It was really nice, after Monday’s cold, gray & windy day, to wake up to bright sunshine and just the slightest breeze! Maybe, just maybe, we’re about to put the long winter behind us.
A fair amount of regulars showed up; Kevin (pilot), Kevin (kid), JR, George, Marcus & Karen. I felt not-so-bad heading up Kings, but not-so-good-enough that I could hang with Kevin (kid), Marcus & George when they decided to pick the pace up a bit. Maybe picked the pace up a bit too much, as it wasn’t long, just after the park entrance, that the rest of us came across Kevin lying on the road, his first decent-sized seizure in quite a while. We weren’t there to see it, but apparently George & Marcus must have thought he was just fading a bit and dropping off the pace, as they just rode on ahead, unawares. Kevin recovered and got going again (although a bit disoriented at first; we had to point him “up” the hill as he’d mounted his bike facing “down”). If not for the stop, I might have finally gotten under 30 minutes again up Kings. Soon. Very soon.
Skyline was just slightly damp in a few places but not bad, and at 41 degrees, not really too cold either. It was a pretty easy, conversational pace for the rest of the ride, although I did go to the front and push things a few times heading from Sky Londa to West Old LaHonda. Yes, West Old LaHonda still exists. The road is very gradually crumbling and needs help, to be sure! Hopefully the county will get around to doing something about it.
While we’re on the topic of roads in trouble, we were held up a bit longer than usual (5 minutes or so) at the first construction stoppage heading down 84. There’s a whole lot of work left to be done on the road; we spent a bit of time talking with a road guy who was pretty upset at how badly they let the road get, and yes, it does look like it will probably be sometime in July before it’s back up to speed. The dangers of “deferred maintenance” are as bad for roads as they are for bikes!
Oh sure, it would be nice if it were 74 degrees, with just a slight breeze. 60 & windy isn’t quite that, but at least it’s not raining.
But it’s late-April. Is “at least it’s not raining” good enough? Shouldn’t I be breaking free of my dreadfully-slow “winter” body by now? Maybe it is.
Nothing unusual about today’s ride; Kevin & I probably do the Pescadero/Tunitas loop 15 times/year (OK, just checked, 22 times this past year, probably 19 of them with Kevin). There are at least 3 “reference” climbs en route; Old LaHonda, Haskins & Tunitas. You can’t keep secrets from this ride; if you’re not in shape, Strava knows all! But I went into the ride with a small amount of hope because I’m finally seeing my weight come down just a little bit, an indication that winter is on the way out. Yet as we approached Old La Honda I was telling Kevin it might not be a very fast ride up the hill. Just felt a bit like a “high gravity” day. Thankfully that turned out to be a mis-read of my body’s tea leaves.
I got up Old LaHonda in 22:54, my fastest time since last August. Might have been a bit faster if there hadn’t been a spot where Kevin and I almost had to come to a standstill due to a large passing propane truck. This brings up another issue. Local residents on Old LaHonda have been complaining about all the cyclists now that there’s increased car traffic due to issues on 84. Kevin and I counted the cars today; including both directions, 16 cars total, over a period of 23 minutes. This was about 11:45am; maybe it’s a lot busier earlier in the day? I can see where it might be annoying that bikes generally outnumber motorists and in nearly all cases don’t actually live on the road. Tough to come up with any sort of solution though, as Old LaHonda and Kings Mtn are much safer ways to get up to Skyline than 84 (Woodside Road). I do encourage cyclists to consider descending 84 instead of Old LaHonda though, and if someone’s super-timid descending, climbing to Skyline might not be such a great idea in the first place.
OK, moving back to the ride, Haskins was also climbed fairly quickly, 9:53, similar to my climbing times back in September. Tunitas? Meh. We spent a little time chatting with some people along the way, and even stopped to take a photo of some gigantic mushrooms (bigger than Pescadero cookies!!!). I felt pretty good on the steep middle part, but I’ve done better. That’s OK, overall it felt like a really good ride. Sure, we would have preferred not fighting headwinds on Stage Road, but they weren’t THAT bad.