If you need a PT (Physical Therapist) for anything cycling, Todd’s your guy! Saved today’s ride, and maybe France too.

You do NOT want to experience this on a ride! Kevin's got serious pain in his left knee, feels like he can't make it home, and with France just 10 days away...
You do NOT want to experience this on a ride! Kevin’s got serious knee pain, feels like he can’t make it home, and with France just 10 days away…
It wasn’t supposed to be a tough ride. Hold the power down (250 watts max) and re-introduce Kevin to the routine after being off the bike through three brain surgeries for his epilepsy. We chose the old familiar… Old LaHonda/Pescardero/Tunitas Creek. Things didn’t go quite according to plan.

Old LaHonda wasn’t too bad, just slow. Not even sure how slow, but keeping the wattage down, it was probably in the 27 minute range. A bit odd being passed by quite a few people, and a bit tough a few times keeping Kevin from going into “target acquisition mode” those few times we managed to creep up on anyone. He’d had some issues with his knee a couple weeks ago, when he got out for a short ride in-between surgeries, but so far, not too bad.

The Cookie Face Test shows a surprise... helmet hair! Just a hint of if, despite how short his hair is, having been shaved off for his surgery.
The Cookie Face Test shows a surprise… helmet hair! Just a hint of if, despite how short his hair is, having been shaved off for his surgery.
Haskins, the climb over Pescadero Road, was also pretty slow. Knee still OK. Coming into Pescadero it got a bit cooler (fog moving in) and ouch, a bit of pain. Maybe it will go away after lunch.

Riding into a mild headwind on Stage Road, things started looking not very good. Kevin was taking it really easy but the knee was getting worse as he went. I suspected some connection between the colder weather out on the coast, and hoped that heading back inland soon would help. Tunitas was now out of the question; that steep & nasty run up from San Gregorio to Highway 1 via Stage would kill him. We headed up 84 instead, enjoying a nice tailwind that helped keep the power down and the pain away from his knee. Yeah well, by the time we got to LaHonda, it didn’t much matter whether the road was tilting up or flat. We stopped about half a mile east of LaHonda to consider our options and yes, got desperate enough to try and call for a sag (neither wife nor daughter answered their phones though).

What to do. This is one of those times you’re very fortunate to have a former employee and friend who’s now an extraordinary Physical Therapist. That would be Todd Norwood, who works out of Agile Fitness in Palo Alto. The plug is very well deserved. Todd suggested that he ride up near the front of the saddle, and try to keep his heels level. Thankfully I carry enough tools with me to fix or adjust most anything, so I both moved his saddle forward and tilted it down a bit at the front, to keep him from sliding back. Amazing difference! Pain greatly reduced; he was able to make it over the top and ride home. As we neared Skyline I was thinking how much life had changed in the past hour; had we sagged in, and not had a good idea what was going on and/or a way to effectively deal with it, Kevin’s trip to France was in serious jeopardy. Now, there’s hope. He’s got some exercises to do and we’ll see if the changes I made to his seat positioning allow him to get back into the groove.

Seems like this year, not much is coming easy! Next year ought to be a breeze by comparison. 🙂

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Chain Reaction saves Redwood City (including my Mom & Robert) from burning to the ground!

The little fire that could. Or couldn't. Or wouldn't, because we wouldn't let it!
The little fire that could. Or couldn’t. Or wouldn’t, because we wouldn’t let it! By the time RCFD arrived on the scene, matters were well in-hand. :-)

Busy Saturday afternoon and smoke started coming in the front door. I know our sales are smokin’ hot, but this was coming from the outside. Go out and find the median strip, that 2-foot-wide landscaped barrier in the middle of El Camino, has a little fire going.

Burning what though? It’s dirt! I go out there, along with a customer, and try to stomp out this little tiny fire that’s smouldering just below the surface. It kept coming back. In fact, instead of smouldering, we started getting small flames. What the heck? Tried covering it with dirt. Still keeps going. Finally had this unique idea… put water on it. Kevin brought a pail of water from the shop, and then Sergio, from the storage company behind us, brought out even-more water. Crisis averted!

Had we not acted, who knows what could have happened. This tiny little determined fire might have jumped across two lanes of traffic (not very likely), caught roofs of nearby buildings on fire (even less likely), and eventually set all of Redwood City west of El Camino in flames (ridiculously absurd to even type!). And my mom and her husband Robert caught in a firestorm of epic proportions as propane tanks explode throughout their neighborhood (there are none that I know of) and they can’t drive off because their car tires have melted to the ground. And even worse, this could have interrupted my planned ride tomorrow morning.

But none of that happened because a few brave individuals did their duty and put out that tiny little fire (which probably would have eventually burned out on its own). 🙂

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