Monthly Archives: April 2013

Hard ride Sunday = problems Tuesday morning

Two weeks in a row confirms it; a tough ride on Sunday, with heat being the “x” factor that pushes things over the edge, means Tuesday’s ride doesn’t go so great. Thinking about it and talking it over with others, I’m pretty sure the solution is to get in an easy ride on Monday, one that doesn’t include nasty climbs or working very hard, just an easy spin. Is that even possible in today’s post-Strava world, where every aspect of your cycling is recorded and compared to prior versions of yourself (and others)?

"Strongman" Kevin (pilot) during a brief break in the action while George's flat is repaired

“Strongman” Kevin (pilot) during a brief break in the action while George’s flat is repaired

Karl, Karen, Kevin (pilot), Joe, Marcus, George and I’m trying to remember who cut the ride a bit short and headed back down 84 while the rest of us did the west-side Old LaHonda loop? JR was there at the beginning but he was sticking to his regimen of doing intervals, not riding for time, so we saw him for just a short while.

Nice and warm so I was really hoping my lungs would do well today, but didn’t matter, my legs felt like mud. Got to the top in just under 30 minutes, a good two minutes slower than last week, and felt like twice the effort. I never really felt like I was “there” until almost the end of the ride, when I decided to go for and take the final sprint, and shortly thereafter thought this would be a good day to ride to Santa Cruz if not for that work thing that gets in the way. We’ll see what happens next week when I squeeze in that extra Monday ride to keep things loose.

This would be more artistic if the view to the left was a bit more stylish

This would be more artistic if the view to the left was a bit more stylish

Different crop, same photo. Try enough times maybe something will come out.

Different crop, same photo. Try enough times maybe something will come out.

Later on it was time to refuel, so stopped by Peets on the way to work. They’re not super bicycle friendly; no bike rack outside, and nothing to plug the whole in your coffee cup so it doesn’t splash out on you on your way to work. The barista suggested using a second cap and turning it so the hole didn’t line up, and this did in fact work, but only after taking a couple of minutes working to snap the second cap over the first one without collapsing the cup. Why couldn’t she have volunteered a piece of tape to cover the whole? I’ll ask next time.

Toughest 75 miles last week, toughest 56 miles today, what’s next?

What's missing? Mr. Mustard's hot dog stand, that's what? 80+ degrees, dying on the climbs and you're really looking forward to an ice cold coke... and it's not there. Did I arrive too late?

What’s missing? Mr. Mustard’s hot dog stand, that’s what? 80+ degrees, dying on the climbs and you’re really looking forward to an ice cold coke… and it’s not there. Did I arrive too late?

56 miles should not have been as difficult as it seemed to be! It didn’t start so badly; a nice cruise south through the foothills with a stop at our Los Altos store to use the bathroom and check in on things (they looked busy, which is good!) and from there it was all downhill. Or rather uphill. Uphill being, in this case, Redwood Gulch and Highway 9. I had these fine ideas of trying to do the climbs seated, so I could get some decent video. What stopped me? 80+ degree temps, riding by myself, and there’s no way around it, I just don’t have what it takes anymore when it gets really steep.

But what made it worthwhile was knowing that, once I got to the top, Mr. Mustard’s hot dog stand would be there, with ice cold drinks and, yes, hot dogs. A hot dog has to be one of the worst things you could eat on a ride, but it’s not as bad as you think. The right place at the right time makes the difference.

Tried feeding it dollar bills, even a 10 but it just wasn't hungry!

Tried feeding it dollar bills, even a 10 but it just wasn’t hungry!

But Mr. Mustard wasn’t there! Just checked the time stamp on a photo I took… 4:44pm, and he’s usually there until 5. Thank goodness for the Saratoga Gap fire station just down the road, with its outdoor coke machine. Just a couple minutes north on Skyline. I am so looking forward to something cold to drink. Get to the fire station, feed it a dollar bill, and… it’s not taking it. I mean it’s not even making a noise like it wants to. Maybe quarters would work, but dollar bills aren’t today. Had to settle for making some more Cytomax, which probably was better for me anyway and I did, in fact, start feeling a bit more lively shortly thereafter.

What finally got me going was being passed by another cyclist, the only cyclist I saw on all of Skyline. For a (brief) moment I let him go and then thought hey, I don’t have to do that, I’ve got legs, so I chased him down and stayed with him the rest of the way. He did drop me pretty quickly descending 84 into Woodside though.

Overall glad that I got out there, but it will be nice when Kevin’s past his kidney issues and riding with me again. But I remain concerned that my “tough” rides are getting shorter and shorter… what’s next, a 25 mile ride that does me in? Hope not! –Mike–