We will pump you up! Not sure if that was the easier or tougher part of the day


The day started with our ride support for the annual Foster City Community Bike Ride, a local event with a pair of short rides through the city. This isn’t for the serious cyclist; Kevin and I spent a lot of time pumping up a lot of tires, some totally flat, most with crooked valves indicating they’d been ridden without care about air pressure for some time. I keep saying that next time, I’m going to make sure the word gets out that bikes should be in decent shape, at least with the tires aired, before showing up. Maybe charge a fee for each tire that requires inflation, donated to a local community cause? And funny thing, you ask if they have a pump at home, and the always claim they do, they just never get around to using it. Maybe… but you do get to put a lot of smiles on kids faces.

It was almost noon by the time we were finished, so we stopped at Noah’s Bagels in Redwood City on the way back for food (pumping all those tires makes you hungry!). Yikes. I thought I had to apologize to our customers for how bogged down things get sometimes… it’s nothing like what we faced at Noah’s. It too FOREVER for them to make our two bagels. Probably 25 minutes. Didn’t know waiting for bagels could be as tiring as pumping up tires! By the time we got home, Kevin was, well, tired-out and not interested in riding, so it was a late-leaving solo gig for me. I was tired too, but I stick to the plan, and the plan was to ride.

It was a slight modification of the usual Sunday ride, up Old LaHonda, down the other side, over Haskins to Pescadero, then changed things slightly to avoid Stage Road, which had recently had a lot of gravel laid down on it. First time in a while I’d ridden the coast all the way from Pescadero to Tunitas.

Old LaHonda both felt and was slow. Almost 26 minutes slow. The sort of slow where you’re wondering how the rest of the ride is going to be. But things changed going down the other side. Maybe it was the adventure of riding on the freshly-gravel-strewn road that broke the spell? I did check my tires at the other end, which came out fine.

I was surprised that I felt OK on Haskins, and continued to push that OK feeling all the way to Pescadero. No records to be broken, as it was a pretty good headwind, but that headwind didn’t break my spirit.

A very odd arrival in Pescadero though; not a single other cyclist to be seen! No bikes along the side of the bakery, no cyclists at the tables out back. Just me. When solo I skip the sandwich, getting just a Mtn Dew and cookie, then headed out to the coast. The headwind theme continued, but wasn’t going to wreck my ride. Plus, the added bonus of a bit of a tailwind at the base of Tunitas!

I was thinking, heading up the lower flatter section of Tunitas, that I’d push hard to see if I could get to the Forest under 10 minutes. It was close, missed it by maybe 10 seconds. I figured a hard effort at the bottom would kind of cook me for the climb, but I just kept going for as long as I could, and never completely ran out of gas. A real surprise after a couple of weeks of lighter-than-normal riding due to special events. Even, somehow, got a PR for a short 4 minute segment that represents the last steep part before it levels out. The total time on Tunitas, 47:43, was actually my best time since 2014, so I feel pretty good about that.

The ride finished with the ultimate deer-in-the-headlights experience. Descending Olive Hill towards Canada, a pair (of deer, duh!) crossed in front of me, just casually walking across, with the smaller one actually stopping, right in the middle of the road, to take a look at me. Almost spooky.

The upcoming week is going to be a bit broken, again, as far as cycling. I should be able to do the regular Tuesday morning ride before getting on a place and heading to Wisconsin, with Kevin, for a couple days of dealer meetings with Trek. I’ll miss Thursday but, I hope, nothing will come up to interfere with riding next Sunday!

Back to normal? We normally don’t do gravel on Thursdays!

Williams Ranch Road, a shortcut we used to skip the closed lower part of West Old LaHonda
After a “light” ride Sunday, then being off the bike completely for the next three days while in Reno for a trade show, I wasn’t sure how things were going to go this morning. And seeing two of the faster morning-ride guys at the start, George and JeffZ, didn’t exactly boost my confidence! But things worked out OK; younger Kevin went off the front with JeffZ, George and older Kevin (pilot) rode behind at a steady pace, and me, well, I hung for a while then watched George and Kevin (pilot) ride away, but slowly clawed my way back to them on the upper reaches of Kings.

It was nice to have some real horsepower on the ride this morning; George and Jeff pulled hard down 84 towards West Old LaHonda, where things ground to a bit of a halt when we discovered they were doing some serious road work, laying down gravel & oil and I’m sure making a mess of the road for quite some time. So we retraced our way back up the hill a bit and then, at Kevin’s (pilot, the old guy) suggestion, rode up Williams Ranch Road, which intersects West Old LaHonda right at the end of the section they were working on.

Things aren’t going to return to full-normal for a while yet; Sunday morning Kevin (not the pilot) and I have a gig in Foster City where we’ll be pumping up a lot of flat tires for a community bike ride, and afterward heading out for a pretty late ride, probably the usual, Pescadero/Tunitas. And in-between rides going a bit nuts because things are very busy at the shop and we’ve got extremely-thin staffing at the moment (if you know anybody who’d like to work in a great bike shop, let me know!). In fact, this Saturday we’ll have just a few of us in the shop on the busiest day of the week, as my brother Steve has a relative getting married and another employee injured her foot. By Sunday I’ll be needing a bike ride… desperately!