On Thursday I flew from Milan to LA, via Amsterdam, again subjecting myself to KLM's dodgy food and cramped seating.
The next day, I submitted to another kind of punishment, joining Sean Smith, Davis Jensen and Randy Duggan for a ride up the Angeles Crest Highway.
In the course of an 85km ride, we climbed more than 2000m, the first 1500m in single unrelenting ascent.
We stopped at the Hidden Springs cafe for lunch, where the proprietor entertained us, and an assemblage of good ol' boys, with tales of his poker playing prowess.
The route sheet called for a detour up Mt Wilson, but none of us could muster the enthusiasm for another 2000 feet of climbing, though I suspect Sean would have been up for it despite the 42 x 18 low gear on his Specialized Allez.