A wild windy day on Skyline; the weather will get nicer soon, right?


It was a dark & stormy night… no, not quite, but sure am glad I haven’t bothered to clean my bike for a while. It’s been one damp ride on Skyline after another.

Normally Kevin and I would be doing the Pescadero loop, but the coast looked to be as fogged in as we could visually see on Skyline, so we opted instead for the always-painful loop through the foothills, up Redwood Gulch and return on Skyline. Even with the tailwinds heading towards Los Altos, I wasn’t feeling on top of my game, which was too bad since it would have been a great day to pick up some Strava records.

Kevin had already had enough coffee prior to the ride so we didn’t make the usual stop at the Peet’s close to our former Los Altos location; this would come back to haunt me towards the end of the ride, as I started feeling a bit bonked. But the upside was that I didn’t feel quite as badly as I expected to, heading up Redwood Gulch and Highway 9.

No Mr. Mustard at Saratoga Gap; where has that guy gone? A quick Google search turns up nothing. We wouldn’t have wanted to hang around up there too long though; it was about 42 degrees, foggy and windy. We gamely turned north, heading into gusty sidewinds that made us forget about the fog and cold and focus instead of just holding our lines. The video gives you an idea of what it was like. Some challenges are fun; this one was an ordeal we were happy to be done with once we started heading down 84 into Woodside.

Tomorrow morning I hope to find some answer to better riding through better breathing. New lung test to see how things compare this year to last, and whether there might be something different I can take, for better results. Last years’ efforts got derailed when my bone marrow issue was discovered, but I’m not letting my pulmonologist off the hook that easily! –Mike–

Bikes behaving badly, cars behaving badly

Tuesday morning, Kevin and I headed over Jefferson, stopping at Canada and checked left & right to make sure it was safe, before heading across. But it’s not just cars we have to watch out for. Check out the graphic above, a Strava screenshot showing one of a group of cyclists heading south on Canada Road, right as we got there. Strava conveniently laid out a data point exactly in the middle of the intersection.  You’d expect to see a cyclist, at that point, doing maybe 5 or 10mph. Not 25.9mph.

That group of cyclists blew through the stop sign without bothering to slow down at all. It’s a group that commutes from SF to Mountain View on a regular basis; we’ve seen them frequently. This is, quite literally, how they roll. 26 miles per hour through a stop sign.

Sure, you can shave off a lot of time blowing through stop signs on  your way to work, but what if everyone felt entitled to do so? Our paths cross with this group more often than not as we’re heading to the start of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride; obviously they keep to a schedule just like us, and they’ve managed to keep to that schedule, within a minute or two, even after riding 20+ miles with a number of stop lights & signs along the way. Doesn’t take much to figure out how. Next time you’re minding your own business, riding where you ought to be, sharing the road with motorists and yet somebody comes up behind you blaring their horn and maybe shouting you should be on a bike path, you might now have an idea who the motorists had come across previously.
And then there was this morning’s ride. We missed crossing paths with the SF-Mountain View commuters by maybe 10-20 seconds, for what it’s worth. But today it was a motorist’s opportunity to play stupid, up on Skyline. Foggy & damp conditions, and you can see what’s playing out in the photo above. There were three of us; myself, Kevin & Karen, all of us with bright flashing lights up front, and here’s this guy in the other direction passing not one but two cars, and probably would have passed a third had he not seen us and cut back very sharply in front of the car above.

If we hadn’t had lights… who knows. It’s hard to believe how many cyclists we see, on days like this, without flashing lights front or rear. Sometimes even dressed head to toe in black. Please, let them know you exist! High quality flashing lights can be seen great distances and make a motorist aware there are others out there on the road.