This morning I get an email from Ueyn, a former regular of our Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides, letting me know that some guy from Texas was in the area yesterday and rode up Old LaHonda 30 seconds slower than Kevin.
For those unfamiliar, “Juan Pelota” is the name of Lance Armstrong’s ranch in Texas. And “Juan Pelota” did a smokin’ 110 mile Palo Alto-Santa Cruz loop, including the 2nd-best-time on Strava up Mt. Charlie. No biggie, except that it was on a Trek Speed Concept time trial bike!!! You don’t climb on a time trial bike. Unless you’re Juan Pelota. In which case you climb very, very well indeed (after a “slow” warm-up on Old LaHonda anyway).
Warning: Next section rated PG: Regarding “Juan Pelota”, the name isn’t random. “Pelota” is “Ball” in Spanish. “Juan” sounds a lot like “one.” And one certain famous cyclist who went through testicular cancer had one of his two testicles removed.
I don’t think I’m ever going to allow myself 10 days off the bike in March again! It’s only this past few days that I’ve begun to feel like myself on a bike, and that doesn’t mean that I’m going fast, but rather that I’m in control of what my body can do. If I want to go faster, I push myself harder, limited only by pain and not that awful feeling of not being able to torture myself enough that I really feel it later on.
Sunday and today, I really felt the effects of the ride later on.
Big group this morning, including but not limited to Karl, Kevin, Kevin, Karen, Jon, Eric, George, Todd, Michael and at least one other I think. Kevin (my son, not the pilot), Michael and I somehow found ourselves out ahead of the rest at the base of the climb, and we just kept on going, thinking they’d catch up to us fast enough. The reality was that they were taking their time today, so Kevin & Michael never did get caught, and just kinda cruised to the top in 25:48. Eric did pass me up about 3/4 of the way to the top, but I was pretty happy to get a 27-something time (27:57).
Because west-side Old LaHonda is still being worked on we rode over the top and down Star Hill to its dead end, and back up, adding another couple miles and 500ft of extra climbing to the day. As they say, it’s all good! Especially since I was able to get my heart rate up to 175 (which is pretty much my absolute max) and really feel it in my legs. Up to this point my lungs have been the limiting factor to my climbing, so my legs never really got that feeling later in the day that stairs were something to be avoided.
Finally, I’m looking forward again to my Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides!