Nicer weather, new rider, what’s not to like?

This was not the easiest photo to take; impossible, while riding and wearing winter gloves, to use an iPhone. Had to stop, try to quickly take a photo before everyone was out of sight, and then race back up to them. Not that great a picture, but had to have something to show for such a beautiful morning.
This was not the easiest photo to take; impossible, while riding and wearing winter gloves, to use an iPhone. Had to stop, try to quickly take a photo before everyone was out of sight, and then race back up to them. Not that great a picture, but had to have something to show for such a beautiful morning.
Quite a bit nicer today than Tuesday! Clear skies and dry roads allowed me to leave the ‘cross/rain bike at home and ride the Emonda, which really is a much faster bike. Just me heading over Jefferson to the start; Kevin spent part of the morning at Kaiser, having an “interactive brain scan.” That’s a lot less boring than the normal type; instead of having to stay motionless for quite a few minutes, he got to watch odd images on a screen while the machine figured out what part of his brain was being engaged.

The other Kevin was waiting at the start; surprisingly, I didn’t see anyone else on Canada. Cold, yes, but the sun was out & the roads dry; why would you miss a chance to ride just because it’s a bit chilly? Within a minute or two we picked up Karl and Karen though; they had run slightly late so they took a shortcut and backtracked to us. On the way up Kings we caught up to Ellen from Stanford; she was planning to do pretty much the same route so we invited her to join us. We’ve seen quite a few riders in Stanford “kit” the past couple of years, but she’s the first to actually join us.

I think I’m going to have to go back to carrying my regular camera again; it’s just way too difficult trying to take photos with an iPhone while wearing winter gloves. Would have been really nice to get photos of the trees filtering the morning light. For fast shots, there’s just no substitute for a real camera, something you can set up ahead of time for the likely conditions (shutter speed high enough for use while riding). I thought I could get by with an “action cam” (Garmin Virb) and the iPhone, but the quality isn’t there with the Virb and, as mentioned, the iPhone is too difficult to use with gloves. I know, I’ve got Strava to prove I rode, but it’s not the same as a really great picture. –Mike–

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Just a few hours later and it wouldn’t have been wet (or 35.8 degrees either!)

skyline_wet111It wasn’t that surprising when Kevin and I showed up for this morning’s ride, finding nobody else there. It was (lightly) raining, it was (quite definitely) cold. We headed out, pretty easy pace, up the hill. I was hoping the temperature would go up a bit; instead it went slowly down as we climbed. We were quite surprised to see a guy heading down the hill, helmetless, in the rain.

Yes, it really was 35.8 degrees on Skyline, in the rain. Proof is shown on the Garmin display.
Yes, it really was 35.8 degrees on Skyline, in the rain. Proof is shown on the Garmin display.
The next surprise came just a few minutes later, just past the part where you get the nice view looking south towards Stanford. The other Kevin riding down the hill to meet us. Really didn’t expect that; the other Kevin (pilot Kevin) is slightly more sensible than me, so I figured he’d be out swimming this morning, not riding his bike. He joined us for the rest of the run up Kings and south to 84, where we parted company; he stayed “up top” and did the West Old LaHonda loop, while we headed back down the hill. Before getting the idea that we wimped out while the other Kevin did the heroic thing, the other Kevin actually lives up on Skyline, so he ended up doing fewer miles and less climbing than we did. Which also means less descending in the cold!

About that cold. Rain isn’t so bad. Cold isn’t so bad. But rain & cold together can be nasty, and 35.8 degrees is definitely cold enough to be nasty! Thankfully it warmed up to a toasty 40 by the time we got to the bottom of 84, and once on Canada Road, just a couple miles to go, blue sky started showing up. By mid-day, the roads had dried up completely, and with that, whatever extra-credit we’d normally have received for riding in the rain & cold became null & void. Hate that. It’s so much more satisfying when it storms through the whole day, and people ask “Did you really ride today?”

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