Fastest time in two years up Kings this morning… not dead yet!

It’s so beautiful on mornings like this, you almost don’t mind that it’s a bit damp and messing up your bike!

Perspective is an interesting thing. I went though a massive decline in climbing performance from 2014 to 2015, losing a good two minutes from bottom to top. That’s when my breathing issues really kicked in, and I began searching for ways to turn back the clock, or at least slow the darned thing down. This morning, my time of 28:51 was nothing to get too excited about, yet it turns out to be my best time since June 6th… 2015. So perhaps a fatigue-causing, red-blood-cell destroying  cancer drug (pretty much the exact opposite of EPO, the drug of choice for doping cyclists) is exactly what I need to go faster on a bike!

Obviously, it’s a bit confusing, this thing of having to take a chemo pill daily for the rest of my life, which means hopefully one heck of a lot of chemo pills, while seeing my riding improve. Part of it may be psychological; I’ve had so much testing done on my lungs and heart, and been told I’m essentially “beyond category” in several areas, that maybe I’m finally saying, the heck with the breathing issues, there’s still a lot of untapped potential, let’s ride!

OK, the ride itself- Kevin, Kevin, Karen, Marcus & Jr out there on a cooler-than-normal June morning, seeing temps average just 54 for the ride (a low of 48 on Skyline) and some wet pavement. Road work seemed to be everywhere; one wonders what took them so long to get around to it? And why areas they’ve been working on for months are still not finished?

Younger Kevin started out slowly, letting Marcus & Karen ride on ahead, until realizing I was still on his tail and that was just plain wrong. He took off, pretty hard, apparently catching up pretty quickly.  Maybe too quickly, because up near the top I spotted him and Marcus just ahead, which can only mean one thing. Kevin had a seizure. Of course it’s a bit discouraging that Kevin can have a seizure, get up, and still finish a minute ahead of me on the climb.

Still, I was quite pleased with 28:51. I’m going to try and work that down some more before heading to France, but even if I can’t, this still gives me a good boost in confidence. I had previously wondered what the effects of my meds and the stress might be but clearly, put me on a bike, and I’m fine. Cycling really is the answer.  –MIke–
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Good to stick to the plan, unless it’s not good to stick to the plan

It’s Sunday, and Sundays there’s a default ride that’s become nearly as routine as Tuesday & Thursday mornings. Up Old LaHonda, over Haskins to Pescadero, Stage Road to Tunitas & back. Today we were simply too lazy to really think of anything else to do. But things didn’t turn out quite the way we didn’t plan them to.

Old LaHonda, same as it ever was, finally got back to 1000+ VAM again. Nothing really fast at 23:02 but fast enough on the first part to “launch” Kevin and tell him to race on ahead. He finished almost exactly three minutes ahead of me, still on the same day, so I’m good. Other side of the hill though? We stopped at the “picture spot” on West Old LaHonda and saw one heck of a lot of fog out on the coast. We were dressed for a nice warm day, our bikes had been cleaned up a bit (not really, just cosmetic stuff so they’re not too embarassing), and started thinking of alternatives. We both came to the same thing at the same time. West Alpine. But then what? Well, if you’re going to change the plan, you gotta pay the piper and make it a bit ugly right? Best way to do that is head south on Skyline to 9. Skyline the “hard” way.

Truth be told, it wasn’t that hard, and came with a reward- a hot dog and coke from Mr. Mustard! Then it was time to descend 9, take the Redwood Gulch cutoff and drop in on our Los Altos store, say hi, then coffee at Peets before heading back to Redwood City, looping through the Foothills. It was all very nice until I decided to try and get Kevin to spend some time in the drops (the lower part of the handlebar on a road bike). I had to explain that it’s not for aerodynamics but rather to use some different muscles. Big mistake. He discovered it really worked, and nearly blew me off his wheel heading north on Canada! Wondering what I’ve unleashed. But it’s a good thing. Just got to figure out why.