Nobody said it would be easy

Skyline at the Bear Gulch traffic light
Thinking I should not have ridden hard, trying to keep up with my son, heading home from work last night. It’s only 3 miles, with just 400ft of climbing at the end, but Kevin can make you pay every foot of the way. I figured, since he’d been off a bike for a week, maybe he wouldn’t be pushing so hard. Clearly, I figured wrong. There’s no question that a 25 year old can get away with time off the bike and still ride strong enough to ride a 61 year old, who rarely takes time off the bike, into the ground.

Still, arriving home last night, it felt good to have ridden so hard. What I didn’t expect was that I’d be paying for it this morning. The legs just didn’t seem to want to climb, a real change from last night. It wasn’t one of those days where you felt a lot better as you rode either. A bit better, yes. Glad you were out there, yes.

It even started quite a bit warmer than Tuesday, and I generally do better when it’s warmer. But, unlike Tuesday, it got colder as we climbed, not warmer. Curiously, it was within .3 degrees of 32F from the top of Kings to Sky Londa. Yes, we were dressed for it but, unlike Tuesday, when it was bone-dry, there was both a dampness in the air and the threat of ice on the ground. We never felt ourselves sliding, but it was cold enough to have been something we needed to watch for.

Because I was so slow, and because we had an early meeting at work to get to, we weren’t able to do the full West Old LaHonda loop, choosing instead to go up over the top, which would have worked except for just barely missing the other signal on Skyline (the one south of Sky Londa) and having to wait, and wait, and wait, until we could finally get through. So just 26.5 miles instead of 31. Still, it did feel good to be out there riding. Maybe not so much heading north into a stiff headwind on Canada, but that was for Kevin to fight; I was happy sitting on his wheel. 🙂

32 degrees felt nicer than expected

The day didn’t start out the way I’d have liked. Pretty restless the night before, so not much sleep, which I really thought would get to me but, surprisingly, I woke up feeling not-so-bad. Everything was going well; I’d gotten all the really-cold-weather gear out the night before, did the coffee thing and started out on the bike… and it wouldn’t shift. Di2 battery 100% dead, for reasons unknown. A rare self-discharge issue. So, back to the garage, get the rain bike, remove the fenders, move the lights and computer over, switch shoes, and, leaving the house a good 12 minutes late, text Kevin (pilot) just in case he’s there, waiting for me, and suggest he ride back toward me, riding over Jefferson. Which he did.

Met up with a guy named Brian who was taking it easy today; Cat 3 racer who younger Kevin could likely have fun with. Today, I had no problem for the first half of the climb, despite the cold (32 degrees), but the two of them (Brian and Kevin) gradually started riding away from me as the climb continued. I finished probably a minute or two down on them at the top, but felt better than I usually do on the rain bike, and the cold? It just didn’t feel that bad. I was quite surprised.

Had to head directly down 84 since I was running so late; Kevin (pilot) had to do West Old LaHonda on his own. Guessing it was beautiful.