Monthly Archives: January 2013

Squirrel, Deer, Hawk, Honda

The Old Dudes Heading up through Huddart Park
The Old Dudes heading up through Huddart Park. Except Todd. He’s not old. And Chris. He’s at most medium.

It’s gradually warming up here in Northern California, 41 degree average temp according to my Garmin computer (which I think reads a couple degrees on the low side), up from 37 two days before, 35 or so the week prior, 32 before that… you get the idea. Still, we’re a very long way from dispensing with leg warmers and even full-finger gloves for our morning ride!

Small group today; Kevin (pilot), Chris, Eric, John & Todd. The other Kevin is still feeling the effects of his tonsil removal on Tuesday (I did ask last night if he was riding, and he gave me one of those “What kind of person would ask me that?” looks). Pretty easy ride up through the park, with the pace only picking up to something challenging on Skyline, just prior to the descent, as Chris came to the front and I glued myself to his rear wheel.

Our first encounter with wildlife was the Honda (I think it was a Honda, but it could have been any other generic sub-compact) that was going to make turn into a driveway in front of us. We’ve seen this car before, same time, same place. I remember last week thinking that car was going to turn in front of us and I’m thinking, what part of the car would be the softest, what should I aim for? In fact, it was that car that got me to install a new super-bright flashing bar-type LED light on my front fork, so it would see me coming. But today the car made no attempt to cut us off.

I think it was the squirrel that came next, darting across then back. Hate squirrels. A bit later we saw the deer, reasonable size, towards the beginning of west-side Old LaHonda, followed a mile or so later by a very large & beautiful hawk which flew across the valley to a tree on the other side. He got there a whole lot faster than we did!

We? By this time it was just Eric with me; John had just shown up at the start but didn’t ride up the hill because that wasn’t in his new training program for the day, and Todd & Kevin & Chris had ridden down 84 without doing the west-side Old LaHonda loop due to someplace they had to be. We did come across Keith, the guy who shows us how it’s done and makes disparaging references to the average age of the guys I ride with; turns out he was on a semi-epic 92 miler that put him at over 1000 miles for the month. Impressive! And more believable than the guy from Australia that’s supposedly done over 3200 miles.

“Tuesday Old Dude Ride” report

"Tuesday Old Dude Ride?" If Keith wasn't so fast (and some of us weren't so old?)...
“Tuesday Old Dude Ride?” If Keith wasn’t so fast (and some of us weren’t so old?)…
Kings Mtn the hard way
Kings Mtn the hard way (Keith circling back a few times)

Not exactly what I expected to see when I uploaded this morning’s ride! Keith showed up; he’s been elsewhere for some time, but today decided to show us what someone “young” and in-shape could do. For example, on the climb up Kings, he would race off the front, turn around, ride back down the hill to the furthest-back rider, and then race back up past the front. Again. And again. And again. You can see that in his Kings Mtn profile; Kings is a steady climb without any dips on the way up, so each time you see a drop in elevation is a time that Keith turned around and headed back down the hill a ways.

The "Old Dudes Ride" gets ready to roll
The “Old Dudes Ride” gets ready to roll

OK, about that “Old Dude” remark. Keith’s what, mid-20s? Late-20s maybe? Todd was with us today, and he’s about that age. The rest of us? Um, well, I think Eric’s in his later-40s, Kevin (the pilot) is 57, George is a young mid-50s, John is 60, and I’m not even 57 yet! So like what’s Keith’s point? That he’s riding with guys twice his age or something like that?

OK, I’ll pretend I’m over it now. I already gave the roll call for the ride; only noteworthy person missing was the other Kevin, my son, who was getting his tonsils removed today. What a wimp. They said he could have anything to drink in the 6 or 8 hours prior to surgery… who can’t do a 31 mile ride without water?

Fortunately I felt better than expected once on the bike; wasn’t sure how things were going to go since I was up pretty late last night when I stupidly tried to update my iPhone to IOS 6.2, which “bricked” it. And I’ve got a cold that’s beginning to wear me down a bit, but y’know, as has almost always been the case in the past, a cold doesn’t slow me down much on a bike. And if it doesn’t slow me down, and it doesn’t kill me, then obviously it’s making me stronger!

One noteworthy thing on the ride; since the roads were drying out, I thought it would be fun to try and head down 84 into Woodside pretty fast, and see if I could get close to my best time on Strava for that run. Um… no. Maybe it was fast, but Strava won’t tell me anymore, because someone flagged that segment as “dangerous.” As in, something that some nitwit might want to push too hard to “own” that segment, cut a corner and run into a car, and then his family sues Strava, claiming it wouldn’t have happened if Strava hadn’t made it something to try for. Darn!  –Mike–