15 day outlook shows no rain- Was that it for El Nino?

IMG_1156_DxO1200When was the last time I felt a bit over-dressed and over-heated? Quite some time ago! That changed today.

It was the usual Sunday ride; up Old LaHonda, down to LaHonda, Haskins to Pescadero, Stage Road north to Tunitas, then back over the hill. I got to watch Kevin ride away on Old LaHonda and didn’t even consider trying to keep up. Just wasn’t going to happen. This has been a pretty tough winter for me, in terms of trying to keep weight off and speed up. Hopefully the slightly-warmer temps will tell my body it’s OK to come out of hibernation mode!

Fallen Mastadon, with a sad Triceratops looking on.
Fallen Mastadon, with a sad Triceratops looking on.

Life could be worse though; as you approach Pescadero, you come across the field on the southern side where the large iron (I think they’re iron) Mastadon & Triceratops hold court. Sadly, the Mastadon fell over many months ago, and is still lying on its side in the field.

Kevin and I met up with the other Kevin (pilot) in Pescadero, after which we headed north into a very stiff headwind. Younger Kevin surprisingly pulled hard into it, something that used to be my job, but seems like more and more of my (on the bike) job description is being handed over to younger Kevin all the time.

Tunitas today was as tough as Tunitas last week, although today I was on my own through the steep part, as the two Kevins rode off the front, chatting away. As usual, I had my loud lungs to keep me company. Thankfully they turned back to check up on me after reaching the spot where it levels out, so I didn’t have to ride the long, flatter upper section alone. No biggie; it was a very pleasant day to be out on a bike, whether climbing, descending, even fighting the wind for a bit.

IMG_1166_DxO1200Towards the end of the ride, the Olive Hill corgis were out watching the world go by, in a lazy manner that mirrored how I felt at the time. These guys are never out there to greet us on Tuesday or Thursday mornings; I think they like the cold even less than cyclists. Amazing how much the Corgi in the photo looks how I felt shortly after the ride.

So about that El Nino thing. Yes, I know we need more rain, but what happened to our customers during December & January wasn’t pleasant to the shop’s bottom line, so from a purely-selfish mode, I’m ok with extreme water conservation requirements. I’ve even got a good way to rationalize it. California’s only going to get more people over time, so if we can’t figure out how to learn with less water now, what’s going to happen down the road? See, droughts now are good for us! –Mike–

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Nicer weather, new rider, what’s not to like?

This was not the easiest photo to take; impossible, while riding and wearing winter gloves, to use an iPhone. Had to stop, try to quickly take a photo before everyone was out of sight, and then race back up to them. Not that great a picture, but had to have something to show for such a beautiful morning.
This was not the easiest photo to take; impossible, while riding and wearing winter gloves, to use an iPhone. Had to stop, try to quickly take a photo before everyone was out of sight, and then race back up to them. Not that great a picture, but had to have something to show for such a beautiful morning.
Quite a bit nicer today than Tuesday! Clear skies and dry roads allowed me to leave the ‘cross/rain bike at home and ride the Emonda, which really is a much faster bike. Just me heading over Jefferson to the start; Kevin spent part of the morning at Kaiser, having an “interactive brain scan.” That’s a lot less boring than the normal type; instead of having to stay motionless for quite a few minutes, he got to watch odd images on a screen while the machine figured out what part of his brain was being engaged.

The other Kevin was waiting at the start; surprisingly, I didn’t see anyone else on Canada. Cold, yes, but the sun was out & the roads dry; why would you miss a chance to ride just because it’s a bit chilly? Within a minute or two we picked up Karl and Karen though; they had run slightly late so they took a shortcut and backtracked to us. On the way up Kings we caught up to Ellen from Stanford; she was planning to do pretty much the same route so we invited her to join us. We’ve seen quite a few riders in Stanford “kit” the past couple of years, but she’s the first to actually join us.

I think I’m going to have to go back to carrying my regular camera again; it’s just way too difficult trying to take photos with an iPhone while wearing winter gloves. Would have been really nice to get photos of the trees filtering the morning light. For fast shots, there’s just no substitute for a real camera, something you can set up ahead of time for the likely conditions (shutter speed high enough for use while riding). I thought I could get by with an “action cam” (Garmin Virb) and the iPhone, but the quality isn’t there with the Virb and, as mentioned, the iPhone is too difficult to use with gloves. I know, I’ve got Strava to prove I rode, but it’s not the same as a really great picture. –Mike–

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