Summer’s here. You can tell ‘cuz it’s cold & foggy on Skyline

JR, Kevin, Marcus & George waiting for a couple more to emerge at the top of Kings
JR, Kevin, Marcus & George waiting for a couple more to emerge at the top of Kings

Back in the day, you knew it was summer because your bike would be a mess after each morning ride on Skyline. It was a very consistent pattern; hot during the day, then the fog/low overcast would cover Skyline at night.

From my earliest riding days through the mid-80s or so, Skyline in the summer resembled what Mark Twain remarked about San Francisco (the coldest winter he spent was a summer in San Francisco). By the end of the ride it would have all burned off, but not before making a mess of your bicycle’s moving parts. Then something changed; no more fog up on top during the summer. Stayed that way until just a couple years ago, and when it came back, most thought it an anomaly, that the fog shouldn’t be there. Guess 40 years of doing this ride should make me an expert at something.

Kevin (pilot), Karl, Eric, Marcus, George, JR today. The other Kevin had some digestive issues, and concerned about a “bad peach” issue (follow the link; it’s a hilarious read) stayed home. Unlike past rides nobody was taking it super-easy this morning, so I found myself in that middle area, all alone except for my breathing, which was even-louder than normal because, for I think the first-time ever, I hadn’t used my Qvar inhaler.

But inhaler or not, this was a better ride than I’ve had in some time. Mid-27 up the hill and almost felt in control. And comparing my power reading today vs the later part of last season, they were similar, rather than sadly-lacking as they’ve been the past couple of months. And finally, my heart rate was responding almost normally, as I was able to stay in the mid-160s for a while.

Maybe it was the post-Sequoia Century (OK, 73 miler) bounce. More likely my body had been going through some sort of adjustment phase, perhaps an attempt at rebellion, trying to tell me that 58 was getting a bit old to be thinking I could keep on going as before. If so, I’m declaring my mind the winner and my body is just going to have to go along for the ride.

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