Monthly Archives: June 2013

“It’s like morning in Miami.” If I never experience that first-hand, I won’t be disappointed

Last night I looked forward to a real rain ride. The forecast was for pretty strong rain between 7 to 9am, hitting our ride head-on. That’s a whole lot better than riding in light rain or drizzle, the muck that makes a mess of your bike, turns the road into a slip & slide and gains you no cred.

Well guess what. We got messy bikes, slippery roads and no cred. Just light drizzle, fog up on Skyline, and worse, it looked like later in the day it was going to be pretty nice. Once again a wet one that didn’t hit. Worse, it was warm enough that the humidity was pretty uncomfortable; like Kevin (the pilot) said, just “like morning in Miami.”

Just a few brave souls this morning, myself, both Kevins and JR. Very easy pace as we were all on bikes we’d rather not be on; our “rain” bikes that just don’t ride as nicely as a full-on race machine. Let me tell you, if you don’t think there’s much difference between a nice 20 pound bike and a super-nice 16 pounder, you simply have no idea. Those of us on $3000+ bikes are spoiled, terribly spoiled. Our “race” bikes (which are rarely, if ever, raced) don’t just ride, they glide. On my “rain” bike, if I let up on the pedals, it comes to a stop (or seems to). It feels like you never get a chance to rest. And yet… after half an hour or so, you get past that, you go into a version of what I call “mule mode”, where it just doesn’t matter, you’re out there on a bike, self-propelled on two wheels, and life is pretty good. Just takes a while to get to that point.

But, if it’s really wild & nasty out there, different story entirely. It’s fun! There’s a good reason you’re on your “rain” bike. So maybe now you understand why I look forward to really nasty conditions, or really nice, and that stuff that’s not quite nice enough for your good bike? That’s the worst!

This is June? Maybe it’s practice for the more-humid weather we’ll see in France?

Typical late Sunday ride; didn’t get out until close to 12:30 for the reverse Pescadero loop, with West Alpine tacked on as a kicker. Up Old LaHonda, out to the coast via San Gregorio, Stage Road south to Pescadero, mandatory stop for lunch at Pescadero Bakery (see picture), up over Haskins then West Alpine, Skyline north to Sky Londa then descend home.

IMG_3140cookie_faceThe climb up Old LaHonda was memorable only because I stupidly stopped the computer instead of reset the lap timer at the start of the climb, and by the time I figured out what was going on, I’d “lost” 1.5 valuable Strava miles! Looking at the video it was 22:15, nothing to write home about anyway.

But about that weather. Wasn’t it supposed to be ok today, and wet tomorrow? We started feeling a few random drops at the start of the ride, and once at the top of Skyline, it was decidedly icky for a while. A bit nicer at the coast, but this is June and it just seemed a bit wrong to be wearing leg warmers!

At least one nice thing today; once we got the first climb over with, I was feeling stronger than Kevin, including the not-so-fun steeper side of Haskins and most of West Alpine. I was able to actually develop some power on demand, something I’ve not been able to do for some time. It allowed me to do intervals on both climbs, getting a bit ahead of Kevin during the “on” parts and drifting back when each was over.

I’m feeling better! On track for France.