All posts by Mike

Beautiful day for the TurkeyDay trot

What a difference a few days makes. The top photo is from today’s ride; the smaller photo on the right is last Sunday. But while it was bright & sunny, the sun wasn’t working all that well.

6 showed up for the ride today; Kevin, Kevin, Karen, Dave & I think the other guy was another Mike? Plus me of course. This was a significant ride for younger Kevin; his first “full” Sunday ride in quite a few months I think? He hasn’t been to Pescadero in ages. Between his knee, and sometimes just not feeling too lively, he just hasn’t had it in him for the “usual” Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas ride. But a couple days ago, he said this was it, we were going to be doing the traditional Turkey Day ride, and have tacos at the Pescadero gas station.

I was initially worried that we’d overdressed; base layer, jersey/jacket, heaviest long-finger gloves. Need not have worried! When we met everyone at the base of Old LaHonda, it was 34.5 degrees. Got up to a nice toasty 41 at the top and stayed there, and probably could have been OK even if a bit cooler because, while we’d taken it pretty easy up Old LaHonda, the pace picked up a bit on Haskins. Dropping to 36 in that valley after you pass through Loma Mar, but with Dave & Kevin pushing the pace at the front, we all stayed pretty warm just trying to stay on their wheels. Normally I’d feel bad, sitting back while being pulled entirely by just two people, but I was more concerned about keeping an eye on (younger) Kevin, making sure he was doing OK.

So where do you get food in Pescadero on a holiday? The gas station, of course! It’s a well-known secret they serve great tacos there. Usually I go for fish, but today I went with Carnitas, same as Kevin. Along with a Mexican Coke (real sugar). Make sure you bring cash as they don’t take credit cards. Very tasty sauce. We each had two; I think I would have been better with just one, as I felt more than a bit bogged down for a while. I was hoping they’d kick in by the time we got to Tunitas and maybe, for me, they did.

Stiff headwinds on Stage Road but again, we had others to share the load! Things picked up a bit on the Stage Road bumps; at one point Kevin had to stop to take care of something (don’t recall what) so I dropped back with him and… that was the last we saw of the group until the Bike Hut. By now Kevin (younger Kevin) was beginning to show the effects of the “extra” miles on this ride, but he hung on until Tunitas started tilting steeply upward and… that was that. It was a pretty easy pace (for me, not for Kevin) up Tunitas, and he was making it pretty clear that it’s not one of his favorite climbs (that title goes to West Alpine). I went along with it, but truthfully, when Kevin was flying up the hills not that long ago, I don’t think there really was a climb he didn’t like. It’s not going to be too long before he’s at that point again.
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The coast is not clear, it’s not warm, but y’know, it’s still nice you can ride to it

I waited… and waited… and waited. I really didn’t want to ride alone, but by 12:30 it was pretty apparent Kevin’s stomach wasn’t going to allow him to ride. Think Greg LeMond’s “bad peach” story. So I finally left the house just past 1pm, chasing the sun.

I would so love to do the regular Pescadero loop again, but a bit late for that, and solo is kind of a tough haul. Nicer to have company when possible, so your mind doesn’t have the opportunity to run through dark stuff (and with Covid-19 running us ragged at the shop, plus the move, plus having just replaced a furnace, then a dishwasher that rats ruined by eating through the water pipes, lots of dark opportunities!). But you do what you have to do, and with just me, it was an opportunity to ride up Old LaHonda a bit faster than has been the case lately, as I’ve had to hold back for Kevin. It’s a lot nicer climbing at 23:20 than 26 or even 30 minutes. You get a chance to blow out the cobwebs and actually get a bit sore from the effort.

Got passed by one guy on the way up while passing quite a few others. Not huge numbers out there, but that was probably the time of day. It was actually pretty nice, staying in the mid-50s to low-60s until I got over the top of the hill. Surprisingly cooler on the ocean side, which is not the norm for winter. Of course, it’s not actually winter yet; just feels like it since we exited “summer” just a few weeks ago.

West Old LaHonda as pretty as ever. I stopped for the obligatory photo but it’s kind of silly posting another one here. Not like there haven’t been hundreds of others! Oh heck, here it is anyway. Nearly every Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride seems to have one.

A bit of a headwind going out to the coast; what keeps you going is thinking about the tailwind heading back on the flatter part of Tunitas. I stopped to take photos of the Llamas that reside a few miles west of LaHonda, and watched as a guy who’d apparently been behind me for a bit went riding on. And I’m thinking, chase him down or take it easy? Taking it easy generally isn’t an option for me, but geez, chasing down a guy with fenders and a really monstrous front handlebar bag? Like that should be an effort? But it was. He was pretty strong. No conversation; as soon as I pulled alongside, he put on a mask and disappeared.

Stage Road up to Highway 1 was lonely. It’s a lot more fun when there are others out there in front of you, but not today. Did play cat-and-mouse (or leapfrog) with one guy on Tunitas though, as I stopped twice, once to water the plants, and the second to fiddle with my phone. With a couple of stops I was still in the 55 minute range up Tunitas, faster than the last time, without stops, with Kevin. It’s been a long, a very long time, since I’ve looked forward to him riding stronger than me again! But he’s got to get back in shape. He might be in one of those downward spirals where you don’t feel so great so you ride less strongly (and less often), which causes you to feel even worse, a cycle that can only repeat a few times before you’re wondering what it was like to feel strong like you used to. Hate that. I know it too well, although for me, that spiral can take place in a very short period of time, just a couple weeks. For Kevin, there’s not even a dent in his shape for a good two week, sometimes even longer, of lower activity.