Monthly Archives: September 2011

Nice Corgi! Nice ride too.

A bit strange waking up this morning to pretty thick fog outside, and needing to put on leg warmers. Kevin went for a base layer as well, but I knew we’d be punching through the fog soon enough.

A large group yet again, but my hopes of a relatively-easy Thursday ride (the Thursday ride is typically a fair amount slower than Tuesday) were quickly dashed as the other Mike lead the charge to the base of the climb. Here’s where it gets strange… if you want to survive, sometimes you have to go to the front and control things. Kind of like “riding tempo” at the Tour de France. You ride just hard enough that nobody really wants to pass you. To take control meant doing something I’d generally rather not do- ride through the park. Yep. My idea. Think I really surprised a few with that one!

It was a brisk but not impossible pace through the park, pausing briefly to get past the still-closed gate at the bottom (which ate up about 20 seconds according to my Garmin readout), and getting to the upper park entrance 9 minutes, 47 seconds after the timing point for the start of the climb. Not that I keep track of such things. Kevin (my son, not the pilot) was still with me, along with everyone else at this point. But from there on, I would glue myself to John’s wheel for as long as I could, even though that meant Kevin began dropping behind. Perhaps especially so because of that; I’ve found in the past that slowing even a little bit to Kevin’s pace early in a climb dooms me later, as he picks up speed and I slow down.

At the top I had about 40 seconds on him, which suited me just fine. He had others with to watch out for cars if he had a seizure, so it’s not as if I were abandoning him. One way or another there was a point to be made, and that point was that riding at my pace, I should still be able to beat him up a climb. Not for long, I’m sure, but today, and maybe for a couple more months. Past that? The only shot I’ve got requires that I drop some more weight and step up my game a bit.

The “Nice Corgi!” remark? That came as we were returning through Woodside, and came across a young woman (these days that means mid-30s) walking her dog, a very nice-looking Corgi. What became quickly apparent though was her expectation that something entirely-different was going to follow “Nice…”. Hope she wasn’t disappointed.

We arrived back at the start at 9:20, several minutes earlier than normal for a Thursday, and the average speed of 16.7mph when I got home was definitely in the “Tuesday” range. That might explain Kevin sleeping a couple hours following the ride. Some of us have to go to work or school. Kevin got to sleep. Something’s unfair about that.

Is this the end or the beginning (of summer)?

West-side Old LaHonda, the most-photographed road on this website. For good reason!

Sometimes I go to sleep the night before the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride and wonder what it is that compels me to get up earlier than I’d really like to, suffer more than I might want to, and… well darn, this really only works if I can come up with another, but I can’t think of one! But in a nutshell, I didn’t sleep well last night, mostly due to the heat, and wondered how well I’d do on just a few hours sleep, not to mention how I’d survive the rest of the day.

I needn’t have been concerned. A good ride in the morning somehow resets the clock. At 6:55am I’m thinking about turning off the alarm clock, but at 7:38am I’m heading up over Jefferson to the start of the ride, noticing that my legs feel pretty good, that it’s warm enough for my lungs to almost work, and that Kevin (my son, not the pilot) is riding a bit more strongly over Jefferson than normal.

It was a large mob greeting us at the start, way too large to call out the names. The only regular missing out was Marcus, leaving me to believe that maybe we’d have a mellower-than-usual ride up the hill. That was an incorrect assumption; Karl started out strongly up the hill, with me on his wheel. Unfortunately, my breathing was not up to par, and my heart rate was running higher than it should have, an indication that perhaps I was suffering a bit from the lack of sleep. Still, I felt OK and got to the park entrance maybe a minute ahead of Kevin (my son, not the pilot), whom I dutifully waited for. Maybe for the last time, since there’s a pattern that’s developed recently; Kevin rides the first part of the hill at a 28 minute pace, and the latter 2/3rds at a 25 minute pace. Overall average is about 27 minutes, which I can handle, but what I cannot handle is a sustained 25 minute pace, even after resting for a bit waiting for him to catch up. Thus with about a mile and a half to go Kevin and Todd caught up with and passed me.

If I ride my own pace I can still get to the top faster than Kevin, and I think that’s the way it’s going to have to be. Full tactical mode=on.

Oh, and that summer that never-quite-happened? Seems like it’s just kicking in now! After a brief flirtation with leg warmers and base layers just a week or two ago, I’m now freezing water bottles overnight so they stay cool a bit longer. And summer ends officially tomorrow. Go figure.