Monthly Archives: August 2011

Back to School

Hard to believe that the kids start school tomorrow, August 17th, barely halfway-through what used to be a full month of summer. How did this happen? Wasn’t Labor Day traditionally the last day of summer? Are kids actually smarter now than when they had a real “summer” vacation?

Scouting out Kevin's new school and it's whopping space for maybe 20 bikes (10 bikes each in two separate racks)

I’m reminded of this because Kevin and Becky start Canada College tomorrow. No big thing for Becky; she’s a “veteran” student, but for Kevin, it’s a bit scary moving from high school, where all the decisions are made for you, to college, where personal responsibility rears its ugly head.

But of course this is Tuesday so of course we rode. Just barely made it out to the start in time as we discovered Kevin had a flat tire before leaving, but we made it, with Eric there to make sure that we left precisely at the GPS-accurate time of 7:45am. Quite a few out today, can’t name them all, but we did have Eric & Jon & Todd & Marcus & George & Karl and several others. Kevin was under strict orders to keep his heart rate below 182, hoping that would prevent a seizure, but all it really did was ensure that the other guys were able to ride on ahead. I say that’s all it did because he still had a seizure about 4/5th of the way up the hill.

Easy to see why they're called "Turkey" Vultures

It wasn’t the seizure that caused us to shorten the ride a bit though. He’s apparently developed another kidney stone, thankfully not as painful as the last one, but enough that he’s got quite a pain at times and wanted to head back down 84. Since we had a bit of extra time, we made a detour off Canada to see his new school (Canada Jr College) and figure out how he’ll deal with a bike there… which doesn’t seem too easy. It’s likely he’ll probably walk half a mile and take the SamTrans bus. Strange that he’d think about doing that instead of riding, and yes, I did suggest that any worthwhile teacher would let him bring his bike into the classroom! That’s what I did back in the day (yes, I served my two years there way-back-when).

Heading back home over Jefferson I heard something loud near the road, looked over and saw the strangest monstrosity. Large Turkey Vultures look like any other big bird in flight, but up close on the ground, they look like… well, a turkey! Hard to believe they can even fly, and not sure why this was didn’t.

When the original plan goes to pieces, you can still get in a good ride

Things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to; about the time Kevin was ready to ride he started getting some pretty nasty side pains, reminiscent of his kidney stone issues last year. Darn. 4+ hours at Kaiser dealing with pain management for something that’s likely transient; by late afternoon he was pretty much fine, but not ready for a ride.

A beautiful summer evening on the coast, best seen on a bike!

So at 4:30pm I set off for a quick run up Old LaHonda & out to the coast, returning on Tunitas. Met a nice guy on the way, Brent, who rode up Old LaHonda with me, and is yet another local cyclist who has never been on the backside of that road! Unfortunately I couldn’t introduce him to it today as he had to get back quickly.

Very few people out riding this late in the day, and I’ve never really been sure why. During the summer, the temps cool down just a bit, and the shadows add depth to our already-beautiful surroundings.

It was fortunate that I came across Brent, since it put me into semi-social mode on Old LaHonda and kept me from burning out too quickly. Good thing because I had a pretty stiff headwind going out to San Gregorio. A bit lonely being out there on my own, but also nice to be responsible only for myself and not have to worry about going too hard, blowing up and being left behind. I did decide to push things on Tunitas, and while far from a personal best, getting from the coast to Skyline in 49:15 was an indication that I haven’t lost too much of what I gained from the challenging rides in France a few weeks ago. I had some concerns that a 45 mile ride wasn’t going to be enough for a serious ride, but the way my legs feel right now, I think it was!