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Part 5 - HWY 2
The descent is a twisting, undulating fast-paced affair, rich with ridiculous top speeds and exhilarating, banking turns. It’s also gorgeous, as the last 30-miles have been, with views the of the surrounding mountains and the desert to the east. As we get closer, glimpses of Los Angeles appear, the arcing coastline behind it.
A quarter of the way down after vying, teary-eyed, for what felt like an hour, we hit one last quarter-mile incline on the way to Clear Creek. Ben and Ira drop me so I hang back for Aaron and Hahn. I know something’s wrong when they don’t quickly show but we’re too close to real food and air conditioning so I press on. I look up at some point, along the last stretch into town, when a metallic blue Suzuki Samurai drives by with Hahn’s face pressed against the passenger-side window – from the inside. He rolls it down.
Hahn: Not more than five minutes into that big plummet at the top I flatted again. Aaron waited and then this guy, Gary (the car’s driver), came along.
Daniel: So you didn’t get to ride down that hill then?
Hahn: I would have thought that was obvious.
We regroup at the Chevron station at the bottom of the hill and our point of re-entry into civilization, the first we’ve seen of it in five hours. Plans are made to eat at an Italian place owned by a cyclist friend of Cole’s. Aaron shows up finally, the last man down. He’s angry and wants ice cream. He rides across the street to a market to make it happen, while Cole fixes a flat. Now that we’re back in the foothills, back in the valley, it’s hot again. Cole’s pick for dinner means a windy, dusty eight-mile ride across town and I bonk three minutes into it.
"The last major descent back into town was super fast and completely positive. At one point, I had a lady in a Mazda Miyata trailing me for a mile or so, only to me pass me and inform me that my speed was nearing 50mph plus. She waived and continued down the road. I am the first to make it to the bottom, wondering where everyone else is. About five minutes goes by, and one by one, the crew shows up." - Cole