All posts by Mike

Too ugly for pictures

What happened this morning? Good question. I was down about 30 watts on Kings. By the time I made it through the park, I was wondering what it is I enjoy about climbing. What? Me? I even considered heading back down the hill, and maybe catching back up to the group by climbing up the much-easier 84 and then north on Skyline to the intercept.

But of course I didn’t do that, partly because nobody would know that I’d done that; they’d get to the top and get concerned about where I was. I guess that made this one of those rides that “builds character.” I didn’t want more character though. I wanted a motor! I wanted that motor I used to feel on a climb, the way, on rare days, where it feels, er I mean felt like, you could just twist a throttle and go faster.

I did get to the top of Kings, where Eric, Kevin, Karen, MarkP & Marcus were waiting. Actually, Eric and MarkP had reversed course for a bit on the climb, making sure I was still alive, before continuing back up. The rest of the ride went much better; I can suck the wheel in front of me like a pro.

I’ll get better soon. I’ll lose a few pounds as it gets warmer, and I’ll work on changing the timing of my Raynauds meds a bit. And maybe finally get desperate enough to do something about the lungs. Then, watch out. I’ll be back. I hope anyway!

Why did I move on from something that worked?

A beautiful February morning on West Old LaHonda
A beautiful February morning on West Old LaHonda
Another nice morning, another day I’m lagging on the climbs. Marcus, both Kevins, MarkP, Karl, Karen & Eric showed up this morning. Younger Kevin, for reasons never explained, quickly rode off the front, well before Kings, not to be seen again until the top. Rumor has it he actually said hi the many other riders he passed on his way up (our group isn’t anti-social but tend to be overly-focused on the task at hand, which is something I’ve been working on for many years).

But today wasn’t about the climbs. Today was about getting to sprint again. Dry roads for the first time in a while, and I felt like having a go at it. The Sky Londa sprint couldn’t have been set up better for me; older Kevin leading out on the descent, Karl coming around older Kevin, and at just the right time I come around Karl. Way too easy, just like the old days. Had me wondering just how long it’s been since I contested a sprint? A very long time. Why? Good question.

All I know is that, later in the day, it felt really, really good when climbing the stairs at the shop and having my legs talk to me. Hadn’t felt that in ages. There’s nothing quite like going all-out in a sprint to toast your legs. Well actually, there is. Going all-out on a climb. But since that’s not in the cards anymore, sprinting will have to do.

It would be nice if I could contest all three sprints (Sky Londa, top of West Old LaHonda and Albion) but the fast guys (and girl) were way ahead of me by the end of West Old LaHonda, so I had to settle for two. Unfortunately, Karl let way too big a gap open up between himself and younger Kevin, so there was no way 911 watts was going to get to him. Maybe Thursday.