Question was, would today be that “day off” that he couldn’t afford? My concern was that last night was Senior Prom (an event I didn’t attend back in the day because it conflicted with a bike race) and Kevin didn’t get in until 1:30am. Would I be able to roll him out of bed and onto a bike before the sun went down? Turned out not to be much trouble; Kevin woke up around 9:30 if I recall correctly, and not being terribly energetic for a while, it wasn’t until noon that we finally got out… but that’s plenty of time for what some refer to as the “coastal classic”- up Old LaHonda and down the other side, over Haskins Grade to Pescadero, north on Stage to Tunitas and back up to Skyline and down Kings to Woodside.
Lots of people on the east side of the hills today, but darned few on the coast. In fact, there was only one other cyclist at the Pescadero Bakery, a nice guy from Bonny Doon who hitched a ride into town on our wheels (which I don’t mind; if you see Kevin and I out on the road, and I’m plowing into a head wind, go ahead and grab a wheel). My guess is that most were at the Grizzly Peak Century, which is what Kevin and I would have been riding if not for Senior Prom (I did offer, when I picked him up, that we could go home, get dressed for the ride, grab our bikes and just head over… who needs sleep?).
Anyone not riding missed the best day of the year so far. Temps ran from mid-60s to low-80s, with the only downside being a persistant headwind regardless of what direction you were riding. What was a bit sad was not having many “rabbits” (cyclists ahead of you) to catch. Even on Old LaHonda, where you normally encounter a steady stream of rabbits (those you’re chasing) and dogs (those chasing you).
We didn’t charge any of the climbs flat out, but did put the hammer down once we got to the upper reaches of Tunitas, where it flattens out. That’s a real good test for how Kevin’s doing, because as he tires, he’ll often have trouble holding onto a wheel (a wheel which you need all that much more when you’re tired!), but today I was able to gradually crank up the speed and he held on. In France, that will become even-more important, as we’ll need to catch “trains” of riders speeding by if we want to get around quickly and efficiently.
Most of the “infrastructure” for the 2011 trip to the Tour de France has been handled; plane tickets, train tickets, car rental, hotels, and some route planning. What’s needed is a feeling that Kevin and I are ready for a far-more-ambitious schedule of riding than we’ve done on any of the three prior trips to the ‘Tour with Kevin; in particular, there’s a 100 mile day, a huge loop without any possibility of shortcuts, featuring the Col du Glandon and the massive Galibier. 74 days is just not that far off, and Kevin got off to a pretty bad start this year with his kidney issues, so it was a very good thing we got this ride in!