So what happened? Got up this morning, looked out the window and the streets were drying up! Yay! But up in the hills I was sure things were going to be pretty wet, so no choice but to take out the rain bikes. Disc brakes, wider tires & fenders.
Kevin and I knew two things ahead of time. First, it was going to be a slow ride. Can’t say why exactly. I think mostly because we had thought we’d said good-bye to the rain bikes a month or two ago and the thought of more rain felt like an energy damping field. The other thing we knew was that there’d be nobody else out there. Which really seemed a shame because the sun was coming out, it was warmer than previous rides, and I mean, hey, why spend time making excuses not to ride? You’ve got a bike that’s willing to take on the worst. Always there for you.
Well yeah. By the time we hit the park entrance it was looking really, really nice. Everything was clean & green and the sun was shining and it was 48 degrees. And we were out there enjoying a slow, really slow, and in fact later it became clear it was painfully slow, ride up the hill. A speed where you saw things that have escaped you the prior 582 times or whatever it is Strava says I’ve climbed Kings these past 11 years. Things changed a bit at the wide-open clearing (1.41 miles to go). A little rain. 10 seconds later a lot of rain. Would it last? I decided not to take chances; we stopped and put on our rain jackets. A good move, that. Within another 30 seconds it was hailing. And the temperature was dropping.
We continued to the top, pretty comfortable all things considered. Kevin should be very thankful I suggested he pack a rain jacket like I did. Strava will say something like 40 minutes from Tripp/Greer to the top. It won’t mention that it must have taken 20 minutes to zip up the jackets! Yeah, right.
Skyline was messy, and cold. Got down to 37.9 at one point, mostly between 38-39. Again, this is May. Two weeks from the Sequoia Century. Five weeks from Summer. You know, Summer, when it’s supposed to be dry and sometimes even hot. But somehow it didn’t seem all that bad. Even the 84 descent into Woodside lacked the kind of bite you would have expected when wet & cold. Still, it felt good to hit the bottom and get to generate some heat turning the pedals again.
The painfully-slow thing was weird. Both Kevin and I literally had sore muscles the rest of the day, totally out of place with the reduced pace of the ride. Maybe we were just really getting in sync with nicer weather and harder, faster efforts these past few weeks and our bodies were simply rebelling. Or maybe we’re just having trouble dealing with the real world after two or three horrifically-bad Game of Thrones episodes.