Not the usual Thursday-morning ride; since it’s July 4th, we all had a bit more time on our hands so a quick run to the coast (and back) was in order. Trying to keep track of everyone, but for sure we had the three big engines (Marcus, Jeff Z & Nigel), myself, non-pilot Kevin, Joe, Jan and someone else whose name escapes me (David S). Curiously missing were a number of regulars; more on that later.
Nigel quickly through down the gauntlet, charging up the lower ramp on Kings and flying right past the Thursday through-the-park option because he was going for time. This ride was going to be as radically-different from Tuesday’s as one could imagine! The rest of us took the long way up, not interested in PRs but not interested in taking it easy either (I ended up with my 2nd best time through the park section, missing my best by just 1 second… hate that!). After the regroup at the top of Kings I couldn’t quite manage the pace and came unglued, but the guys didn’t have to wait too long at Sky Londa. And then?
BOOM! It was hammer time. Two of the big three engines were pushing the pace up front, with Jeff Z coming unglued a bit as he doesn’t enjoy sitting inches away from a wheel in front of him at high speed. Someone that sensible; why’s he riding in the first place? We regrouped at the base of Stage Road, then headed up and over to Tunitas, where, thankfully, the 3 Big Engines needed to refill water bottles (thanks to Jan for supplying the $.25/bottle donation the Bike Hut requests).
And then it was all over. The 3 Big Engines hammered along the lower stretches of Tunitas, waiting for the chance to sink their claws into the day’s main event. I watched for a little while… a very short little while, as they flew up the hill. Curiously, I felt better than expected and stayed in the middle, even ahead of my son, who hadn’t faced a double paceline situation before and the effort burned him out pretty badly.
At the top of Tunitas it was reunion time, as we met up with all the rest of the regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning crew (all except George). They’d done almost the same ride except they headed over Old LaHonda instead of Kings, and had arrived just a few minutes ahead of us. Obviously, we should have ridden faster and caught them! As if that had been an option.
Overall one great morning to ride a bike, and probably one of the harder 50 miles I’ve ridden.