Who was she?

who_was_she

In the inset, upper left, the mystery woman is the rider on the right. In the big picture, she’s at the very front, leading the pack up Skeggs at a speed I couldn’t hold. Hate that!

It was like any other Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, only different. Nigel, George, George’s friend Glen from The Morning Ride, Karen & JR. I don’t know if Nigel already knew Glen or not (both are from the UK; wouldn’t any cyclist in the UK know every other cyclist?), but the two of them took off like a rocket up Kings, while the rest of us headed up at a casual pace. I couldn’t have done too much more; my legs still a bit tired from Sunday’s ride, but still, without a hard effort up the first part of Kings, they just never really seem to get going. It seems I need pain, early in the ride, to do better later.

Later came all too soon; just before the top of Kings we spotted a lone rider ahead of us, and we very slowly reeled her in. I exchanged as much of a pleasantry as my lungs can manage (“hello”) and we continued on, pausing briefly to regroup at the top. She kept going, same direction as us, north on Skyline. Once again, every so gradually, we reeled her in, Karen leading the charge. I was spent holding Karen’s wheel, and things only got worse when we caught the mystery woman, as she just went faster, pulling our group along for the next mile or so. Everyone except me, as I had fallen off the back at the base of Skeggs. On the descent into Sky Londa I caught up and passed her; descending apparently not being her strong point. She headed back down 84 to Woodside, while our group headed down the other side to West Old LaHonda, but not before I’d queried everyone as to whether they found out anything about her, invited her out for our regular ride, anything at all. The only communication turned out to have come from George, who told her, simply, “good pull.”

Maybe I need to print out business cards for the ride, so I can hand them out when we come across someone who might enjoy suffering with us. In the meantime, can anyone identify who this woman was, and let her know she’s welcome to join us, any Tuesday or Thursday morning, 7:45am at the intersection of Canada Road & Olive Hill? –Mike–

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Coastal Classic Week 2 and dubious Strava accomplishment

descending_kingsSecond week in a row of doing the “Coastal Classic” (Woodside/Pescadero/Tunitas) loop, and it’s not getting any easier. In fact, today felt like the toughest yet, but some of that might have been from a bit of fatigue due to getting up early to watch the finish of Paris Roubaix, and then heading down to Kaiser Santa Clara to get Kevin out of the hospital.

It was a really late start; 2:05pm or so, one of those racing-the-sun rides. On my own again; it’s going to be nearly 7 weeks before Kevin’s ready to do any serious riding again, and not knowing when I’d be picking him up precluded plans to ride with others.

I forced myself to climb all of Old LaHonda seated, definitely not my normal style, but figured I should try something a bit different. Besides, you get better video that way (less wobbly). But with almost nobody else out on the road, the video is pretty boring. Not a bad idea to build up different muscles, and a test of will-power, as you find yourself rationalizing all sorts of ways to stand up for a moment or two that wouldn’t constitute cheating on the concept. But can’t do that; it wasn’t the plan.

Old LaHonda rolled past in just under 23, Haskins just over 10, and Tunitas from coast to top in a very-frustrating 50:14. But in-between I was pushing pretty hard, making good time despite some pretty strong headwinds.

I finished the ride feeling… well, finished! I was definitely running out of power climbing Tunitas, and it felt really good having muscles that felt like they’d done something.

Ah, nearly forgot about the “dubious Strava accomplishment.” PR for descending Kings, now 14th on the list out of 294 for the stop-sign to stop-sign segment. I’m getting slower climbing, but faster descending. Would definitely rather have it the other way around.

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