It wasn’t the easiest way to start the day, watching Fabian Cancellara, cyclist extraordinaire and riding Trek’s new Domane bike at the Tour of Flanders, crash and break his collarbone.
But for the rest of us, today was the first day without a threat of rain for a while, and after yesterday’s on-again off-again downpours, a wonderful surprise. Kevin (my son, not the pilot) and I headed out for the default moderately-hard ride, the one you do when you’re too lazy to come up with something imaginative so you fall back on the dependable. Woodside/Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve done that ride.
Predictably, Kevin was a whole lot stronger than me going up Old LaHonda; my time was 22-something and he was 19-something (his fastest time yet, while for me… sigh). From there it was off to the coast, accompanied by some pretty stiff headwinds that tend to favor my strengths over Kevins’. I was able to hold my own on Haskins (just barely, but I didn’t let him know that) and by the time we got to Stage, I could have put him in serious trouble if I was that kind of dad.
Heading up the final stretch of Stage Road north of San Gregorio, we found ourselves chasing a tandem that was doing pretty darned good (tandems typically bog down on steeper climbs); we didnt’ catch up to it until the foot of the Tunitas Creek climb. From a distance I was able to make out a style of riding that made me think it could be Tom Ritchey, which turned out to be the case. No wonder that tandem could move!
We also ran into a chicken crossing. First time for everything! (And then later a turkey… in a car.)
Shortly after that someone caught up to us from behind and rode past us pretty quickly. I cautioned Kevin that we should ride a reasonable pace, but while I was willing to concede ground slowly, Kevin suddenly rocketed past first me, then the other guy, and flew up the hill. Hmm. It was just minutes ago that Kevin wasn’t riding that strongly, so I went into “Levi” (Leipheimer) mode and rode at my max sustainable pace, gradually clawing my way back to and then past Kevin. I made sure to keep him in sight though; the plan wasn’t to ride him into the ground and ditch him.
Despite the wind, a great day to be out on a bike. And I’d say that even if I wasn’t relieved to see I still have a few advantages I can exploit over Kevin.