I’m still not riding with my son (Kevin), as he gets some strange pains figured out (initially thought to be another kidney stone, but now possibly chronic appendicitis). Kevin’s going to have some catching up to do (literally!) when he’s finally back on his bike again.
Today it was up Old LaHonda, down the other side to San Gregorio, then north on Stage to Pescadero, over Haskins, up West Alpine and then a return on Skyline & down 84 back into Woodside. 66 miles, 6800ft of climbing. No speed run today; I took some time to talk with people along the way, including a woman who I came across walking her bike up the last part of Old LaHonda (she’d been off the bike for six years raising kids), a guy who, as you can see in the photo, wasn’t camera shy at the top of Old LaHonda, and on my return, at Old LaHonda yet again, I came across a couple that were sorta kinda lost but not really. More interesting was that the guy had one arm in a sling and had his bike set up suitably to accomodate that.
Regarding the woman who hadn’t been riding in six years (she’s in the photo with the guy waving, in the yellow shirt to his left), I took a quick look at her bike and she could have it a whole lot easier. The bike was maybe 20 years old with a standard double crank and not a very large rear cogset, so she must have been struggling with some pretty high gears. She’s nuts to just brush that off as not being that big a deal… she’s got way higher gears than I would ever want to climb with, and I’m known to climb in pretty big gears, standing most of the way. Hope she still has some knees left!
Yes, it was a bit drizzly, but never cold. There’s something strange about being in a fog at 68 degrees. Still had a bit of a headwind going out to the coast, but not too bad. The gravel on Stage Road is less of an issue now, and I heard from some cyclists that Kings Mtn is now usable again (so we don’t have to work on an alternative route on Tuesday).
The run from Pescadero over Haskins is always tough, one of those stretches that I can’t quantify why that should be the case. On paper, it doesn’t look that bad, but your legs feel it. But about the time I was feeling sorry for myself I come across Sal, our super-duper customer/domestique (did you know there was such a thing?) who runs our secret soda stop for the Sequoia Century. Sal was out there on his fixed gear bike, yes, riding over Haskins and Stage on a single speed! So much for me thinking I had it tough.
But it was climbing up West Alpine that I had an interesting revelation. As it would get steeper and I started thinking about easing up a bit, I realized that, in my mind, I was planning to throttle back about five pedal strokes ahead. Almost as if I were looking for an excuse to take it easier. Don’t do that!!! I decided that it was wrong to anticipate those next few pedal strokes; only bad things could come of that. So instead I just kept plugging away, and it worked. Focus on getting to the end, not the middle. Where you are is only relevant if you think about it too much. Where you want to be is what’s important.