All posts by Mike

The kid has limits

Not all tandems are fast on climbs. This one was!
Four weeks off the bike for Kevin after his busted arm and sure, we wondered how he’d do once he was back in the saddle. I was actually pretty predictable.

Old LaHonda? We took it easy, probably mostly because it takes me a while to get warmed up these days (apparently warm weather has little to do with the amount of time it takes me to start feeling like I want to attack a climb, since it was certainly warm today!), and Kevin really didn’t have his legs back quite yet. He still likely could have dropped me though. He started feeling better as the ride went on though. But even on Haskins, we were still riding at a pretty easy pace. He only started getting his legs back around the time we got to Pescadero.

NO COOKIES IN PESCADERO!!! I don’t know if that’s ever happened before. Shocking not to have a cookie face test. Somehow we survived.

The first Stage Road climb went fairly well, with no fear of being caught as the only bike we could see behind us, well down the hill, was a tandem. Tandems don’t climb very well. Usually. On the second, steeper climb, that tandem looked to be making some ground on us. ???!!! We stayed ahead of it, just barely, until the final Stage Road climb out of San Gregorio. No wonder it was fast. Ted Huang on the front, Christine Thorburn-Huang on the back. We’re talking championship pedigree here! Hanging onto their wheel going up that last Stage climb was probably what pushed Kevin over the edge; by the time we got to Tunitas he’d developed quite a nose bleed and was running out of gas.

We actually stopped at the Bike Hut so Kevin could attend to his nose before continuing on up Tunitas. This was just climbing a hill, going through the motions for Kevin, getting to the top as painlessly as possible. I get stronger as the ride goes on, even if I’m not on top of my game, but that seems to be something more common in older, er I mean, more-experienced cyclists, than those younger. But he made it back, and I have no doubt that on Tuesday I’m going to lose sight of him on Kings as he climbs away from me.

Yes, I’ve been riding, just not writing

Yes, I’m actually two rides behind. Well, no, I’m behind in reporting the two rides. No matter how crazy things get, I’m going to find a way to ride, but maybe not get a chance to write about them as quickly as I should. The closing of our Los Altos location in a couple of weeks has definitely been weighing heavily on my time.

Tuesday morning it was just two of my, myself and JR, and thank goodness JR showed because I don’t know if I could have gotten up the hill without him pacing me. It was one of those “high gravity” mornings, but somehow he got me to the top in just under 30 minutes. I would have guessed it was going to take 33 or 34. Beautiful up on Skyline, as you can see in the picture.

Thursday? Thursday I show up and nobody’s there. Just me! I dutifully left on-time and began climbing through the park, which, for the first time in ages, had the gate closed at the bottom. I’d like to think that added a few minutes to my time, but maybe 10 or 15 seconds would be the most. I kept plugging away at a moderate pace and was surprised, just over halfway up, to see a group of 4 cyclists ahead of me. I was very, very slowly gaining time on them, finally catching up just before the big open clearing. Turned out to be JR, Scotty, Ben (I think?) and another guy new to the ride, although since they’d left a bit earlier, not sure if it was them on my ride, or me on theirs.

Skyline was not so pretty on Thursday, just really wet. Fortunately not too cold, since none of us were wearing leg warmers or long-fingered gloves, but it was a far cry from the heat of last weekend. And the West Old LaHonda concrete barriers? Still there.

Friday morning (technically it already is Friday morning as I write this) will be different than it’s been for the past 4 months… no blood test! I’m now on a monthly schedule, which I’ll take as an indication my doctor isn’t too worried about me. The other good news is that my son Kevin finally got the OK to ride again, so he’ll be back out there Sunday, making the Pescadero run for the first time in a month. And even though he hasn’t been on a bike in that long, he’ll still be faster than me on the climbs. Sigh.