All posts by Mike

Is the “Atmospheric River” finally leaving us?

First time on West Old LaHonda under nice conditions in quite a while!
Yes, we finally got to leave our rain bikes at home! Not that we didn’t end up mistreating our nice bikes (Trek Emondas) pretty badly, with all the water weeping out of the hillsides onto the roads. But it wasn’t falling down from the sky, it wasn’t dark gray when we got up (or returned), and we were able to ride the full 31 miles instead of having to cut things short.

JR, both Kevins and me Thursday morning. We did finally see a small number of other cyclists out there, which was encouraging. And we confirmed that, if we don’t get hit hard by another crazy round of storms, it’s possible our favorite peninsula roads might continue to exist. Yes, lots of small mudslides here & there, and many more trees coming down on their own or being cut down before they can.

Another bright spot is the repair work on 84; instead of one insufferably-long single-lane partial-closure, it’s now split up into two much-shorter segments, each handled by an automated stop light. Total delays of only a couple minutes at each, which seems a lot better than 6 or 7 minutes all at once.

While we might have seen the end of the gnarly rains, it wasn’t just cool this morning, it was COLD. Not epic cold, but gradually dropped from 40 degrees at the base of Kings to a low of 31.6 along a good section of Skyline. We were dressed for it though, so it wasn’t much of an issue for us.

I think it’s time to tell our customers it’s safe to get back on their bikes and ride again. –Mike–

You think THAT’S going to stop us?

One of those times bikes rule, cars drool
If I hear the term “atmospheric river” just one more time…

For once Kevin and I weren’t the only ones out on the road today! Nobody else showed up for our ride, but we did see three others on a morning that wasn’t as bad as forecast, but more menacing than many lately where cyclists had all stayed home and ridden on Zwift Island. Except us, of course.

Kings is holding up pretty darned well. I think most of the “easy” stuff has already come down. We noticed maybe one new small slide, nothing too big. I did stop and move a rock off the road again, this time within view of a passing motorist who rolled down the window to say thanks. Wonder if he’d seen the anti-bike stuff in the on-line Almanac a couple weeks ago, where I’d mentioned in my response that I stop and move rocks out of the car lane? Yes, I really do that.

Because overnight reports had 84 completely closed and a supposed blockage of Skyline just south of Swett Road, we did a shortened ride, heading south to Swett Road, hoping to see something gnarly, and then use Swett & Star Hill to get to Tunitas, and ride that back to Skyline. No evidence of any issues until, descending Star Hill towards Tunitas, we came across 5 or 6 cones placed across the road. You know, one of those “none shall pass” warnings. For reasons unknown Kevin actually asked if we should turn around. Umm… like why? It’s not as if there were signs the road was in immediate danger of sliding away, and if there was something ominous ahead, we could simply return the way we came. And of course, there’s a certain amount of excitement not knowing what lies ahead, and whether you could get around it.

The photo at the top tells the story. Nothing terribly exciting, just a mudslide right where Star Hill merges onto Tunitas. No biggee, just hike around the edge and we’re good. Fun watching the very-slow-motion mudslide though!

Heading back down Kings it was time to put on the rain jackets as our luck either ran out or came through for us, depending upon whether rain bothers you or not. We did have one horribly impatient car that thought we shouldn’t be in their way, flying past us with plenty of room but at way too high a speed for conditions. Kevin and I both had the same thought- we wouldn’t have minded seeing a demonstration that air bags actually do prevent serious injury. You can fill in the blanks.

It was heading down Kings that we saw three cyclists coming up (not together), one of whom was without long-sleeve anything or leg warmers. This is where I point out it was, at that time, 40 degrees and raining. Oh yeah, no lights either.

Overall another nice & easy ride in our local rain-soaked mountains. For the most part, our roads are holding up pretty well. And yeah, it was cool having someone in a car thank me for clearing the road of debris.