Ringer shows up on can’t-miss bike

We’ve got our regulars, and we’ve got our irregulars. On a good day, everyone’s nice & civil and talkative. On a bad day, the fastest of the irregulars take on the fastest of the regulars, and, as the song says, I’m “Dust in the Wind.”

Yesterday we had our regulars… me, younger Kevin, Eric. MIA were Karl, Karen, and older Kevin (pilot). Semi-regular Marcus showed up, adding the potential for speed. Now, so far, we didn’t yet have that critical mass required for a testosterone-fueled ride up Kings. Until. Until TGOTBOB shows up. The Guy On the Bright Orange Bike. That would be JeffZ, one of the fastest 50 year olds anywhere, on his new amazingly-visible Trek Madone. Our “ringer” who rarely shows up for our ride, having already done 50+ miles by the time we start (he’s one of those “morning people” who does the uber-fast 6:15am ride out of Palo Alto).

I watched everyone ride off into the sunset pretty quickly, holding the pace only up to the first hairpin, where it crosses the creek. Younger Kevin, seeing that I was in distress (I really wasn’t in distress, just slow) held up at the park entrance for me, where I told him not to wait, I’m good, get back up there and try to catch Marcus and JeffZ. He’s young; I figured maybe, even after waiting 30 seconds for me, he’d have a chance. Not quite. He last saw them at the long open section but couldn’t make time on them. Not surprising, really; Kevin, fast as he is, doesn’t have that many base miles so he’s a bit of a fast-burning candle right now.

Me? I eventually caught up to Eric just before the top. I figured that would happen, since by the time we see Eric, he’s already ridden up Kings once. If I were on my second lap up Kings, I’d be finishing a day and a half behind.

Beautiful morning; we got the ride in before the heavy smoke settled in. One of those rides where I really did feel better as it went. –MikeJ

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Proof that I’m back home- rectangular hay bales

IMG_2519_DxO1200First Sunday ride back home after France, so naturally I had to do the usual, the reference ride as it were. Old LaHonda, Pescadero, Tunitas. Solo today; Kevin’s spending time with his girlfriend. Got off to a late start, since I had to watch the final stage of the Tour de France, the Paris finale. A bit odd not being there, and even now I’m playing through my mind the timeframe of coming home, what time it is presently in France (7:54am as I type this), arriving home tomorrow evening. But that wasn’t the schedule this year; we did the middle and came home this past Monday. A week early.

Woman I scared with my heavy breathing on Old LaHonda
Woman I scared with my heavy breathing on Old LaHonda
But I’m not in France anymore, and the proof is in the picture. Rectangular hay bales, not the rolled-up version you see everywhere in France.

Old LaHonda went a bit better than I expected, getting under 23 minutes for the first time since April. Scared the crap out of a woman climbing up the hill; she heard my breathing, even over the music playing in her ear buds, and kinda jumped.

Haskins also went a bit better than I thought, just under 10. It didn’t feel all that fast, but Strava doesn’t lie. All the way out to Pescadero I was feeling pretty good, but probably ate too much for Tunitas and felt bogged down on the steep stuff. Hoping for 48 minutes, but ended up with just a few seconds under 50.

By the time I got home I was pretty much dead, which was a bit surprising. At least Strava’s “suffer score” was fairly high (216), indicating the hard effort was not all in my mind.

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