Monthly Archives: October 2013

Trash talk, shortened ride

There are things you notice when you "ride casual" that you don't give a second's thought to in competition mode. Like the trash off to the side of Kings, spoiling its beauty. Kevin couldn't let that go.
There are things you notice when you “ride casual” that you don’t give a second’s thought to in competition mode. Like the trash off to the side of Kings, spoiling its beauty. Kevin couldn’t let that go.

It started out like any other Tuesday or Thursday-morning ride, except that, when I went down to the garage to get going, Kevin was on the floor, having a seizure. Um, ok, not the norm, but he’s been having more than usual lately. It’s over quickly and we’re off, a minute or two later than normal, but should still get to the ride in time.

Should have, would have, if Kevin didn’t have another episode at the top of Jefferson. After this one he wasn’t feeling all that great, slowing our progress and getting us to the 7:45am start at precisely 7:47am. Nobody there. I really wasn’t expecting to see anybody there, and not because it was foggy and cold, but because we leave at 7:45am exactly, no matter what. And they did. And we were in no position to successfully chase as Kevin just wasn’t feeling too hot, at least not until we were well up Kings. That actually made for an interesting ride as we saw many things that would have otherwise escaped our attention at normal (considerably-faster) speed. Like a coyote running across the road, and deer standing by the side, no feeling at all threatened by slow-moving cyclists making very little noise. And a few houses buried way back in the woods, houses we’ve never noticed until now.

And the trash. Just below the archery range, on the last short flatter section before the final steep ramp, Kevin noticed a bunch of trash off to the right, down the hillside a bit. McDonalds and Jack In The Box refuse, tossed out the window by… someone idiotic, someone unappreciative of how nice things can look before we screw it up. So we stopped, Kevin hiked down to pick the stuff up (he had cleat covers so he could do that) (I knew there was a reason I don’t bring them with me!), and then we scrunched it up enough that it would barely fit into our jersey pockets and got back to riding, looking for a trash can. So this helps to explain why it took about 47 minutes getting up Kings today! And the random stop on Skyline, when we found someone’s trash can near the highway.

We ran out of time to do the West Old LaHonda loop, and thought we were so late that it didn’t make sense to ride that section of the ride backward to find the rest of the ride (nor were we sure anybody else was out there). In the end, an interesting ride, and definitely worth encouraging Kevin to keep going after that second seizure. Karl came into the shop later and let me know that they had a number of people out this morning, including himself, JR, Karen, Eric and Mark P. But Kevin and I felt pretty good about picking up the trash.

Nice day for a nice ride… Coastal Classic #127?

Why the "shortcut" in LaHonda is worth taking
Why the “shortcut” in LaHonda is worth taking

I’m sure I haven’t really ridden the “coastal classic” 127 times, but it has become the default moderately-challenging Sunday ride over the past few years. Redwood City, Woodside, over Old LaHonda to LaHonda, Haskins to Pescadero, Stage to San Gregorio, Tunitas Creek to Skyline and back down Kings. 58 miles, 6300ft of climbing. Normally no big deal, but it was a bit of a challenge getting Kevin to sign off on it; he hasn’t been riding too much lately, due to some pain issues (kidney related, but y’know, we’re really not even sure about that and it’s not like he can have any more x-rays without everyone needing sunglasses around him at night, he’d be glowing in the dark so much), and has been getting a lot of seizures the past few days, maybe 10/day. But I talked him into it. :-)

Helping a guy with a stuck chain
Helping a guy with a stuck chain

Along the way we got to help a guy close to the base of Old LaHonda; shifting from large to small chainring, it had jumped off on the inside and wedged itself between the chainring and the frame, threatening to do some real damage to the carbon-fiber. Darned thing would not budge; finally got the idea of loosening up the crank a bit to get some wiggle room, and the chain was safely pulled free. While doing work on his bike Kevin had a seizure (one of four on this ride), and I got to do the usual thing of telling someone that this is normal, he’s fine, don’t worry. Turned out the guy’s a surgeon at Stanford who’d just moved into the area. We don’t need a surgeon. We need a miracle-capable nerologist!

Seeing Jeff Z, good customer and great guy, on West OLH
Seeing Jeff Z, good customer and great guy, on West OLH

Took it fairly easy up Old LaHonda, as planned, and Kevin actually stuck to the plan this time instead of dropping me first chance he could. It was nice doing Old LaHonda in 24-something instead of going for time! We also took it fairly easy over Haskins, an extra minute or two slower than normal, and pulled into Pescadero feeling pretty good. Coke and a sandwich later and we were on our way over Stage Road, thankful we had our lightweight windbreakers ‘cuz it was a bit cold and foggy out there. What’s with that? Summer’s over and I didn’t get the memo?

Our "rabbit" on Tunitas today- we spotted her 5 minutes
Our “rabbit” on Tunitas today- we spotted her 5 minutes
Catching our "rabbit" after a long chase!
Catching our “rabbit” after a long chase!

On Tunitas we spotted a woman 5 minutes when we stopped to change the battery in my camera and let Kevin have a powerbar (actually not a powerbar but that’s becomes kinda generic for any mid-ride snack food); she was climbing pretty well and I was thinking we might not see her again! But a steady but not-deathly pace reeled her in, about two miles from the top.

Overall a pretty good ride, despite Kevin’s numerous seizures.