Cyclists love to train at the infamous Santa Rosa Plateau in Murrieta, CA where the roads are wavy and the hills are long. FUGOO knows the conflict of wanting to listen to music but not being able to put on your headphones. One of our cyclists took the FUGOO + Sport for a ride and this was his experience.
“We cyclists like to suffer. We enjoy the pain of steep hills and mountains because we know that it is one more pedal stroke to victory. That victory, of course, is the sweet sensation of making it to the top of that hill or mountain. What is our reward for such a feat? Well, it’s going down! Depending on the length and grade of the slope it’s easy to reach speeds above 40 mph. I have a few buddies that have exceeded 60 miles per hour. Not all cyclists have the heart to ride with such ferocity, it takes a special type of person – someone who needs the excitement, the adrenaline, and who has a love for the tarmac.
We all have our little pre-ride rituals. Some check their tire pressure, some stretch, while others do breathing exercises. Of course, I’ll do these too, but what I need is music. The rhythm gets my blood pumping and prepares me for the ride. I fixed my FUGOO wireless speaker to the back of my seat post using the simple, yet convenient speaker bike mount, and played one of my favorite playlists I made on Spotify; the playlist consists of artists such as Joywave, Clubfeet, Reptar, STRFKR, Lucius, Snakadaktal, Owl Eyes, and Postiljonen.
As I suit-up in my Sierra Nevada Pale ale jersey, Joywave’s track “Who Do You Like?” was playing from my bike. I mentally prepared for the Category 3 climb up to the Santa Rosa Plateau. The ride began on fairly level terrain. However, I was battling rush hour traffic and a terrible side wind. No matter, this is all part of the love; warring the elements, playing the game with irritable drivers frustrated with traffic. All the while I am riding invigorated and free. As I weaved through traffic I can feel the beat of Clubfeet’s “Get Loose” playing under my saddle, motivating me to keep a high tempo. It’s amazing how even with the tumultuous wind and the cacophony from the bustling traffic I could still hear the music thumping. I never liked headphones for riding – it separated me from the environment and cycling is about exploring and connecting with your surroundings. As a side note, it is illegal to ride with headphones; not many seem to know this – you have been warned.
It was about mile 10 when the climbing began. This category 3 climb is not the most difficult, with an average grade of 4% and 2.8 miles to the plateau, but it is by no means easy. Even though I was riding solo, the music made it feel like I was riding with a team. As I ascended STRFKR’s, “While I’m Alive” was playing. The steady beat kept my cadence high and the melody was keeping my mind off the burn. Every pedal stroke was one more to the top. Even though I was focused on the task at hand I couldn’t help but admire my surroundings. The winding road was surrounded by hardy chaparral and coastal sage scrub. The environment cannot be appreciated from the restraints of a vehicle. You need to smell the savory – herbal qualities that fill the air, and watch rabbits and squirrels dance among the shrubbery. Just before I reached the crest of the plateau, the grade became a deadly 10%, according to my gps. I stood out of my saddle to gain the extra momentum to reach the top. The burn in my legs felt rewarding as I reached the flat endless plateau and passed under a 100-year-old oak tree. The view became more and more incredible as I traversed the plateau. The great oaks that scattered across the bunchgrass prairie imbued me. I reveled at the California poppies, lupines, and chocolate lilies among the grassland. I became encapsulated by the plateau’s beauty, while the ethereal Snakadaktal song “Isolate” played. I hardly noticed the severe headwind crippling my speed. There was one more slope ahead of me; I needed to prepare for it. This kicker has an average grade of 10% and at its steepest is about 15%. I saw it in the distance; it appeared to be a wall. I picked up my speed a bit to try and slingshot up the steep slope. I was about a quarter up and I already shifted to my lowest gear. I was mashing the gear, my thighs were cramping, and the only motivations I had were the fact I could see the crest of the hill and the rhythm of “Stuck in My Id” by Reptar playing.
About a quarter mile after the kicker was my destination. The famous Santa Rosa Plateau Vernal Pools. The vernal pools are home to a large variety of rare species. There are water snakes, fish, shrimp, and birds that live in these seasonal bodies of water. I took a short break and ate a small snack while listening to Alpine “Softsides”. It is amazing that only 17 miles from my home, and even a lesser distance from town, that I was this far from anything or anyone. I had the trees, grass, birds, and small mammals to keep me company. The breeze cooled me from the steep climb that brought me to this wonderful sanctuary.
The sun began to set behind the hills in the distance when I decided it was time to head back. I put on Lucius’ “Turn It Around” and took my reward – the descent. I pedaled hard just before the steep slope and as I began to descend I tuck into an aerodynamic position and I accelerated to 45 miles per hour. I slowly took the lane as I passed a sign indicating the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. As my wheels spun, the scenery became distorted around me as I focused on what was in front of me. The hill flattened, but I maintained a fast pace until I reached the, well-deserved, final 2.8-mile descent. I was cruising at 40+ miles an hour all the way down. Even at this speed, with the loud wind in my ears, I could still hear music playing from my FUGOO. The music added a wonderful dimension to the joyful, adrenaline-rich experience.
Joywave: Who Do You Like?
Clubfeet: Get Loose
STRFKR: While I’m Alive
Reptar: Stuck In My Id
Lucius: Turn It Around
Owl Eyes: Closure
Want to see the proof? Catch the FUGOO ride on Strava: http://www.strava.com/activities/139063881