France is a great place to ride, but we might be a close 2nd

A mild summer in Northern California… it doesn’t get much better than this. Sure, when it’s in the mid-50s at the start of the ride, you should be wearing leg warmers, but that’s not much of a complaint really. No jacket required, dry roads, spectacular views and good people to ride with. That’s what makes every Tuesday & Thursday-morning so nice.

Kevin entering the final part of the Kings Climb, just under 1k to go

Today was (obviously) no exception, which was why it was a bit curious that, at the start, it was just myself, Kevin (my son, not the pilot), KarlĀ & Karen. We were soon joined by Chris, Jim & Marcus, although we didn’t see much of them as we were experimenting with Kevin, keeping his heart rate as steady as possible in an attempt to see if we could avoid him having his now-usual seizure on Kings Mtn. It worked!

As we rode across Skyline it became a ride of attrition, not from the pace but pre-planned early departures. That work & school thing I guess. We’re not sure when Jim disappeared, but on previous rides he just climbed Kings and went back down. Marcus likely dropped off at his house near Skeggs, and Karen, Kevin & Chris all headed down 84, skipping the west-side Old LaHonda loop. Which left… just me and Karl.

Karl on west-side Old LaHonda, with a fog-shrouded coast in the distance

Karl was kind to me today as we rode across west-side Old LaHonda and back up to Skyline, seeing a pretty large rabbit along the way and the usual beautiful views of the coast.

We’re going to do 4 more rides keeping Kevin’s heart rate steady and below 180, and if there are no seizures, the next step will be to go back to full-speed mode and see what happens. If they come back, then we can be pretty sure that adrenalin is a significant trigger for his episodes.

But what about France? It was only a few short weeks ago that I was thinking I’d take a year or two off from visiting France and the ‘Tour, but now I’m already thinking about getting in shape to do even-tougher rides than we did this year. We’d be in the Pyrenees in 2012 and now that we know we can knock off a 100+ mile ride with over 13,000ft of climbing, I can look at France in a whole new way. Previously, I’ve done rides centered around watching the ‘Tour come through, but now we can really see France at the same time. For so many years I was mostly self-limited to rides of maybe 100k, but no more. It’s time to step things up a notch. Just 11 months to go!

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