Died on Page Mill, recovered nicely on Tunitas

It’s not always about the cookie in Pescadero.
Sometimes you make up the ride on the go; this was one of those times. Kevin didn’t want to do the usual Pescadero/Tunitas; not really sure why, but it was kind of nice to ride past Old LaHonda without making that right turn up the hill. I’d thought about Page Mill, but didn’t want to bring it up. Kevin’s original idea was a short ride, up Old LaHonda and back via West Alpine, but I wanted something longer and Kevin went for Page Mill/San Gregorio/Tunitas.

Climbing Page Mill was the least fun I’ve had on a bike in a long time. Normally it’s tough because it’s difficult finding a rhythm; today it was tough just because… well, just because. I was sweating like crazy, constantly having to press my helmet against my headband, trying to squeeze out the salty water before it got to my eyes. Eye I should say; for some reason, it’s only an issue on the right side of my head. Whatever the case, 53:20 was one of my slowest-ever times up Page Mill, and it’s not like I wasn’t trying. The engine room just couldn’t deliver anything. Kevin actually stopped twice to wait for me.

Yes, I was thinking terrible things, like maybe I should just turn back, or find some other way to shorten the ride. But if a very long history of rides has taught me anything, it’s that I generally feel much better later on, and today wasn’t an exception. I did cheat though; the entire run to the coast on 84, I was glued to Kevin’s wheel.

At San Gregorio we stopped for a coke and sandwich; not the usual coffee, as it wasn’t the usual cold. First sandwich at San Gregorio I think? Not bad; turkey, cheese & lettuce. Leaving San Gregorio I didn’t have that post-meal-sluggishness associated with the half-sandwich and pastry when in Pescadero.

There was a favorable breeze from the coast as we headed east on Tunitas, so I tried to “launch” Kevin so he could get a good time, but he didn’t seem very interested. He finally ditched me just before the bridge of death (beginning of Strava’s “Hammer of Thor” segment). I was determined not to fall apart on Tunitas, and succeeded; it was as different from my earlier climb up Page Mill as could be. And I managed to challege the upper part too, and thought I did pretty well until I just looked up Kevin’s time and found him a full minute faster. Hate that.

Overall a good ride.

About travel… and feeling entitled to having things go right.

I participate in a few FB “Cruise” newsgroups, after having taken my wife on a wonderful first-time cruise in the Greek Isles last year. Something I swore I’d never do, was certain I wouldn’t ever enjoy being “trapped” for a week, but had a wonderful time. Hate that, y’know? 🙂 Anyway, people are griping about things not going quite right, service not being what it used to be, when traveling. And you see a lot of complaining in the Cruise FB groups. Here was my response in a thread where people were upset about their recent experiences vs past-

I think, as we emerge from the Covid mess, we’re predisposed to the bad, we’re so desperately looking for things to be as they were, and our memories have been re-wired a bit to believe everything used to be wonderful and we just want it to be that way again!!!

But by the time we get to the cruise ship we’ve probably already experienced the absolute nightmare of flying and our attitude may be that we’re looking for “what next” instead of thinking how fortunate we are to be back on our feet at all.

The economic displacement caused by Covid was massive and ANY industry that was in a position to have to lay off people to survive the downturn, is in a real mess right now, as so many of their employees moved on and/or used that time to re-evaluate their lives and reconsider the merits of whatever they’re doing to pay their bills. That’s a real thing, and yes, it’s so tempting to try and hold that against those employees, to say they should have their heads back in the game, where it was before. But 18 months out of work or doing something different just to get by will have an effect on people.

So no, things won’t be the same, but one of the things we can all do is show some deliberate kindness and, most of all, respect, for those on the other side of the counter.

If you wanted to be worshipped for coming back to the world, for spreading your money around while traveling, you, er, missed the boat. That time was last summer, not this. My son and I were treated like royalty everywhere we went in France a year ago July. An American with a vaccination card was welcomed universally with smiles and gratitude. But that was then, this is now. Then, you had to jump through hoops to travel, you had to take risks, you had to wear masks, and occupancy rates in hotels was probably about 20%. The system wasn’t under seige like it is now. And we didn’t feel entitled at all to great service. We felt lucky to travel.

Sermon mode/off