All posts by Mike

I’ve only been gone 5 days but you get into “travel mode” and feels like “home” is a concept, not real

I would hate to suggest that every trip has a Starbucks embedded somewhere, but that’s typically true. Only exception was Singapore, a real surprise that we saw none there a month ago. The trip I’m writing about now started Saturday night/Sunday morning at 12:45am. The destination? The Peruvian Amazon.

Most of my trips involve a lot of flights and appear at least slightly convoluted. This one, with my daughter (Becky), a bit less so. 7 hour flight from SFO to Panama City, an hour to change planes there, 3+ hour flight to Lima, 2.5 hrs there, then a 2 hour flight to Iquito, gateway to the Amazon.

Nothing too noteworthy about the flights; even the Peruvian Air segment was as bad as some reports would say it had the potential to be. Old aircraft with non-existent shock absorbers, sure… they hit the runway HARD! But reasonably on time and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

I’ll start getting more up shortly. Meantime need to get ready to sleep; we leave tomorrow, thankfully not too early (1:48ppm via Copa Airlines, which is a lot more sane schedule than taking the 2am flight on United!).

At 34 degrees, winter isn’t coming. It’s here

kings_not_as_hard_as_looks
Kevin (pilot) making the long open stretch of Kings look quite epic!

We are running just shy of freezing on our Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides; I suspect within a few weeks we’ll cross that barrier. It seems, without any data to back this up, that “winter” temps are hitting slightly earlier this year than normal. It also feels like we’re going to have a colder-than-normal winter coming up. Can’t explain it, just feels like it. But no, I’m not willing to make any forecasts for rain. Actually I will. I don’t think it’s going to be a storm-filled winter. I think it’s going to be the typical winter, where they show a series of “storms heading our way, lining up in the Pacific” but they all get pushed north just before they arrive. Hey, fine with me if Portland gets more of what they’re so well known for!

Does it really matter? Not much, since I’ll ride anyway. I’m in a bit better shape for the really cold stuff, now that my Raynauds has been tamed (not cured, but no more permafrost hands!), so if this is the winter that brings back the ice age, I’m ready for it.

Today, I thought I was ready for Kings, but Kevin (the kid) and Lanier were more-ready. I suffered through the park but felt not-so-bad afterward, at least until close to the long straight open stretch. Kevin and Lanier rode on, while I circled to make sure the other (pilot) Kevin was doing OK at the rear. He’d blown himself out on the “Dave Stohl” ride yesterday. Karen was in-between, riding whatever pace she determined was appropriate for the day. I don’t think she rides slower if she’s tired or faster if not. She rides according to her own plan.

It was nice riding at such a slow pace up the hill; I could actually carry on a conversation for once. A very unusual thing, that, as I’m usually gasping for air anytime the road tilts up.

Perhaps the oddest thing today was that my peak power was recorded descending 84 into Woodside! There are a couple turns where I push hard coming out; I just didn’t realize I was pushing 800+ watts doing so. Too bad I can’t make use of that power going uphill.