Perfect day coming for annual TurkeyTrot ride!

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It’s that time of the year again, that time when the weather in Northern California remains so nice you almost feel guilty about it, almost as guilty as you’ll feel about over-stuffing yourself at Thanksgiving Dinner. Except that you won’t feel guilty because you went on a great bike ride in the morning and got back in time to help prepare the dinner!

Our usual Tuesday/Thursday-morning bike ride leaves from Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am. Since Thanksgiving’s a Thursday, that’s where we’ll be, and that’s when we’ll be there. 7:45am. We’ll be doing the “Coastal Classic”, about 55 miles round trip with about 5500 feet of climbing. Up Old LaHonda, down 84, detour past the “secret” Duck Pond in LaHonda, over Haskins Grade to Pescadero. We’ve confirmed the regular Pescadero Bakery will be closed but believe it or not there’s food & cokes at the old gas station at the corner of Pescadero & Stage Road. We’ll quickly refuel and head north on Stage Road, take Tunitas Creek up to Skyline, then down Kings back into Woodside.

This is a challenging ride; you need to be capable of riding up Old LaHonda at a 26 minute (or better) pace, and keep that pace up for two more significant climbs (Haskins and Tunitas). We’ll regroup at the top of Old LaHonda, possibly at the top of Haskins, definitely in Pescadero and one last time at the top of Stage Road. Once we hit Tunitas, you’re on your own. You will be back at the start between 12 & 1pm.

Could be just a few of us, could be more. Past rides have had anywhere from 3 to 20. This will be a social, not training ride. No sag/support, water available in Pescadero, possibly food too but be prepared just in case. No rain, temps in the low-60s on the coast, but expect upper-40s on the way there.

You’ll be back between 12-1pm so you can help cook, watch the games, drink beer, whatever. The day is yours!  –Mike Jacoubowsky

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This won’t mean anything if under 50 (I owe a lot to Captain Kangaroo)

800px-Bob_keeshan_captain_kangaroo_1977[1]I probably wouldn’t be the bike person I am today if not for Bob Keeshan. Captain Kangaroo. He showed me that bikes were cool. He reinforced that message every single weekday morning. And, of course, he convinced me to buy a Schwinn. OK, so I’m a bit conflicted with the idea of tangentially promoting a company that I have no love for today (Schwinn went bankrupt and the name was bought by a company that now produces BSOs, Bike Shaped Objects, that defile the original company’s dedication to quality products). But seriously, how many of us in our 50s were influenced by Captain Kangaroo’s cycling message?

We keep looking for reasons that cycling isn’t as popular with kids today as it was back in the 60s and 70s. I think it’s the lack of a Captain Kangaroo, with his consistent, every-single-day bicycle message. I wanted a Schwinn. I settled for a Sears. I eventually did buy a Schwinn Varsity, and another one when that was stolen.

I’d love to know what that marketing campaign cost Schwinn, in real (today) dollars. The cycling industry talks about how we cannot afford a huge “get on a bike” campaign, and that’s right, we can’t. It would take far more money than we can mobilize to move the needle the tiniest amount. But a consistent effort aimed at kids could be cost-effective. Schwinn wasn’t looking at the quick buck back then.

Of course, the dirty little secret is that the campaign was so effective that it lead to FTC guidelines outlawing product endorsement by hosts of kids shows. Captain Kangaroo got around it by introducing a new character, Mr. Schwinn, and had internal memos to support the view that the kids still couldn’t separate the show from Schwinn (Schwinn was still getting a very effective marketing tool).

But back to the point- I think this industry owes a lot to Bob Keeshan for introducing many of us to cycling as a cool thing at an impressionable age. If there’s anybody left alive, former Schwinn execs responsible for keeping the Schwinn/Captain Kangaroo relationship going, I think it would be pretty cool to recognize them for their contribution, and ask what advice they might have for us today. They hit a home run. Maybe they can teach us to at least get on the bases again. –Mike–

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Mass invasion from “Morning” ride

Ironic that, as Kevin and I approached the starting point for the Tuesday-morning ride, we saw just one bike, and even that didn’t show up at first. Turns out they were all hiding just out of sight because we had either 12 or 13 this morning. Absolutely lost count! Can’t even begin to name them, but some show up in the Strava listing.

That shows me + 8 others! Lots of really fast guys and one fast girl (Karen, one of our semi-regulars). I was able to stay ahead of just one guy on the way up Kings, and that was only because he’d already done the morning ride (6am out of Palo Alto) and was fried. Me? Still getting over my cold, plus being 37 degrees just after the start didn’t help either!

The speed was enhanced by the presence of Chris, making one of his relatively-rare appearances. He’s got this way of flying down the west side of 84, and this morning, a corner where we usually do about 32? I saw 37.5. Had to change my normal line a bit.

Overall some pretty serious horsepower. Happy to finish the same day as the rest! –Mike–

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