Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Tuesday-morning ride without me? Yes, I’m going Postal. Or trying not to.

Jury duty caught up with me today. Got out of the morning session, but the computer log-in said I was still vulnerable and had to show my face at 12:45pm. 139 people in the room, getting instructions from the deputy in charge on what to expect, how to make sure you don’t have to serve again within 12 months, how the computer decides it’s your time. Oh, and lots of stuff about parking, and how to take care of parking tickets you got because you didn’t put your jury duty sticker in the window. Nothing about bike parking, or how to get there without driving (it’s only a couple blocks from the train station, duh!).

Interesting thing learned- if you have a slight difference in spelling or punctuation between your birth certificate and driver’s license, you are likely to get twice as many summons, because the system thinks you’re two people. Those with hyphenated names are especially vulnerable, because the DMV computer doesn’t “see” them (it simply merges the front and last part together and drops the hyphen) while other forms of ID do.

The deputy also tries to put people at ease, and tells us, when he calls out our name, to say something like “Go Giants” instead of just “here.” I’m thinking, OK, what could I say that would relate to cycling, and then it hits me. “Go Postal!” Only that just might be taken the wrong way. Continue reading

Was that the last of the rain? Maybe? Please?

Easter Sunday. The plan (as always, there’s a plan) was to head out fairly early so Kevin (my son, not the pilot) and I could get in a good hard ride and get back in time for the traditional early Easter Sunday dinner (2:30pm for the usual honey-baked Ham, a scalloped-potato dish, string beans with sliced almonds, the usual holiday fare) and then later on head to a 5pm church service run by Pastor Ben, one of our customers and all-around good guy.

The ride was supposed to be up & over Old LaHonda to the coast, Stage Road south to Pescadero, over Haskins and then up West Alpine and return north on Skyline. A reasonably-ambitious ride that would require us to get out on the road by 8:30am or so, certainly no later than 9. 8:30 wasn’t going to happen; it was raining lightly but with a promise of clearing soon. 9:30 and it was still wet out, too wet for my nice bike. We finally hit the road at 10:30, with the pavement having been dried by some fairly stiff winds, and a modified itinerary consisting of climbing Kings, south on Skyline to 84, down to LaHonda and back via West Alpine. A perfectly-reasonable ride, except that we didn’t count on the equivalent of heavy rain and relative-cold (49 degrees) up on top, with the appearance of more of the same if we were to head further west.

By the time we got to Sky Londa we were cold and totally soaked through, not having planned for anything more than light rain, so we rode down 84 back into Woodside, at which point Kevin was thinking we were simply heading back home. Er, no. We needed to get some miles under our butts and generate some heat to dry out our clothes! Fortunately, about halfway down to Woodside the skies dried out, making this a reasonable plan. From the bottom we turned right and headed out to Portola Valley, looped through Los Altos, and then returned via Sand Hill. In the end it was just 46 miles, but much harder than you’d think due to some very stiff headwinds most of the way back. Total climbing was about 4300ft, more than I thought, but it was pushing forward through the headwinds that has my legs feeling like I rode!

Oh, should mention one really good thing was that this was the first Sunday ride in several weeks where Kevin hasn’t had even a minor seizure. His combination of meds has been changing, and hopefully we’re finally seeing things stabilize. That would be a very good thing, especially since the trip to France to see the ‘Tour and ride the big mountains is less than 90 days away!