Back in the saddle again

IMG_5360wolh_againRiding over Tunitas yesterday evening, I was wondering how I was going to feel this morning. But I got out there and realized, pretty quickly, that what my body wants to do most, is ride. Was it easy going up Kings? No. I did start out faster than I expected, keeping up with fast-guys Kevin (pilot; my son’s kidney stent kept him off his bike again) and Karl. Behind me, Eric was taking it easy, leaving me in that place I know all-too-well, that vast “middle” land where you’re alone, with no hope of catching those in front, and a fear of being caught from behind.

Once I got to the open area (1.41 miles to the top) and realized there was absolutely zero chance of getting under 27 minutes, I circled for a bit and waited for Eric. Funny thing about doing that though. If you just keep going, you maintain a good speed and rhythm. If you stop and wait for someone, even if they’re riding a bit slower, you find yourself struggling. Go figure.

Up on top we met up with Millo, doing his usual thing, leaving a bit earlier and waiting for us at Skeggs Point on Skyline. Not sure why he doesn’t leave just a bit later and meet us near the top of Kings… maybe he doesn’t like the feeling of being the fox in a chase?

There really isn’t any good reason to dread a bike ride. It’s usually going to be a lot nicer and more fun than you thought it would be, and even if not, I’ve yet to do a ride where, later that day, I wasn’t glad I’d done it.

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The Lost Weekend

90 inland, 66 on the coast. Gotta love those Bay Area Microclimates!
90 inland, 66 on the coast. Gotta love those Bay Area Microclimates!
Two amazingly-awesome days to ride, Sunday & Monday, what an opportunity! With the shop closed on Monday, I’d been looking forward to this weekend for some time. Maybe get back to the Sierras again; it’s been quite a while since I’ve ridden either Ebbets or Sonora Pass. Or at least something challenging ’round here. That would be logistically easier, since we no longer have a shop van, so no way to transport bikes.

But instead I’ve got a very slow 12 mile ride on Sunday and a 45 mile ride today (that wasn’t quite as fast as I’d hoped for but I certainly suffered!). Kevin’s kidney procedure last Wednesday involved installing a temporary stent, a different sort than he’s had before because this one quite literally has strings attached. And those strings cause a great deal of pain, enough that he was hating life pretty badly the whole time on Sunday so what was supposed to be an easy “loop” through Portola Valley instead made it out to the end of Mt Home before having to turn around.

I was hoping today would be different, that Kevin would be back on his feet, but no such luck. I delayed as long as possible, and spent a number of hours trying to figure out the logistics of a trip to Africa that Karen (my wife) has had on her bucket list… finally, at 3:45pm, I just had to stop doing that and get out and ride.

Hot? Yeah, it was hot, about 90 out there, 87 going up Old LaHonda, and maybe it was the heat that was slowing me down a bit and driving up my heart rate, but more likely I’m just out of shape. Hate that. Hate that I get into awesome shape in France, come back, and life just gets in the way for a while. But I pushed it pretty hard, including the long stretch out to the coast into a headwind. A headwind that made me hopeful that maybe I’d get a push up the lower parts of Tunitas, but of course that wasn’t the case!

But I did get that feeling after the ride that my body had recalibrated a bit, that I had managed to avoid further deterioration, dodged a bullet. Especially appreciated that I was able to get my max heart rate back up to 174; I’d thought 172 was the best I could do. That’s a really good thing. But it really did seem close to not riding at all today, and I just cannot imagine the damage that would have done. :-)

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