Sunday’s ride… a few climbs!

The washed out part of West Old LaHonda is nearly back in business!
After doing quite a few climb-free Sunday rides, got a text from Larry R, a guy I used to race with back in the 70s and took to France during the ‘Tour maybe 5 years ago… he was in the area and wanted to do a few climbs. Slowly. Larry’s strong & fast on the flats, but when the road tilts upward…

The reason this made sense was because Kevin’s knee wasn’t holding up to hard climbing efforts, and riding with Larry was going to be a more casual affair. Not that I have much horsepower these days, but it’s enough to tax Kevin’s knees. But not Sunday. Larry does about 165 watts on a climb, which is about 100 watts shy of what Kevin can maintain.

Originally thought about heading to the coast, but after climbing Old LaHonda we looked out and saw a pretty heavy fog bank. Uh… no. Headed up West Alpine instead. Met up with Karen, who used to be a regular on our Tuesday/Thursday morning rides, on the way up (or, more correctly, the group she was riding with passed us with quite a bit more speed than we were capable of). She’s got a regular job with regular hours that conflict with our 7:45am departure. And if she did show up, I think she’d get pretty bored by our sedate speed these days.

Headed down Page Mill and into Los Altos for coffee & food, then looped back through the foothills to Woodside.

Hoping to get some speed back soon & Kevin’s knees getting better!

If I haven’t figure out Kings by now…

Just me this morning; it wasn’t Kevin’s knee today, but I got a text from him saying he didn’t get to sleep until 3am, don’t try to wake him up. Well ok, it’s not like I need help finding the way, right?

So many years, so fast back in the day, and sometimes, and today was one of those times, I still thing Kings holds some secret that I haven’t yet found, something that will get me up the hill a bit faster. It’s a feeling that I don’t think I’ve ever brought up before. I’m on the wrong side of the curve these days; at 68, there aren’t going to be many surprise days (any at all?) where I look at my effort and think wow, I’ve still got it! Yet that feeling, almost like a repeating dream, that there’s still something left to figure out.

I’m sometimes reminded of things I miss, things that part of me thinks I could still do. Like chase after that couple in the photo, way up ahead of me. There was a time I would play a game where I’d let someone get up ahead a bit, and race back up to them. The game was figuring out just how much ground I could make up.

Still hoping, after my wife’s situation stabilizes a bit (so far, she’s doing pretty good!), to get my lungs checked out again, maybe by a new pulmonologist who finds something the other two didn’t. But the lungs limit mainly my climbing speed, but they don’t stop me from climbing, or doing longer distances. And then there’s the hematocrit, which gets tested again soon. Will it ever get back into the mid-40s again? What would that feel like?

If I’m out there alone on a Tuesday or Thursday morning, this is the sort of stuff that goes through my mind. Maybe it can all be summed up with this question, a similar version of which is likely asked by many when they believe their prime is behind them. Am I a has-been or a never-was? Can I make a difference?