We needed to get in a ride that would be challenging and yet not take up most of the day, since this was Easter after all. That ruled out a return to the traditional Woodside/Santa Cruz loop (too much time), and besides, I wanted to try out a new saddle and didn’t think it a good idea to spend 8 hours on something that might not work out.
So… there had to be some minor element of “ugly” tossed in, a ride that adds up (in effort) to more than the sum of its parts. The results can be seen below- Woodside, Old LaHonda, San Gregorio, Pescadero, West Alpine.
The nice thing about this ride is that it plays to the strengths of a more, well, “mature” rider, because the younger folk will become discouraged by the headwinds going out to the coast, the repeated moderate climbs in the middle (the two hills on Stage Road plus Haskins) and a total length that’s in-between an “easy” ride (maybe 55 miles?) and something you can write home about (the 112-mile Santa Cruz loop). In a way, it’s like doing a lot of work and not getting psychological credit for it.
The ride up Old LaHonda found Kevin once again leaving me in the dust; I can’t play the sub-20 minute game anymore, but I knew I’d do better on the run to the coast. We were cruising at a very moderate pace for a while (about 17mph into the wind) and I was letting Kevin stay in front because I was trying to shoot some video, but when he tried to take credit for his work I pointed out that he wasn’t pushing that hard… and I promptly took over the rest of the way, pushing into the wind at 20+ the rest of the way, showing him how it’s done.
On Stage Road, we took advantage of a slight tailwind and pushed a hard pace over the two hills prior to lunch in Pescadero. From here-on Kevin was looking mortal; I actually had an advantage on both Haskins and West Alpine. A welcome change for me!
It was on West Alpine where it was obvious I was faring a lot better than Kevin; he would surge for a while then die, surge again and die. As a result we got home 15 minutes behind schedule, but y’know, that would still be within the time cut in most bike races.