Monthly Archives: June 2012

Bonny Doon was Kevin’s idea, not mine!

Mid 60s-70s, light winds, not much traffic. What’s not to like? A great day for a bike ride!


With the trip to France coming up in just over two weeks, and no recent semi-epic rides to speak of, it was time to go big. And going big without driving somewhere means it’s time to do the classic Santa Cruz run, 112 miles of hills, flat stuff, rollers and hopefully tail winds on the coast. That was the plan, so that’s what we did. Mostly.

As usual, the first order of business is Old LaHonda, which Kevin dispatched in just under 20 minutes, while I arrived just over two minutes later. I’m getting used to that. But I’m also getting used to getting stronger later in the ride, so it wasn’t too surprising that we were fairly equally-matched on the run up Haskins to Pescadero.

Mandatory refueling stop at Davenport’s Whaler Cafe. Remember they do not take credit cards, cash only.

The run down the coast was far more pleasant than last time (when we had pretty stiff headwinds from Pescadero to Santa Cruz); even the traffic was lighter, despite this being officially “summer” (perhaps the moderate temps kept people away?). Perhaps we arrived in Davenport feeling too good, too fresh, because Kevin thought we should ride up Bonny Doon, a much tougher route than the run down the coast to Santa Cruz. Ouch. It’s not just the nasty initial climb to Bonny Doon, but the subsequent climbs and rollers that take you to Empire Grade and the eventual descent (via Jamison Creek) to Boulder Creek. It didn’t disappoint. It was just as steep and nasty as I’d remembered.

Next up? China Grade. You cross the Bridge of Death at the bottom and for the next 10-15 minutes, you’re out of the saddle, trying to keep your front wheel on the ground and your rear wheel from slipping on either loose pavement or the occasional water seepage on the road. I did fine keeping up with Kevin here too. After China Grade it’s a bumpy climb and descent to highway 9 at Waterman Gap, and then a fairly easy grade up to Skyline and Mr. Mustard, where an ice-cold drink (Coke for Kevin, Squirt for me) awaits. Kevin was definitely ready for a break, as he’d had three seizures on the ride, the final one on the highway 9 climb to Skyline (and that one left him with a bit of a headache). Fortunately, he’d had warning for all three of them, so he was able to come to a stop and lie down before each hit.

No drama on the run north on Skyline, and we arrived home about 8 hours after we left, feeling pretty good, and pretty tired. Just as we had hoped.

A typical Tuesday or Thursday’s biking log

  • 6:55am- The alarm goes off. Actual not the alarm, but whatever the radio defaults to after a power outage. AM 600, where there is no station at all really, just some static. As I get out of bed, Jack, our psycho Welsh Corgi, gets very excited because he knows it’s time to wake up Kevin, which involves a required ritual… Jack has to run from the end of the hallway and jump onto Kevin’s door, kicking it open. Very important that Kevin’s door can be pushed open or else we’ll have one very damaged Corgi!

The next 30 minutes are devoted to getting Cytomax bottles ready, Kevin taking his epilepsy meds, coffee and something to eat (I generally don’t eat before a morning ride unless it’s over 50 miles), inflating tires, putting the Garmins on the bikes, etc.

  • 7:30 the garage door rolls up and Kevin and I roll out to the ride.
  • 7:40-7:43am we arrive at the start of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, exchange plesantries with the others who show up and wait until the Garmin says it’s-
  • 7:45 at which we leave promptly. If someone’s late, they chase.
  • 7:54 and we’re starting up Kings.
  • 8:24 the last of us have arrived at the top. Usually, that’s me.
  • 8:38 Skyline sprint at Sky Londa
  • 8:50 Starting up west-side Old LaHonda
  • 9:02 Arrive at Skyline, head north to Sky Londa
  • 9:05 Start 84 descent into Woodside
  • 9:11 Arrive at bottom of 84; some make the right turn here to head back towards Palo Alto while the rest of us continue back to the start
  • 9:18am Back at the start; leisurely pace north on Canada, then back home via Jefferson
  • 9:31 Time for a shower!
  • 10:25 Strap on the 14 pound backpack for a quick downhill 3 mile ride to work
  • 10:34 Arrive at work in time to get things ready to open at 11am
  • 7:30pm (approximate) Strap on 14 pound backback for the not-so-quick 3 mile ride home, which includes climbing 400 feet at the end.
  • 7:45pm (approximate) arrive home completely out-of-breath because no matter how much I say I’m going to ride easy going home, it never happens because that’s apparently not who I am.