Hate getting up when it’s completely-black outside; daylight saving time comes to an end soon, and with it, a bit more sun in the mornings. That’s a good thing. Not-so-good is that test rides at the shop will have to end around 4:30 pretty soon. Hard to believe it wasn’t that long ago we could ride until 9pm!
By the time we got ready to head out, the dark had turned to gray fog, which stayed with us until about a third of the way up Kings. Fog a shade of gray that changes only with altitude, not with the rising sun. Some days we climb more quickly out of the fog than others; today wasn’t particularly fast or slow, with Kevin’s group finishing just a minute ahead of me (27 vs 28 minutes). This time of year, I can live with 28 minutes.
Eric, John, Mark, Todd, George, Kevin (not the pilot) and first-timer Chris on the climb today. With the work being done on Skyline this week (chipsealing pretty much its entire length) we had planned to do one of the dead-end roads, probably Native Sons, and were heading towards it down Tunitas when George got a flat, taking us off schedule and forcing us to turn back at Swett & Star Hill, about 9 miles short of our typical distance. Skyline had simply not been an option though; chip-sealed roads destroy bikes, in a very literal sense (you pick up a piece of gravel that gets stuck to the chain and in the instant that your drivetrain comes to a halt you can tear your rear derailleur right out of the frame, as happened to one of our customers this past Saturday).
It shouldn’t have been that tough a ride; instead of the usual (Pescadero/Tunitas loop) Kevin and I rode straight out to San Gregorio, north to Los Lobitos and then back up Tunitas. Only 47 miles, what’s the big deal? Of course Kevin flew up Old LaHonda, probably 4 minutes ahead of me; pretty used to that by now. Maybe what made the ride so tough was the run to the coast, into a headwind, from LaHonda to San Gregorio, with our pace set high enough to keep three guys we spotted behind from catching us. Amazing what motivation that can give you!
Beautiful day everywhere except the coast itself, which was quite a bit cooler and foggy. As soon as we made the turn inland the fog was gone, maybe just a bit too soon… the part of Los Lobitos shown in the photo, on the opposite side of the valley Kevin’s presently seen riding, is nasty. Steep, barren and just not a whole lot of fun.
Tunitas? Nice thing about doing Tunitas this way is that you don’t have a time to shoot for, since you’re connecting to Tunitas well inland. Still, Tunitas is never easy, and this was no exception. At least not until the upper, flatter section, where we spent a bit of time talking with Robert, an old friend we caught up with.
Statistics? I’d have accurate stats except that my Garmin lost track of the satellites mid-way up Tunitas, so it’s drawn a long, straight line about 10 miles long, and skipped a bunch of elevation. Rare for it to mess up like that. But my trusty Trek Node 2 told me it was 47 miles and 15mph average speed (ok, 14.9 actually).