Boy, talk about frustrating! I don’t look forward to Thursday morning’s rides nearly as much as Tuesdays, because it’s quite a bit tougher going up Kings via the park rather than up Kings the whole way. But today felt different. Don’t know why, but I felt like this would be a good day to go for a PR (personal record) on the park segment, especially seeing that the park rangers had opened up the lower gate, saving probably 10 seconds or so normally spent navigating through or around it. So unlike other days, I stayed up near the front, with Eric, JR, Kevin, Kevin and Marcus nearby. Actually Marcus was just up ahead, and I lost track of those behind. I just knew that I was moving and I wasn’t going to blow it.
By the time I got to Kings I was petty gassed but the time on my computer looked good and, with Kevin (pilot) and JR just ahead of me, rounded the curve and continued up Kings instead of regrouping with those behind. The other Kevin (my son) and Eric were behind, not sure how much because once you round the corner onto Kings you lose track of anyone coming up behind. I really wasn’t thinking about anyone behind though, since I still felt good and wanted to keep going. JR and Kevin (pilot) gradually pulled away from me, but up near the top, I gradually reeled them in, eventually making it to the top in 28:04, not a bad time at all (for me) when going through the park, and later confirmed on Strava as another PR. We regrouped at the top, where Nigel and Jan were waiting, having left a few minutes before our group. Except that we didn’t regroup; no sign of Kevin (my son) or Eric. Waited a few minutes, then I headed down a bit, saw nobody, rode back up and told everyone else to go on ahead and I’d retrace things back down the hill to see where Kevin and Eric were (after first checking my phone to make sure there were no messages).
I finally came across Eric about halfway down the hill; the last he’d seen of Kevin was near the top of the park, and had gone back looking for him but no sign. I checked my phone again and this time there was a voicemail, from Kevin, from home. He’d turned back at the park exit without telling anyone (which would have been tough initially because everyone was ahead of him, but had he continued up, or just waited a short while, Eric would have come by. He didn’t phone earlier because he’d left his cell phone at home. Not good.
Why did he turn back? He was coming down with a cold and didn’t feel well. Since he’s not wired like me, he didn’t keep going. Frustrating for me because I was feeling really good and looking forward to the rest of the ride! Hope it went well for everyone else, and apologies to Eric for Kevin not being around when he went looking for him. –Mike–