Windy? Yes. Cool? Sometimes. Tight schedule? Affirmative. Did the planned ride come off? You bet!

Kevin’s not quite up to “epic” yet, but it won’t be too long. Today’s ride was the reverse Pescadero loop (where you head over Old LaHonda to the coast to San Gregorio, then Stage Road south to Pescadero before heading back over Haskins Grade), but with the added kick of West Alpine tossed in for good fun! 67 miles, downloading the details from the Garmin computer right now but probably enough climbing to qualify as a “tough” ride (which would mean at least 100ft/mile, so 6,700ft or more for this ride).

As usual, Kevin had a minor seizure on Old LaHonda. It really doesn’t seem to be effort-related since he’s ridden harder without having one, but there is something about Old LaHonda that brings them on. Thankfully it was very short so it delayed us just a few minutes, and didn’t require that we re-think the planned ride. Strange thing about Old LaHonda today was that we didn’t come across a single rabbit (rider in front of us to chase). Where was everybody? Mid-60s and a bit of wind shouldn’t scare people away, but seemed like it today.

The "Pink Bike" group at the top of Old LaHonda

At the top of Old LaHonda we came across one of our nicest-looking-bikes ever, a pink Project One road bike that we’ve seen a number of times on our Sunday rides. Very nice bike; even nicer customer. She was riding with three others, two of whom had never ridden the other side of Old LaHonda (which I encouraged them to try today, and by the time Kevin and I moved on, it seemed likely they would). I’ve said it repeatedly here; if you haven’t ridden the west side of Old LaHonda, you’re missing one of our best cycling roads, and one that may not survive much longer.

The section of West Old LaHonda whose days are numbered

We had a nice ride to LaHonda, after which the predicted headwind coming from the coast materialized and tortured us (ok, mostly me) for the next 10 miles. It’s really not that bad though; headwinds are mostly a mind game, and you’ve just got to decide to beat them. A few years ago, I would’ve been looking for someone else’s wheel to sit on, but today, I’m the guy pulling the train behind me. In this case, just Kevin (we passed a number of cyclists on the way out to the coast, but none seemed interested in jumping on, even though I extended the invitation).

A great view of Stage Road, looking north from the climb nearest Pescadero

Doing the loop in reverse (heading first to San Gregorio, then Pescadero rather than the other way ’round) was definitely the smart move today, as we had a pretty good tailwind pushing us over the two climbs.

“Lunch” in Pescadero consisted of a Coke and a pastry, which provided the fuel we needed to head back via Haskins Grade (thankfully, with a slight tail wind) and then the big climb up West Alpine to Skyline. I tried, and hopefully, got, some decent video of the climb, including the “Bridge of Death” right at the bottom. At just under 54 minutes we weren’t exactly rockets going up the hill, but we were making good enough time to get back home in time for dinner.

The skies had darkened significantly on our way back, but no rain, just a bit windy and getting colder (down to 48 degrees)

OK, the Garmin’s now downloaded and darn, 6670ft of climbing, 30ft short of the needed 6700ft to qualify as a “tough” ride. I’m now remembering this same scenario from an earlier ride over the same route. Guess I need to put the lights on my bike and go back out and do some more climbing?






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One thought on “Windy? Yes. Cool? Sometimes. Tight schedule? Affirmative. Did the planned ride come off? You bet!

  1. Mike,
    did you know about the home with the weather station/t.v. camera on Stage Rd? He’s got a near professional, real time weather feed with picture at “www.califcoast.net”. I use it anytime I’m planning a ride to the coast to know what I need to wear. The site is at the top of the southernmost Stage climb (at Willowside Rd.); the camera changes views frequently but often is looking at the 2nd climb on Stage. A novelty at first but now it’s part of the ride planning…especially the readings for wind chill.

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