There were multiple factors conspiring to keep ride attendance low this morning-
- The low-key hillclimb series, normally held on Saturday mornings, was running a special edition today up Mount Hamilton. If I didn’t have my regular ride, I’d probably be there myself! The low-key series is an informal race, meaning that times are kept for everyone, but since “everyone” shows up, you’ll get rocket-fast semi-pros melting the asphalt along with a few recreational riders who will count themselves fortunate to finish before the sun goes down. A fun time for all.
- A lack of publicizing the ride this year. Normally I’d be sending out flyers and putting info on our website, but there have been so many things challenging my ability to juggle time lately, some things lost out. Between working on ways to re-invent the shop (some things are kinda stuck in 1985-style retail), taking care of my son’s kidney issues (now seemingly resolved, thank goodness!) and an upcoming vacation, I’ve been a tad bit stressed. Which, of course, is why I need to ride!
- The weather. Clear & beautiful, light breeze, what’s not to like? Apparently, the temperature! 33 degrees at the start this morning, dropping to 32 at one point.
And it it was just me & Claude, doing the traditional Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas Creek run. We did see a small number of cyclists out on Canada as we started out, most bundled pretty heavily but more than once this morning we saw people with exposed legs and wondered what were they thinking?
From the start in Woodside to the outskirts of Pescadero, temps stayed between 32 & 37 degrees for the most part, with brief forays into the very-low 40s. Thank goodness we live in an area where we don’t get ice when it’s cold! There were only a few times where I heard or felt that crunchiness you get when the road is frosted, and no slipping. Climbing Old LaHonda, Claude remarked that we were likely the only people climbing the hill this early; the group we came across at the top proved this quite wrong.
One area I was mistaken was the ability to buy food in Pescadero & San Gregorio! Every previous TurkeyDay ride, one of the two stores/bakeries in Pescadero was open, and the San Gregorio General Store has always been open. Not today though; stores in both towns were hosting private town functions. My initial instinct in Pescadero was to hit up the gas station’s market but I figured I was fine for a while, and San Gregorio wasn’t that far away. Trust those initial instincts! Thankfully, the Bike Hut on Tunitas Creek had some munchies available (yogurt-covered pretzels, $2/bag) that kept me going.
Did I mention how incredibly-clear it was this morning? You could look out towards to ocean and see Hawaii! Almost. There was something out there, an island, a non-moving ship, something that was in the same place when I first saw it, off Stage Road, as when I last saw it approaching Tunitas Creek. It was too far south to be the Farallon Islands, but it was… something.
Some things about this ride will never be the same; passing the Flamingo House sans Flamingos (5 or 6 miles before Pescadero), and the removal of the iron skeletons holding machine guns a few miles after Pescadero, on Stage Road. But some things never change, like the steepness of the middle section of Tunitas Creek, or the fun of sharing your favorite rides with others.