35F on Skyline. Oh, and wet too. We ride in this so you don’t have to.

The day started out not-so-bad…
We thought we’d get in under the storm, and maybe we would have if we’d stayed on “our” side of the hill. I told Kevin it might not be a bad idea to “stay low” and do a boring ride in the foothills, but he wanted to do “his” ride, Old LaHonda/West Alpine. At least I let him convince me that 4 layers (baselayer, jersey, jersey/jacket and waterproof lightweight rain jacket) would be better than 3.

Kevin climbing West Alpine in the clouds
Slow going up Old LaHonda; Kevin is still not on his game. He started out fast, and I’m wondering how quickly I’m going to get dropped, but he faded after 4 minutes or so. From that point on it was the usual, where I’m able to push on ahead for a bit at pretty high power, then throttle back and wait for him to catch up. I’m still pretty surprised I’m able to do that, and honestly wondering if a supplement I’m taking, L’Arginine, might be responsible (I’d read that it can help with asthma issues and I’m willing to try just about anything that can help with my breathing).

It stayed dry for the first half of West Alpine and then… it wasn’t really “dark” clouds moving in, just a whole lot of gray. Contrast went to zero. Hate that. I like contrast in my life. And then it started getting cold but hey, we were climbing, so not so bad. But by the time we got to Skyline it was down to 35 and light rain. Thank goodness for all those layers! Tights instead of leg warmers might have been the better call, along with our rain bikes (with disc brakes & fenders).

They asked where we were going? Like, there are options? Someplace other than back the way we came?

Close-up of downed power lines

We knew it might be a bit breezy, but were a bit surprised by just how much! It wasn’t going to be a fast ride; Kevin’s still not riding very well, being a bit banged up from this or that, and added to it slightly this morning when, after coming to a stop at Manuella & Kings on the way out, he slipped off his pedal and nailed his shin.

It also couldn’t have been a very fast time up Kings due to all the debris, which not only had to be dodged but a few times we’d stop to get rid of some particularly-dangerous branches that had fallen across the road. But not only was speed curtailed but distance as well; just prior to Skeggs, heading south on Skyline, we came across the scene above. It was kind of surreal that one of the guys felt a need to get on the bullhorn and ask where we were going. Like there was a choice? I yelled out “Back the way we came”, took the picture above, and headed gingerly back down the hill.