All posts by Mike

Tuesday Kevin channeled his inner Hincapie; Thursday something went awry because I felt really strong

Yep, a couple days behind… again!

Tuesday, we saw Karen show up for the first time in… months? Karen and (younger) Kevin create a pair that I can’t possibly keep up with, but I did, for a while, as we all rode together up Kings. I knew I’d blow sooner or later, so decided to try something as we approached Huddart Park. I thought it might be fun to distract them, make them forget that I was there and see if they’d pull a “Hincapie” and just ride away. How to do that? I told Karen she should ask Kevin about his recent girlfriend. Yep. That did it. The two started talking, I no longer existed (because anything over an 80% effort and I’m gasping for air like a fish out of water…so obviously I’m not part of the conversation), and off they rode. Why is this a “Hincapie?” It’s a reference to a promotional ride George Hincapie held for AMD employees, back when AMD was a sponsor of US Postal (yeah, the “Lance” days). George was doing a “no drop” easy ride up Old LaHonda, socializing with the AMD folk, when his cell phone rang. George took the call, forgot about the people around him and went into his “idle” mode… which was much faster than anyone could keep up with.

This morning it was the two Kevins riding with me, a very different version of me than Tuesday. Can’t exactly say why. Both Kevins were feeling a bit sluggish, but me? I don’t know why, but I felt like I’d found my legs again. I was doing intervals up Kings! Serious hard efforts, then ease up to wait for them, then go again. I haven’t felt like that on Kings in ages.

Kevin enjoying breakfast at Alice’s
We had to make a stop at Sky L’onda so (younger) Kevin could use the facilities there (think “bad peaches” Greg LeMond story) and, I really can’t tell you why, it just seemed like the thing to do was stop at Alice’s for breakfast. Kevin (pilot) just stayed a while for conversation, having eaten before riding. Some people do that I guess; for me, I can do 30 or 40 miles on a cup of coffee and a granola bar. But this morning, at Alice’s, it was (more) coffee and a stack of blueberry pancakes. (younger) Kevin had French toast and a side of sausages. We actually gave up riding the West Old LaHonda loop for breakfast, something I’ve not done before, but just seemed like the thing to do this morning.

I am a bit curious how I might have felt on West Old LaHonda, but I wasn’t about to ditch Kevin & Kevin to find out. I’ll save that for another day. I wish.

Flamingo House is for sale!

Kevin pointing out the Flamingo House is for sale, thinking it would be a great place to ride from. Nice club house. If only we had a spare $899k lying around.
Yes, as Kevin and I passed the Flamingo House (or what’s left of it, as there are only a couple of Flamingos remaining) on yesterday’s traditional Sunday romp (Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas) we saw that it was for sale. And such a deal, just $899k!!! Looks like one of the few properties that hasn’t massively appreciated since being purchased though; in 2005, the current owners bought it for $765k in 2005. An appreciation of just 17% in 13 years, a time in which most properties likely gone up 100%? I blame it on the removal of the Flamingos. Nobody ever did a Flamingo census, far as I know, but estimates suggest that they peaked at around 200. So aggressive they were often seen down in the creek, possibly feasting on Alligator carcasses? There’s got to be a reason we’ve never seen Alligators in that creek.

Ride details- Kevin was feeling like he was going to throw up when climbing Old LaHonda, not because he was riding hard, just because he wasn’t feeling well. Wish I could climb Old LaHonda in just over 20 minutes on a day I felt sick! I arrived at the top about 2.5 minutes later; there’s definitely an issue for me needing more time to warm up, while Kevin can just go from the gun. West Old LaHonda still has quite a bit of gravel so don’t think about descending it too quickly, but it’s safe on a normal road bike. Just check your tires for nicks & cuts afterward. We did see a guy climbing West Old LaHonda pretty quickly and smiling, which got me to thinking he must be on an e-bike. Kevin confirmed that was the case. West Old LaHonda is getting a lot of e-bike sightings these days!

Haskins? Kevin was pushing, and I was holding on fairly well, although I was coming close to falling off just prior to the top. It took a lot to hang on, but I knew, if I could just hold on another 100 meters or so, Kevin would slack off a bit, and sure enough, he did. My Strava time of 9:40 for that segment is my fastest since 2015 so I’m good with that. For reasons I don’t quite get, Haskins and Stage remain the two climbs where I can still keep up with Kevin and, once in a blue moon, do a tiny bit better. Probably because, if Kevin’s having a bad day, he wears it on his sleeve. If I’m having a bad day, I just push through until I’m dead. And I’m not dead yet.

Pescadero- much busier than we expected! Likely due to the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay. And… no acceptable cookies. Kevin’s not a fan of the white chocolate & cranberry, the only type available, but settled for a Raspberry Crescent which, he said, is the pastry he chose on his first stop in Pescadero quite some time ago. Out of Coke too (unless you count Diet Coke, which we don’t).

Stage Road was breezy but not rudely so, despite early flags suggesting otherwise. Tunitas? We took it pretty easy on the run-in to the base, but I pushed pretty hard on the infamous “Hammer of Thor” section. I was just barely able to keep Kevin in sight at the end, and finished about a minute behind him. Had I known I was that close, I might have buried myself trying to catch him. Darn!

The good news is that, once over Haskins, Kevin felt like his regular self again, even telling me how much he hated the fact that Dad was right, again, how after you start riding for a bit, things do get better. Still works that way for me.