The return of Nigel

Nigel on the left, returning from the UK to torture the rest of us. Does that make him an international terrorist?
Nigel on the left, returning from the UK to torture the rest of us. Does that make him an international terrorist?

Big group of us out there today, Kevin counted 10, we’ll see how well I can do here… Kevin, Kevin, Eric, George, JR, Todd (not Doctor T), Mark, Nigel, and up on Skyline we picked up Millo. Plus me makes 10. Don’t ask me what went on at the front on the way up Kings; I wasn’t there.

It was nice, it was dry, we brought leg warmers but didn’t need them. I felt ok, Kevin felt better. Two more of these rides before France (next Thursday and then Tuesday), one more Sunday ride, but on our Bike Fridays, not our Trek Madones. Not much time left!

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Sunday… yes, I rode Sunday. Just ran out of time to tell about it.

Sunday’s ride write-up was a casualty of a late-night working session in our Los Altos store, where I needed to update and install some new computers. The plan (remember, there’s always a plan) was to be out of there by 11pm, but that didn’t work out, finally getting home about 1:30am. Would have been at least an hour earlier until I discovered that the main machine that controls our point of sale system had a failed CMOS battery so if it had to be restarted, everything went very badly. And in that particular Dell machine (did I mention I’m not a big fan of Dell?) trying to get to the battery requires disassembly of things that don’t seem made for disassembly. Fun!

But Kevin and I did get out for a ride, the usual “Coastal Classic” (58 miles, up Old LaHonda, out to Pescadero, Stage, home via Tunitas). After Friday’s hot climb up Mt Hamilton we weren’t sure how it would go… riding through Woodside I had the feeling I could go all day, just not very fast. That idea went out the window once we hit Old LaHonda, as Kevin took off pretty hard, trying to prove he could climb like he used to. And for a while, he can. He got up OLH in about 20 minutes (I was a minute and a half behind, and not unhappy about that), but on the way towards Haskins (the main climb to Pescadero) he started complaining about not feeling really good. Umm… yeah… could be from climbing really hard despite it only having been around a month that he’s been riding after the two months off from his kidney operation? Nah, couldn’t be that…

This car on Haskins didn't need to come quite this close...
This car on Haskins didn’t need to come quite this close…

Haskins we did take easily, but on the long run into Pescadero along comes Jacob, an import from Michigan, and he just tears into the wind, with us hanging on. Or I thought we were hanging on. About three miles out Kevin goes to the front and takes a pull. And pulls. And continues to pull, hard, into the inevitable headwind. It was like I was in Bizarro world.

Reality intruded harshly though, as Kevin discovered what it means to have only so many matches to light. He started sagging on Stage Road, and by the time we got to Tunitas, there wasn’t much left. The usual around-50-minute time from the coast to the top stretched to just over an hour. As Kevin was feeling his mortality, I asked if maybe now he knew how I felt on the Tourmalet two years ago. Nope. He won’t even entertain the notion of a failure like that. Could be an interesting trip to France this year!

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