The rain at the end made the ride worthwhile

rain_finally_11_24_15Yesterday I brought the Boone Cross bike down to the shop to get checked over and make sure it would be ready for the rain forecast for today; didn’t need much, just tire change and fender installation. Spent a bit of time last night with Kevin making sure we had all of our wet weather gear ready to go (it’s been a while since we’ve needed it), and looked forward to something a bit more than mere drizzle this morning. Even though the weather forecast showed not much likelihood of rain until 10am, the clouds obscuring Skyline this morning made it appear riding the rain bikes would be a wise decision.

Of course, being the first Tuesday/Thursday-morning “rain” ride, it took just a little bit longer to get out the door (ok, garage actually) than normal, and rain bikes being just a bit slower than our regular bikes, we committed the cardinal (and annual) sin of showing up at the start about 52 seconds late. Not that anybody’s counting. Joining us were “pilot” Kevin and JR, both on “regular” bikes without even fenders. Obviously, the fact that they rode away from me was their lighter bikes, and obviously they’d be paying for that choice soon, right? At least this time Kevin (my son, not the pilot) stayed with me on the climb up Kings.

Once up on Skyline we learned the truth; the pilot and JR weren’t intending to do the full ride. Something about pilot having to pick up a tie at his house and then ride back down Kings to his car so he could go to work. Up until that point it had been reasonably-dry, but after the two of them left us on Skyline, our luck changed… it got colder and damper. Strange to think this is what we had hoped for!

With just the two of us left to fight the headwinds going towards West Old LaHonda it was a bit of a battle, but on the positive side, that kept us warm. Best of all, the further we went, the worse the weather got! Kevin and I were on a roll. We started picking up some light rain descending 84 into Woodside, and by the time we climbed over Jefferson on our way home, we finally hit some real rain.

Ride complete.

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First “real” ride since coming back; that was not easy!

IMG_0833_DxO1200wolhI’d like to think that I could just jump onto a bike, no matter how out of shape I am, and “easily” ride a hilly 60 mile ride. Maybe not really fast, but without much trouble. Maybe I could, not that many years ago, but today, doing the “regular” coast ride, out to Pescadero and return via Tunitas… well, it wasn’t very easy!

Kevin had no issues; he took off shortly from the start on Old LaHonda and finished in 19-something, giving him plenty of time to turn around and ride back down the hill a bit and watch me struggle the rest of the way up. Oh, to be 22 again. Or 23; his birthday’s coming up shortly. Guess I should say “Oh, to be looking forward to a birthday again!”

This was the last time I'd finish a climb ahead of Kevin on this ride! He doesn't like Stage Road. Neither do I (but maybe I should?)
This was the last time I’d finish a climb ahead of Kevin on this ride! He doesn’t like Stage Road. Neither do I (but maybe I should?)
Haskins wasn’t so bad, and how could it be, with the Pescadero Bakery on the other side? Even Stage Road was a bit nicer than usual, because there was almost no headwind. And that final climb back up to Skyline, just past San Gregorio? That was the last time in the ride I had anything on Kevin. I don’t like that climb, but it goes fairly well for me; maybe I should rethink my definition of hills I like!

And then there’s Tunitas. We had a pretty good run-in to the start of the climb, maybe just a minute off what would be a fast “launch” up the hill. I held my own until just past the bridge of death, and then… well, that was about it for my legs. In a way, it felt good for my legs to be failing me, instead of my lungs.

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