Some things don’t make sense. I could start with my son’s kidney stone issue, which may not be a kidney stone after all (he was in pretty bad pain this morning so yet another visit to the Doctor, and this guy thought maybe it’s just a severe muscle pull??? A nasty muscle pull whose pain is transient?). Whatever the case, I eventually got out and stuck to the original plan- 65 miles with at least one piece of nastiness, Redwood Gulch.
From Woodside I wound through Portola Valley and the various back roads down to our Los Altos store, where I needed to take care of something on a couple of the computers. After that it was up Stevens Creek to Redwood Gulch. Oh, which reminds me, when I added “Never give up, Never surrender!” to my daughter’s jersey design, it didn’t occur to me that that would encourage people to latch onto my wheel as I rode past. I had two very determined wheel suckers from Woodside to Los Altos (at different times), and in both cases I had passed them at a pretty good speed, but they latched on quickly. Um, OK, I’m used to hauling my son around, so why not. It’s a little bit tiring though, because you have a responsibility to maintain an even speed, and for egotistical reasons, you don’t feel like you can slack off. I didn’t give it much thought until I came across another guy struggling up Redwood Gulch… he sped up quite a bit as I came past, and where it leveled off towards the top he came by and told me he read the “Never give up, never surrender!” on my jersey and felt like he had to kick it into overdrive.
As you can see in the post below this one, Mr. Mustard was at his station at the top of Highway 9, so for a dollar I downed a coke before continuing on. I’ve ridden Skyline from Highway 9 to Page Mill dozens of times, and yet it still surprises me how quickly that stretch of road goes by. It doesn’t feel that quick, but a check of the computer confirms it’s just 20 minutes.
Normally, I’d head on Skyline all the way north to Sky Londa and down 84, but that wouldn’t have given me enough miles or climbing, and while it was tempting, I stuck to the plan. Because that’s what I do on a ride. Glad I did too, because if I hadn’t headed down West Alpine to LaHonda, I never would have seen the Bobcat casually walking across the road in front of me. I’ve seen Bobcats just a couple times before when riding, and they’ve always looked like a fast-moving round ball of fur. Not this time. Pretty cool.
As usual, I was thankful for the fact that I started feeling better as the ride went on, and found the final climb back up to Skyline pretty easy. It’s not as much fun riding alone as it is with other people, but it’s a whole lot better than not riding at all! Oh, getting back to the title of this post, when I left the house about 12:30, I said I’d be back around 5:30. I walked in the door at 5:31. Seems like the last umpteen rides I’ve done, with or without my son, I’ve made it back within minutes of when I told my wife I’d be back. 30 or 110 mile ride. Weird.