Found out Friday that my new bike (Trek Emonda SLR9) shipped out earlier than expected and will arrive on Tuesday! Which means today was the last ride to the coast for a bike that’s served me well for nearly 5 years without issue. Four rides left to go before it enters the “retired” column on Strava- commute to & from work Monday, regular Tuesday morning ride, and its final commute to work shortly after. Why not keep it around? Because it’s been through the wars, it’s been, well, on the ground a couple times, and Trek has a program for customers that allows them to trade in their questionable frames (as long as they’re carbon Treks!) and get a new bike at a 20% discount.
Today’s ride. We knew it was going to be challenging, since Kevin hadn’t ridden since last Sunday (he skipped Tuesday’s ride because I’d traveled to Las Vegas so he slept in, and Thursday he had pretty severe kidney pain). I let him pick the route; reverse Pescadero with West Alpine. So up Old LaHonda, out to San Gregorio, Stage Road south to Pescadero, over Haskins and up West Alpine. Normally, you’d get a tailwind heading south on Stage. Not today. And if you’re lucky, you might not get a headwind out to the coast, thanks to the off-shore flow that keeps the fog away. But not today.
And normally you’re not wearing a jersey that’s connected only in the middle up front, but after a couple years and couple hundred times through the washer & dryer, the zipper decided it was going to give out. A YKK zipper no less, supposedly the best! But eventually everything wears out, and I don’t have the usual closet full of various jerseys like most people do… I invariably carry the flag, wearing my Chain Reaction store jersey. It was suggested by someone related that I shouldn’t have posted a photo of the jersey “repaired” using safety clips (bought them at the Pescadero Bakery… who knew, great food, drinks, and safety clips!) because it bears our name on an apparently-defective product. But I give our customers more credit than that; I think they know that anything, worn & washed enough times, isn’t going to last forever. And I’m even willing to say this- if you’ve got one of our custom Chain Reaction jerseys and the zipper fails, even if it’s 5 years old and you’ve worn it every day, I’m going to give you a new one.
OK, back to the ride. I told Kevin not to overdo it on Old LaHonda, figuring a 22 minute time. He did 21:58. Close enough. I was about a minute and a half behind, helping clear up a woman’s confusion about how much further it climbed. It shouldn’t have taken that long, but I can’t talk well when I’m climbing, and I overshot her very quickly. I also made sure that she knew about “the other side” of Old LaHonda (which it turns out she’s ridden before).
In Pescadero we had our usual Coke plus split a sandwich between us plus one of the face-sized cookies. Then we set off, not feeling quite on top of our game but you can’t feel that way every single ride. Haskins is never easy and it wasn’t this time (Kevin even had a seizure on the way up) and West Alpine? Enjoyable, yes, fast, no. But in the end, a pretty decent 68 mile ride.