We’ll give the first “real” winter rain ride a B. Good effort.

It’s 38.7 degrees, it’s raining, and you’re up on Skyline getting ready for a long descent home. What’s not to like?
Sure, it would have been nicer to wake up to a roaring downpour with the wind driving the rain against the bedroom windows, but maybe that’s being saved for Thursday. Today we had light rain and pretty cold but not quite nastily so.

Of course nobody showed up, just myself and Kevin. No records broken, either fast or slow. Easy 37 minute ride to the top and the chance to actually talk a bit on the way up. Kevin started out pretty slowly (apparently didn’t sleep well) but picked up the pace as we headed up the hill. NOBODY out there. No cyclists I mean. A few cars, one runner. Actually we did see someone commuting north on Canada Road at the start; curiously not someone we’d seen before (on an older blue LeMond bike). Not on Strava either.

It was about 42 at the start, dropping gradually as we climbed Kings, bottoming out around Skeggs at 37 degrees. Had it been raining really hard, that might not have been too comfortable; anything below 40 in a really soaking rain is generally not a lot of fun. But this was light rain and not an issue. Still, it was more fun on the flats and climbs than on the descents.

Thursday should be more fun. Forecast is for a steady rain, moderate winds. We’ll be ready.

Back to normal!!!! OLH/Pescadero/Tunitas loop

Last time I did the Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop was November 25th, about 6 weeks ago. That’s the last time I did any ride of substance! Then it was off to Morocco for a couple of weeks (no bike), then the plague for a couple of weeks and voila, December was down the tubes. I was just barely back on my bike by January 1st but no way to do the usual Mt Hamilton ride so I just did the local loop. I got a couple of shortened Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides in (skipping the West Old LaHonda part) until, last Thursday, I finally got the full ride in. And then today, finally, a “normal” Sunday ride!

Got to admit I had some fear & trepidation getting ready. Seemed like it was going to be cold out there, and not sure I’d be able to be comfortable. But after just a quarter mile or so I realized things were pretty much as they’ve always been in the winter. Other than discovering that Kevin, who also hadn’t been riding in a while, doesn’t suffer the way I do after taking a break from cycling. Holding onto his wheel over Jefferson was really, really tough. Holding onto his wheel on Old LaHonda was another thing entirely. Impossible. The kid (ok, 26 years old) does 20 minutes up Old LaHonda without practice. I struggled to finish under 26. How does that work?

Fortunately he couldn’t shake me on Haskins, but holding his wheel on the run into Pescadero was tough. He was flying.

I should mention that, on the bay side of the hill, we saw lots of cyclists. Everyone was out riding. A good thing! In Pescadero, just a couple. But the deli was open for business and 6 weeks without a chicken club sandwich is about 5 weeks too long. Which also means we’d been 6 weeks without a giant cookie! Good thing we arrived when we did, as there were only two left.

Stage Road… well, it’s good to be back, but despite riding it hard, it wasn’t very fast. Just felt like it should have been fast. And Tunitas? At 55 minutes, hey, it’s still under an hour. It was discouraging to see how low the power meter readings were but hey, it’s January, lots of time to improve. And it feels so good not to have a hacking cough anymore.

This coming Tuesday’s ride looks like the worst case scenario- light drizzly rain that just makes a mess of your bike and not heavy enough that you get any credit for being out there. Hopefully Thursday will be a good storm. See, I’m back to normal, thinking it will be fun riding in really bad weather!