Tunitas safe to ride again

Kevin’s still off the bike (we’re hoping to have some resolution to his kidney pains this week), so another ride by myself today. Hard to get motivated to do anything really epic while he’s in so much pain, but not riding wasn’t going to help him any, so I head out knowing only that I’m going to the coast but without any specific route in mind.

A couple of women approaching the top of Old LaHonda

Old LaHonda seemed a bit friendlier than normal with quite a few other cyclists out on the road, basically a lot of “rabbits” to chase down. And a few quick “interviews” at the top revealed the usual- an amazing number of people who have never been down the other side!

I was tempted to join another guy who was heading down to LaHonda and then up West Alpine, but that didn’t seem like quite enough of a ride today, especially since “the plan” had me going to the coast. So I stuck to “the plan” and on the way to La Honda figured that something a bit different might be nice and came up with a run straight out to San Gregorio and then north past Tunitas to Verde and Los Lobitos over to Tunitas. The bike rack at San Gregorio’s General Store was deserted, probably due to the overcast and cooler temps scaring people away from the coast, but it really wasn’t that bad, never below 60 degrees. I did see quite a few cyclists on the coast, between Stage Road and Verde, who were doing the “Ride 2 Recovery” in support of wounded vets.

Los Lobitos is one of the semi-hidden gems near the coast, pretty nice pavement with very little traffic and a pleasant roller-coaster style of terrain. At least unti you get to the creek crossing where it turns back on itself and heads up… straight up! Then you get dropped down onto Tunitas, about 4 miles up from the coast, just prior to the start of the main climb, and from there it’s up, up & more up. Exactly the way I like it, but why? About a mile past the part where it levels off, maybe two miles to go, I came across a young woman riding with a group from Stanford (half of whom were behind and half ahead of her) who asked me if we were past the halfway point yet. I assured her we were way past the halfway point, which she was thankful for, and she was able to draft my wheel for maybe half a mile before dropping back. I offered to moderate my speed but she said the others would be waiting for her, so even though this was her first time up the hill, it wasn’t like she could get lost and she was almost at the top. Oh, right, I should mention that the gravel is mostly gone from Tunitas now and there’s no issue at all with oil.

In the end it was only a 47 mile ride, but with a few good hills (Old LaHonda, Los Lobitos and Tunitas), 5000ft of climbing, and best of all, saw a lot of customers out there on bikes we’ve sold them.

That was Part 1. Part 2 was a 15 mile ride with my wife a couple hours after I got home, out through Woodside and Portola Valley and back. Just over 900 ft of climbing on that ride, so maybe not quite as challenging as the earlier ride. But it did have the all-important task of adding up to a cumulative total of 100k/62 miles for the day, sort of my personal minimum for a “respectable” day. 🙂

Oh, one other thing I noticed on Part 2. Ponytails. Riding behind my wife, I noticed how nice her ponytail looks out the back of her helmet. OK, sexy even. But it’s not a fetish. Just like, for the first 13 years, I insisted this wasn’t a “blog.”

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