Monthly Archives: September 2013

Some days you feel fast. Others you have to really force it. Today it was forced.

It was a spectacular day on the coast, clouds from an oncoming front to the north, clear everywhere else, lots of cyclists out riding.

It was a spectacular day on the coast, clouds from an oncoming front to the north, clear everywhere else, lots of cyclists out riding.

Solo effort today; Kevin (my son) was still at Disneyworld goofing off. And one of those days where it feels like the legs just don’t want to cooperate, which normally would make for a pretty slow/easy ride, but you just can’t let them (your legs) get away with that. You could, and you really want to, when you start up Old LaHonda and any sense of finesse has gone out the window and you’re all over your bike. And that’s how it was going up Old LaHonda… I was all over my bike. And that didn’t change the rest of the ride. Ugly!

The view from the first hill (Pescadero side) of Stage Road.

The view from the first hill (Pescadero side) of Stage Road.

But it worked. Not on Old LaHonda; I was a whole minute off my best time, and pretty convinced that was going to be how the rest of the day would look. Funny thing though; sometimes ugly works. I was under 10 minutes up Haskins, easily a minute or two better than expected, and maintained pretty good speed from Memorial Park into Pescadero, despite a headwind (but not good enough for Strava; no accomplishments on that segment).

Stage Road is a bit of a mess, still some gravel from the “repairs” they’re doing (someday it will be explained why roads are in worse shape after their “repairs” than before), but it’s got to be really bad to make the Highway 1 alternative preferable. The views from the top of the two hills on Stage are to die for, and the lack of traffic a lot nicer on the ears than the steady noise of car tires just a foot or two away from you.

The real surprise came on Tunitas. With a slight tailwind on the lower stretches I decided to push pretty hard, and despite more “ugly” climbing (again, all over the bike), I got my second-best time up Tunitas during the Strava era (past 6 years, and quite likely best a few years before that as well).

It was all brute force, no finesse, no feeling, ever, that this was going to be a ride with any high points. But there were! You can drive your body to do more than it wants to.

I get older, but “it” never does. Why we ride.

West Old LaHonda

This morning on West Old LaHonda

You can ride the same road over, and over, and over again, and it’s still special. And so it was again this morning, my first “regular” Tuesday/Thursday morning ride after last Wednesdays tragic accident in which Joy Covey lost her life. I spent a lot of time these past few days dealing with that, and wondered how I’d feel this morning. Well, it felt good to ride. We talked a bit about the incident when we were in the area, but it wasn’t the focus of the ride. I think it’s reasonable to be able to separate riding from anger, and we did.

A number of us out there this morning, including Todd, Eric, Kevin (pilot), Zack, Jan, JR, Karl and… Karl’s friend who works with him at REI… Chris? It was Thursday so we rode up through the park, made a bit easier by it being one of those rare times when the lower gate was actually open for us. No records broken today, but I’m feeling better than I have for quite some time, despite not riding last Tuesday & Thursday, and despite a pretty easy 40 mile ride last Sunday.

There are some mornings I’m not looking forward to Kings Mtn, but once I get into it, things change. It’s always there, waiting for me. My roads. They’re reliable. They challenge me, they bring me incredible views, they keep me young. As long as I can keep on riding, I remain young. I plan to keep on riding.