on it. All seemed to be well however, so I put it back in my pocket and rode down.
Got to my destination, still nice and early, washed up, changed glasses and walked out of the bathromm feeling almost dizzy. Fuzzy vision! But my glasses were clean. Took them off, looking for the goober on the lens that should not have been possible. No left lens! It's up there on the walk outside the mansion! Way the f*** up there! What do I do! Someone is probably still there although it is certainly closed. I could call, but any published number to that place will only get a recording. If I wait 'till tomorrow morning, the lens will almost certainly still be there or picked up by an employee, but it may well have been stepped on by then. At several hundred dollars a pair for tri-focals and Lenscrafter highly unlikely to give me much of a break on just one, this is real money. Guess I have to go back.
Flip the wheel around again and start up. This time considerably faster. I no longer cared about sweat and I wanted to beat the dying light. I did walk the three steep sections. Nothing to prove and walking was not a lot slower than riding there.
Lens was sitting there in perfect shape. And there was a attractive young lady who had ridden up on her bike. I joked to her that we usually think of light weight bikes being faster and better uphill, but looking at her bike, I was having my doubts. (She was riding a nice sport motorcycle and dressed in colorful "leather". As different from the usual motorist as I.) We had a nice chat, then I headed down with parting "keep the rubber side down" both ways. A sister on two wheels.
This descent was fun. This time I knew all the turns and rough pavement so I opened it up a bit.
Pulled out the contour map when I got home. 790 feet in 2.5 miles. (Average grades mean nothing here. The roads are residential, so they are almost terraced, going blocks around the hill, then a left turn and a steep block or two to the next terrace.) I got a ride home from my friends. Never did get the lens in; wrong tools, and riding home in the dark with my sunglasses just seemed like pushing my luck.
Fun and different. And the wonderful full body workout only a fix gear offers. (Not quite true. In my racing days I did some considerably tougher climbs on my 42-19 low like Pack Monadnock in New Hampshire. But I did walk that final 100'!) Took one aspirin for my CP knees and they feel fine today. All's good!