You think THAT’S going to stop us?

One of those times bikes rule, cars drool
If I hear the term “atmospheric river” just one more time…

For once Kevin and I weren’t the only ones out on the road today! Nobody else showed up for our ride, but we did see three others on a morning that wasn’t as bad as forecast, but more menacing than many lately where cyclists had all stayed home and ridden on Zwift Island. Except us, of course.

Kings is holding up pretty darned well. I think most of the “easy” stuff has already come down. We noticed maybe one new small slide, nothing too big. I did stop and move a rock off the road again, this time within view of a passing motorist who rolled down the window to say thanks. Wonder if he’d seen the anti-bike stuff in the on-line Almanac a couple weeks ago, where I’d mentioned in my response that I stop and move rocks out of the car lane? Yes, I really do that.

Because overnight reports had 84 completely closed and a supposed blockage of Skyline just south of Swett Road, we did a shortened ride, heading south to Swett Road, hoping to see something gnarly, and then use Swett & Star Hill to get to Tunitas, and ride that back to Skyline. No evidence of any issues until, descending Star Hill towards Tunitas, we came across 5 or 6 cones placed across the road. You know, one of those “none shall pass” warnings. For reasons unknown Kevin actually asked if we should turn around. Umm… like why? It’s not as if there were signs the road was in immediate danger of sliding away, and if there was something ominous ahead, we could simply return the way we came. And of course, there’s a certain amount of excitement not knowing what lies ahead, and whether you could get around it.

The photo at the top tells the story. Nothing terribly exciting, just a mudslide right where Star Hill merges onto Tunitas. No biggee, just hike around the edge and we’re good. Fun watching the very-slow-motion mudslide though!

Heading back down Kings it was time to put on the rain jackets as our luck either ran out or came through for us, depending upon whether rain bothers you or not. We did have one horribly impatient car that thought we shouldn’t be in their way, flying past us with plenty of room but at way too high a speed for conditions. Kevin and I both had the same thought- we wouldn’t have minded seeing a demonstration that air bags actually do prevent serious injury. You can fill in the blanks.

It was heading down Kings that we saw three cyclists coming up (not together), one of whom was without long-sleeve anything or leg warmers. This is where I point out it was, at that time, 40 degrees and raining. Oh yeah, no lights either.

Overall another nice & easy ride in our local rain-soaked mountains. For the most part, our roads are holding up pretty well. And yeah, it was cool having someone in a car thank me for clearing the road of debris.

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Where Eagles dare to fly!

It’s pretty darned near impossible to get the timing right with these “atmospheric rivers” that have been invading us these past couple of months; the best you can do is to prepare to get really wet and, who knows, you just might not get wet at all!

Today was supposed to be one of those “really wet” days but the scheduled deluge we’d been watching for a couple days began to fall apart as our Sunday morning ride approached.

It was supposed to be heaviest from 7-9am, and then again several hours later. Kevin and I left the house with a very light drizzle about 10:30am, which turned into a very light rain heading up Old LaHonda. We didn’t put on our light rain jackets until exiting West Old LaHonda onto 84, and ended up removing them in LaHonda.

The plan… well, we were pretty flexible today, willing to modify the ride as conditions merited. Things were beginning to look kinda bleak out towards the coast so instead of Peascadero we headed up West Alpine, at a decidedly leisurely pace. It was pretty nice, for once, not killing ourselves on that climb, and having the time to look around and admire the carnage of fallen trees.

The unexpected came on the higher part of the climb, when we came around a corner and a Golden Eagle swooped in and landed on the ground, just 10 feet from us. This was one of those times I wished I had something better than a video camera set to relatively-low resolution with me! He hung out on the ground for 10 or 15 seconds after we came to a stop, before casually flying off. Pretty amazing.

Shortly after that we noticed someone coming up behind us, and funny thing about that, we suddenly started riding faster. Fast enough that the poor guy, who must have been closing the gap pretty rapidly before that, couldn’t catch up. Truthfully, since we’d been taking it so easy, we had a lot of reserves; otherwise, the guy probably would have passed up pretty easily.

We thought about heading north on Skyline, but visibility looked really bad (we were quite literally in the clouds) and getting hit by some pretty heavy winds. Time to head back down, Page Mill in this case. Nice to have really awesome brakes on our rain bikes! One more plug for disc brakes in the wet. Just can’t be beat.

We headed back via Sand Hill, stopping by Sharon Park Shopping Center to check out the relocated Woodside Bakery which, we found out, is closed Sundays!!! So back on the bikes, winding our way through Woodside and discovering that we weren’t quite going to get to the 50 mile mark, and 48 miles doesn’t seem anywhere near as legit as 50. That’s why you’ll see a rather convoluted path on our way home, instead of heading straight over Jefferson. Even then we looked like we might come up .1 mile short, so we did a zig-zag near home and voila, 50.2 miles. Nice ride.

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