The Tuesday-morning ride is coming up to speed, plus “Who are those guys?”

We had some visitors from The City this morning; three guys who had taken the train down, arrived in Redwood City at 7:18am and quickly headed up over Jefferson to join us. And, bad as I am, I can only remember one guy’s name- “Space.” Eric might be able to give me the other two. Either all or some were Google employees, and yes, it would be nice if I were a better ride host and would carry on conversations with the new folk but I’m still feeling fortunate to finish the climb up Kings on the same day as the rest of the group!

Actually, I’m doing a bit better than that. While I had told myself I was not going to follow the first fast wheel up the hill, and I intentionally let Karl get a good gap on me at the bottom, it doesn’t seem to matter. I see that wheel in front of me and claim it as if it were my own bike’s 3rd wheel. Karl started out at a reasonable pace but then gradually increased it, such that the first timing point, the house on the right with a reflecting pool that we used to be able to see 20 years ago before, was fast but not blazingly-so, but the second timing point, the hairpin over the creek, came at about 5:33, about 25 seconds faster than normal. I held pretty tightly until we were close to the park entrance, where we (myself, George, Karl & Marcus) dutifully waited for the rest to catch up. I’ll admit to a bit of disappointment that the wait was relatively short, but the good news is that Eric’s making a comeback, knocking two minutes off last week’s time to the top.

(The video above shows us descending Highway 84 into Woodside)

Regarding disappointments though, I’ll admit I was not at the top of my game for the sprints. Had I gone full-tactical and slowed down ahead of the sprint into Sky Londa, things might have gone differently, but it’s fun to just curl up into a ball and see how fast you can descend, never mind that it takes a bit to get yourself out of that ball and feel like turning the pedals again. Plus you’ve got a string of people on your tail, ready to slingshot in front of you at just the right moment.

Hopefully the three Google guys will read today’s report and leave a comment here. And hopefully they won’t think our group anti-social because of my lack of banter while riding. They did seem like very nice guys.

This ride marked the official start of the faster riding season, finishing at 9:22 (the Tuesday ride typically finishing in-season between 9:18 and 9:22am, while Thursday’s ride is typically 5 minutes slower). It didn’t feel like a take-no-prisoners event, so maybe there’s hope for me. –Mike–

4 thoughts on “The Tuesday-morning ride is coming up to speed, plus “Who are those guys?”

  1. Hey there. Your SF2G guests were Brooks, Space, and yours truly. Fabulous ride, thanks for making us feel welcome! If we were looking for banter, we’d have gone elsewhere, promise.

    I’m terrible at remembering both names and bikes, but boy were we impressed all around. The gentleman in the black kit set a fine steady pace up KMR for me to follow… thank you!

    My brief report to our mailing list:

    Man, the CR regulars (many in WebCor kit) are *really* in shape. Without
    exception. They do this ride twice a week, many for years, and it shows.

    And in sync. Everyone in the group topped out on KMR within ~2 minutes. And
    boy can they descend. Oh, and sprint attack uphill. With the bad light
    through the trees, my nerves moved be to the back of the pack on the Bear
    Gulch–>84 descent, and the pack easily had 30+ seconds on me at Alice’s.
    W84 descent was an ice plunge, but the pace up WOLH was substantially more
    relaxed than KMR. Quick 15 (?) second regroup at Skyline (they don’t stop…
    they just circle) and the itchy-leggers were off. I lost them again on the
    E84 descent (traffic+nerves again), and then Space and I split at Portola,
    making decent time back via Sand Hill.

    Fun ride, friendly group, though this is clearly a business ride and they
    certainly weren’t going to wait up if we were behind tempo. One guy had the
    slightest tone of exasperation at Sky Londa as he estimated a 3-minute late
    arrival back at the start. 🙂 Talk about punctual. Will do again soon, most


    1. You guys are welcome anytime! Yes, there is a schedule that must be kept (I’m fine running a bit late but several have places they have to be very shortly after the ride), but your contingent did just fine. And yes, after doing it for so many years, we do know our way around the descents, although truthfully, I’m not descending as fast as I used to (except on the straighter sections, and pretty much the entire piece from the “top” of Skyline into Sky Londa).

      We’re on the “speeding up” part of the curve right now, with one of the guys, George Smith (rode a black bike I think) doing really well in the 55+ races. If he wanted to, I think he could ride any of us off his wheel on the climbs.

      Regarding keeping to the schedule, you guys get lots of street cred for timing it just right with your 7:18am arrival at the RC Caltrain station. Impressive! Leaving from Chain Reaction (the bike shop), which is very near the train station, it takes me about 15 minutes to get home, and just under 10 minutes to get from home to the start of the ride. That’s 25 minutes… you arrived on the 7:18, add 25 minutes to that and you get… 7:45am! And you arrive at, I believe, 7:44am. As I said, impressive! –Mike–

  2. Thursdays are usually a bit slower and more social… some riders have races on Saturday so they don’t want to go too hard, and others are on the third day of a block of training and are already tired.

    You guys did pretty well.

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