I met “The Man with the Hammer” on West Old LaHonda today

Nice layer of fog out on the coast that unfortunately didn’t move in far enough to cool the shop. Pretty though!
I wasn’t sure what to expect this morning, following Tuesday’s really strong (and not recorded by Strava due to computer eating the file) ride. Last time I had a great Tuesday ride, Thursday sucked. But I was thinking this morning could be different.

Tom, Kevin (kid) & Karen out there with me this morning. I held my own riding up through the park, riding stronger than I have in about a year. To be honest, in general, I’m tracking last year pretty closely right now. I would like to do just a bit better than that though. So what if I’m getting older, right? The fast time through the park didn’t translate to a fast time up Kings though, as we stopped at Kings to remove the leg warmers that weren’t needed. For what it’s worth, that takes 1 minute, 20 seconds. Unfortunately that doesn’t translate into a time that’s just 1 minute, 20 seconds longer, because it takes me a long time to get my climbing rhythm back if I stop in the middle. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Not every inch of West Old LaHonda could be covered quickly today.
It was West Old LaHonda that really surprised me. Kevin was pushing the pace a bit across the middle, and for that precisely 1-mile segment I ended up with 4:59, my fastest time since… Sept 1, 2015. This is a segment I have no real-time awareness of while riding; it’s one of those Strava things that shows up when you download your ride. I might have gotten close to the time for the full distance of West Old LaHonda from 9/1/15 if not for a very recently downed tree lying across the road, a bit before you head into the forest. The harsh winter of 2016 still seems to be with us!

It’s taken a very very long time, but I can finally ride hard enough that I really feel it in my legs later. For the most part my maximum effort has been limited by my breathing, but the new meds seem to be helping. I still can’t talk, or at least not very much, while climbing, and it’s still hard to drink, but that’s different from a few months ago, when the difficult, or hard, were simply impossible.

Am I ready for France? Yes and no. I’m strong enough to take on the gnarly climbs again, but not at the speeds Kevin will want to. But I’m going to ride myself into shape, just like the ‘Tour guys do.

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. I had that moment.

Karen in the lead, followed by JR & Kevin, as we head towards West Old LaHonda on the ride that Strava says didn’t happen.
Of all the rides for my Garmin to decide to eat, this morning was a really REALLY bad one to pick. I feel like it didn’t even happen, because it’s not on Strava. I know I climbed Kings in 29:04 timed manually, and I was hoping that Strava would put it at 28-something. I know that I was FLYING on the descent from Bear Creek to 84, and thought I had a chance at a PR, but no, that moment too is gone. No Strava, no proof. I have a feeling that my average weighted power was higher than it’s been in a very long time, but no way to know for sure.

This morning it was Kevin (kid, but at 25, is I guess he’s a “kid” compared to 62-year-old “Pilot” Kevin, but I think, at 25, he’s even past that awkward “young adult” label), Karen, JR and, for a short time, Alex. Alex isn’t a high-speed climber type, and of course, neither am I these days. The difference is that he’s sensible enough to not pretend otherwise; he escorted us to the beginning of the climb and let the rest of us do the suffering thing. Kevin got to the top first, a 26-something time, while Karen stayed just out ahead of me, in sight but not reachable. My goal was to keep it under 30 minutes, if possible, after having been disappointed last Tuesday by a slower ride than expected. I was watching the timing points closely and it was looking good; by the archery range, it was looking barely possible I could get a 28-something. Unfortunately I was losing it in the steeper sections and I didn’t have quite enough fight left in me to really nail the final stretch to the top, but I did try. Not that it matters, since I have no records. No heart rate. No 20 minute FTP (functional threshold power) score.

I did spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to recover the damaged file, but it simply wasn’t showing up, either as a corrupted or deleted file. It’s just not there. The damage happened when it tried to auto-upload to Strava when I arrived home.

Darn. It was even such a nice day that we didn’t need leg warmers or base layers. About time ‘cuz, after all, it is July. But, in the end, it never happened.