This was the first time in over a month we didn’t need leg warmers! Or base layers. Or jackets. Just a steady supply of tubes.
Eric, Karl, Karen, Kevin, Kevin, Marcus & Todd today, rolling out 6 minutes behind schedule since Eric noticed a tire quite low on air and replaced the tube before the start. Thursday, so we rode up through the park… not terribly fast, not terribly slow. I was able to keep Kevin (my son, not the pilot) in sight even at the very end of Kings, so he finished about 45 seconds ahead of me. I can live with that!
Dry roads are something I always look forward to because I can let loose on the descents, but we were held back a bit today by Marcus, who’s definitely getting better, but still isn’t nearly as fast going downhill as he is going up. He’s so fast going uphill I don’t even know if it would be possible to safely be at that extreme on the descents! But when we regrouped at Sky Londa, we were missing… Eric. Waited a couple minutes, no Eric. Eric sometimes hangs back a bit on the descents, apparently having greater respect for living a full life than some of us, but still, he’s not going to trail by even a minute, so it was back-track time, making sure he didn’t need help somewhere… which he did. Kevin, Kevin, Marcus and I found Eric almost at the top of Skyline, working with another flat tire. This time we found the cause (a little sliver of metal often called a “Michelin wire” because they come from steel-belted radials driven too long and now shedding their steel mesh on the road). By now we were so far behind schedule the only realistic option was to keep going back the way we came and descend Kings.
A couple miles shorter overall, a couple hundred feet more of climbing. I miss not seeing West Old LaHonda on a beautiful day, but that’s life; this is not a ride where it’s OK to ignore that someone’s gone MIA, and it never will be.
Arriving home 20 minutes late but still enough time for getting a shower and hopping back on the bike for work, with the mandatory coffee detour that reminds me, when on a bike, how much easier it is to park, how you don’t have to pay a meter, and that a standard seat-tube mounted bottle cage works great with a cup of coffee. Just make sure, if you go to Peet’s, that you ask for a piece of tape to cover the sipping hole in the cap. Makes a real mess of your bike otherwise. Been there, done that.