This was one of those very late, almost chasing-the-sun days. Kevin wasn’t feeling great and didn’t want to ride in the cold, so with some difficulty we set him up on his Tacx trainer to ride Zwift, while I did a solo run to the coast.
It wasn’t absolutely required that I stick to the original plan; it would have been easy to rationalize not heading out to the coast and north into a headwind solo, but I figured I could just take it easy and see how it played out. Definitely glad I didn’t wimp out; it was one of the most beautiful days ever, with the light breeze and rains of the past couple days clearing out the skies so much that distant mountains looked like you could reach out and touch them.
I intentionally took it easy on Old LaHonda, saving something for Haskins. How easy? According to the Strava upload on my Garmin, I was literally running half the speed of former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s record time. Pretty sad to be reminded, as you start the climb, how fast it’s humanly possible to ride. Could not have saved enough to keep up with the gang-in-black though. Three dressed in black head-to-toe, no lights that I recall, coming up behind me at the base and passing me about 1/4 of the way up. Looking at their Strava times there was no way I could have kept them at bay, so glad I didn’t try. At least not too hard.
Good news- the first days of rain haven’t toppled the Pescadero Mastadon yet! He was standing tall, held in place by guy wires while tending a flock of geese. Yes, headwinds going towards the coast as well as north to Tunitas, but nothing too bad.
Food in Pescadero? I don’t know what’s going on there. Maybe it’s because I arrived pretty late? No cookies, literally a less-than-half-filled case with stuff I wasn’t too interested in. Settled for a raspberry ring (which actually was pretty decent) and a Macaroon. Plus a Mtn Dew, of course. Even though it was just 50 degrees it still felt surprisingly nice in the little mini-park in back of the store; no doubt a bright sun with few clouds makes a big difference.
Tunitas? Yeah well, I was thinking, briefly, that maybe it would be OK with a mild tailwind, but it ended up being almost 54 minutes! Yikes. I really thought it felt more like 50, maybe even upper end of 49. Nope. There just wasn’t much left to push on the upper part. The declining temps could have been a factor; it was 38 degrees for most of the climb, and didn’t warm up to a toasty 45 until back into Woodside. Definitely a good thing I brought two pair of winter gloves, one for milder temps, the other heavier-duty. Needed the heavier-duty gloves descending Kings for sure! And of course, I saw a fair number of people out there not even wearing leg warmers.
Winter in California. Even when we hit a patch of rain, just wait a few days for some really nice cycling weather. This was one of those days.