Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ride to the coast with Zack & friends

It might have been 98 in Woodside today, but it was a perfect day on the coast! Maybe 70 degrees, hint of fog. Just plain nice!

It might have been 98 in Woodside today, but it was a perfect day on the coast! Maybe 70 degrees, hint of fog. Just plain nice!

About time Kevin and I do someone else’s Sunday ride and experience cycling at a pace not entirely our own! It was clearly meant to be; Zack invited us when he came into the store on Saturday, and it was early enough that it met the criteria of being back in time for my daughter’s graduation get-together thingee at 2pm.

We met at Roberts in Woodside, the “we” being Zack, John, Sophia, Diane (I think?), Jeffrey, myself and Kevin. The route was the usual Coastal Classic, no surprises there, although we did show Zack’s group the detour past the duck pond outside of LaHonda. The pace was pretty easy for most of the ride, keeping things more-or-less together for the climb up Old LaHonda & Haskins. Lunch in Pescadero (of course!) and then things started

The group in front of the Pescadero Bakery

The group in front of the Pescadero Bakery

picking up on the Stage Road climbs; not wicked-fast or anything, but we were now regrouping at the top of the climbs. I still didn’t have a great handle for how fast everyone was until Tunitas, where I tried to keep up with Zack, Kevin, Jeffrey & John but once it got steep I was shelled. I kept them in sight for a while as I worked on slowing down my breathing and finding a sustainable pace, eventually working my way up to and past John but the other three had flown the coop. Since I wasn’t looking for Strava times today, I regrouped with John where Tunitas levels out and we rode a casual pace to the top, very much unlike the other three. Jeffrey had dropped Kevin on the steeper pitches but Kevin limited his losses and maybe even regained some ground on the upper section, coming in just 15 seconds behind Jeffrey. Wish I could have been there to see it!

John reaching the flatter section of Tunitas

John reaching the flatter section of Tunitas

Weather? Right, weather. It was hot and uncomfortable on the bay side of the hills, but stunningly-nice on the coast, with just a hint of fog keeping temps right around 70.

Really nice people on the ride; Zack has good taste in friends! One of them, John, owns Family Bicycle Center in Santa Cruz, so I got a chance to “talk shop” a bit (I don’t normally get to ride much with other people in the bike biz)

Bad day? Could be worse!

The Orica team bus ran into the finish-line structure at the Tour de France today, destroying its air conditioning system and causing a near-disaster for the finish of the race.

The Orica team bus ran into the finish-line structure at the Tour de France today, destroying its air conditioning system and causing a near-disaster for the finish of the race.


There are days when you wish you didn’t get out of bed. Today was one of those days at the Tour de France, when Team Orica’s bus snagged the finish-line banner (not really a banner but a substantial piece of hardware) driving through the course just 25 minutes ahead of the racing riders.

Was the structure set too low? Should the bus have been turned off the course beforehand? Why was it in that position so close to the time the riders would be coming across the line? A whole lot of questions. Looking at the TV coverage, the Caravan, the colorful collection of advertising vehicles that precedes the race, came through immediately beforehand, but the time schedule says they should have come through an hour and a half earlier. Sounds like things were not going as planned!

The result of all of the confusion was an initial decision to finish the race 3 kilometers earlier on the course, because they couldn’t extract the bus from the structure, but eventually they did get it moved, within minutes of the riders coming through. The conflicting messages given to the riders caused yet more confusion, which led to a number of crashes that likely wouldn’t have otherwise happened. The three favorites for winning today’s stage, Cavendish, Greipel and Sagan all went down in crashes in the final kilometers of the race. Not a great way to start, but not unusual either; the first week is often a crash-a-thon due to nervousness and Darwin working to thin the herd. It was interesting seeing how many riders crossed themselves (the Catholic ritual) as the rode over the line, relieved to have come through in one piece. Never noticed that before.