For a brief moment I considered “riding around the game” (the 49er playoff game) but since it was in cycling prime-time (10am-2pm), it was pointless to even try. Huge silver lining though; most people will be home watching the game, leaving the roads clear, as was the case.
Yet another dreadful middle-of-winter day to ride… clear skies, maybe a bit on the cool side (about 50 degrees). The only tough part is figuring out where to ride. I mean, how many times can you do the “coastal classic” (Woodside-Pescadero-Tunitas) before it gets old? Oh, wait, this from the guy who’s ridden exactly the same ride, every Tuesday & Thursday, for how many decades? Still, Kevin (my son) does like to mix things up a bit, so I came up with a route I don’t think we’ve done before. Up Page Mill, north on Skyline to West Old LaHonda, down to LaHonda, up West Alpine, north on Skyline (again) and back into Woodside via 84.
Page Mill is not my favorite climb, but it didn’t seem quite to bad this morning, probably due to having breakfast at the Woodside Bakery on the way. The Woodside Bakery is a very close 2nd place to Pescadero’s Bakery for my favorite place to stop for food on a ride! Too bad it’s so close to home that it can only work for the beginning, which requires a bit more rationalization than using it for a food stop in the middle.
We took it fairly easy up Page Mill, where it seemed I actually had a bit of an advantage over Kevin (which came as a surprise). I wasn’t in a frame of mind to push the pace though, so from bottom (Arastradero) to top was almost exactly 50 minutes. That’s fine; it’s winter after all! And I figured we were saving something for West Alpine.
West Alpine. A climb in 2 parts, with a relatively-flat lead in for a couple of miles. I decided to push things on the flat section, thinking I could “launch” Kevin towards a pretty good time. That didn’t quite work out as planned; Kevin wasn’t too fast at first, so I held back for him, but suddenly he recovers and takes off, and I’m just trying to keep him in sight. Not too long after that he has a small seizure so he’s out of commission for a minute or two, giving me a chance to breathe, thinking maybe he’ll be a bit slower when he gets back up, but no, he just takes off again and by the end of the climb is about a minute ahead of me.
The interesting thing here is that, if I kept going when Kevin was having trouble (not with a seizure but just riding slower), I could probably beat him up the hill. But I can’t ride at an uneven pace without really suffering; my breathing just won’t handle it.
59 miles, 6300ft of climbing. I’m almost 58 and riding at least as well as I did several years ago. Dreams of riding faster are no longer dismissed as being out of the question. Life is good. Dad’s not broken (yet).