“Does everybody know you?”

With Kevin (my son Kevin, not pilot Kevin) still out of action due to a kidney stone, I called in the reserves, texting (yes, 54 year olds text, at least those with iPhones anyway) Jeff, one of our reps, who has some serious riding credentials (Devil Mtn Double, plus he’s ridden Sonora Pass with me). We connected in the morning, doing a variant of the Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop, but tossing in just a little bit more at the end by heading up Star Hill Road, then south on Skyline and down 84.

While waiting for Jeff at the base of Old LaHonda, I figured I’d try and use the iPhone’s WordPress blogging application to put something up in real-time regarding the ride, but no matter how good the idea or software is, you can’t do much if you can’t see the screen in bright daylight. I did get a nice shot of cyclists on Portola Road though, using my “regular” pocket camera (Fuji EXR200) zoomed out as far as it could go… a mode I never use when riding because you can’t hold it steady enough. Funny how you forget that there are times when you can get a more-interesting photo by zooming in.

Cyclists on Portola Road near Old LaHonda, part of The Loop

It was a beautiful morning, perfect weather for climbing Old LaHonda. I pointed out to Jeff places like “Pipe Country” (about a mile up, where there are pipes coming out of a retaining wall on the left side of the road), “Cytomax Country” (just a bit further up, where it flattens out for a bit giving you a chance to drink), and the half-way point, the yellow house on the left right after the second steep part. We rode a fairly-civilized pace up the hill, about 24 minutes, pretty much exactly the pace Kevin might have capable of. Darn that kidney stone!

Quite a few people at the top of Old LaHonda, but unlike yesterday I wasn’t on a Pied Piper mission so we headed straight down the other side and down to LaHonda, where I introduced Jeff to the “shortcut” to Pescadero Road at Apple Jacks. Amazing the things people who have lived and ridden the roads here most of their lives and don’t yet know! Never assume that your favorite road is known to all.

Another thing different on this ride compared to most was that we came across quite a few other cyclists on the “other” (some would say “wrong”) side of the hill. Many of them customers of mine, and it seemed to surprise Jeff how many fit into this category. At the mandatory stop in Pescadero we came across Susan, whom I came across climbing Tunitas three years ago, and today she told me about coming into our shop four years ago to buy her first pair of cycling shoes, coincidentally at the same time we were fitting Kevin, somewhat reluctantly, to a new pair of shoes. It was clear he wasn’t really into cycling at the time, and she was impressed with how far he’s come since then. So, even though Kevin wasn’t along with us on the ride, it sorta seemed like he was.

Susan preparing her bike in the picnic area behind the Pescadero Bakery
Susan preparing her bike in the picnic area behind the Pescadero Bakery

From there it was the usual run on Stage Road, made a bit less fun by all the gravel they’ve spread across it, supposedly as a way to improve the road surface. I’ve never understood that. How, without any sort of binding agent (oil), does the gravel embed in the old asphalt? No stopping at San Gregorio but we did cruise by the Bike Hut at the base of Tunitas to pick up some water ($.25/bottle to defray the costs of filtering their groundwater).

We weren't the only ones on Tunitas this morning!

There were quite a few cyclists on Tunitas, and up to this point, darned few cars! That changed once we hit Skyline, which we sort of detoured onto via Star Hill/Swett Road (featuring that uber-steep section where I might have been tempted to zig-zag except that the road is very narrow there and a couple of cars decided that that’s where they had to pass me). Heading south on Skyline to 84 though, I had never seen such heavy traffic up there before, probably due to the beautiful weather and the Kings Mtn Art Show.

Ride totals? 63.39 miles, 6328ft of climbing. Missed the definition of a “mountainous” ride by… 11 feet???!!! Food & water are available at “B” (La Honda, a small market), “C” (Pescadero, two excellent bakeries/general stores, both of which like cyclists), “D” (San Gregorio general store, which tolerates cyclists) and “E” (The Bike Hut, which reliably has water but not always food). Also “F” (Sky Londa, a small market as well as Alice’s Restaraunt).

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7 thoughts on ““Does everybody know you?”

  1. View Larger Map
    No, it’s not actually shorter, but it’s more interesting, taking you through a couple back roads and past a large duck pond. There are a couple of small hills, but they’re mercifully short. –Mike–

    1. No, it’s not actually shorter, but it’s more interesting, taking you through a couple back roads and past a large duck pond. There are a couple of small hills, but they’re mercifully short. –Mike–

  2. First off… YAY for moving to WordPress! Sure, you may lose a little of your home-brew feel, but now I can leave comments. Seeing as I’m a part of the work-force now and never make it to the Tue-Thu ride anymore, this may be the closest I get to riding with you! Hopefully the RSS is set up, I’ll get that in my Google Reader right away.

    Second… Did I cross paths with you on Sunday? Or better, was this ride on Sunday or Monday? I did a similar loop but in reverse on Sunday and passed two northbound men and a woman that were descending on Stage and about to hit the gravel where it starts in the fast, sweeping left-hand turn. I yelled “gravel ahead”, but didn’t stare at faces enough to know if it was you. The timing would have been just about perfect, though, since I left a little later and did OLH/WOLH/84 to Stage southbound.

    1. Ueyn: On Sunday, I did two rides, a short ride out to Portola Valley with my wife, then later on, a quick ride up Old LaHonda, down the other side and back home. Monday was my Pescadero loop.

      Yes, don’t know what took me so long to finally move to WordPress. The “home-brew” feel needed to go away; things had gotten way too disorganized. I’m very impressed so far. Lots more to do; still don’t understand how it all works, but I’ll figure it out. Tempted to buy a book on WordPress but why, when everything should be on the ‘net and a book would be out of date way too quickly.

  3. My only advice about WordPress: If you are hosting your own installation, be sure to keep the security updates up-to-date. I’ve heard of many cases of it being used to hack a site.

    If you don’t want to do all the work of maintaining an installation, you can also used WordPress.com to host the site. WordPress.com is the commercial branch of WordPress.org. They host blogs for free and charge small fees for certain add-ons. They take care of all the maintenance and have millions of blogs running, so they know what they’re doing. You can even use your own domain name. If you find you don’t want to invest the time learning the nitty-gritty of WordPress installation, I highly recommend letting WordPress.com handle it.

    1. Installation isn’t much of a problem; Lunar Pages has various ways that automate it and make it painless. I just have to learn how to do things in an organized fashion and figure out what best to use for posting. The standard WordPress “Dashboard” leaves something to be desired, as formatting comes out very oddly with photos (they don’t show up in the right places)… sometimes. Lots to learn!

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