All posts by Mike

Old friends not forgotten

Over a period of three years or so, the goat in this field and that horse were inseparable, something you could always depend on seeing as you started up Tunitas Creek from the coast.
Over a period of three years or so, the goat in this field and that horse were inseparable, something you could always depend on seeing as you started up Tunitas Creek from the coast.

It’s been several years since the goat in the photo above has been seen, always with the horse nearby. The horse remains but the goat has likely passed on. It was something we always looked forward to seeing, shortly after making the turn off Highway One and starting the eastward run up Tunitas to Skyline.

This comes up because I was thinking the other day about how little has really changed over the past 40+ years I’ve been riding the roads and trails on the SF Peninsula. On the bay side, very different story, as traffic has increased exponentially, high-rises are popping up in the most-unlikely of places (Redwood City???!!!), and the success of firms like Google, Apple & Facebook have driven the cost of housing through the roof. But once you get past that first ridge and into Woodside (and beyond), change is slow-enough to rarely register. But the changes that do register are more… organic? Not sure of the right word. But the missing goat, the removal of the machine-gun man (and woman) sculptures on Stage Road, the Mastadon that frequently loses its footing off Pescadero Road, the remnants of an old barn on West Alpine that have slid a bit further down the hill each year, the removal of the ranger’s house (and coke machine!!!) off Summit Road where Sunnyvale Mountain Park used to be. I’m reminded of the famous quote from Blade Runner-

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain

That last moment, the coke machine at Sunnyvale Mountain Park… just did some research and discovered that it likely disappeared in 1977!

OK, enough reminiscing. Today’s ride report-

Thank goodness it was warmer! A good 10-15 degrees warmer than Tuesday and yes that really makes a difference. For example, I never felt like turning back heading up Kings. In fact, I’d let the two Kevins head on up ahead after we finished the section through the Park, making sure Eric had some company (he’d ridden one of those super-tough climbing centuries in Southern California over the weekend and was still recovering), but found myself able to ride back up to them (the two Kevins) three times (then drifting back to Eric) before reaching my limit.

I would have had some nice photos from the ride except my iPhone really doesn’t like my colder-weather full-fingered gloves. Well that’s not entirely correct; it didn’t like them today. And it didn’t like them today because I’d washed them. This is where it gets kinda gross, but I think slightly-damp glove that haven’t been cleaned for a while are loaded with salt, which helps to create a conductive pathway between your fingers and the screen (iPhones aren’t “touch” sensitive but rather respond to capacitive/electrical changes).

Kevin (my son, not the pilot) suggested that I bring my regular pocket camera, but do I want to carry an extra pound of weight up the hill? But I do often see things that I could easily get pictures of with a “real” camera while the time spent fumbling around trying to safely hold an iPhone while riding, and if I don’t take a photo, did I really see it? Was it really there? Like the coke machine at the former Sunnyvale Mountain Park.

 

Choose your weapon

Top bike is Becky's Domane, middle is my Emonda, and the bottom is Kevin's Madone. Three distinctly-different Trek road bikes. Never really thought about that before. It wasn't intentional that each of us chose a different style of Trek road bike. Just happened.
Top bike is Becky’s Domane, middle is my Emonda, and the bottom is Kevin’s Madone. Three distinctly-different Trek road bikes. Never really thought about that before. It wasn’t intentional that each of us chose a different style of Trek road bike. Just happened.

So Trek has a new marketing campaign, “Choose your weapon!” And I didn’t give it that much thought until taking the picture above, just outside Summit Coffee in Redwood City, on our way to work.

The point is that Trek has all the options any road cyclists needs, sure, I get that but the surprising thing is that the three of us (myself, my daughter Becky and son Kevin) have each chosen a different style of road bike. Becky loves the silky-smooth ride of the Domane, Kevin thinks the aero tubing of the Madone looks fast (and hey, he spent $1300 extra for the fancy flame paint job, so appearances are important to him!) and me? I’m attracted to the Emonda model, which is ridiculously-light and should provide an advantage climbing. I say should, because it’s tough for Trek to make improvements fast enough to offset my decline as I get older. So far, they’ve done a surprisingly-good job. –Mike–

PS: My wife isn’t riding road bikes anymore, but has put her Trek e-bike (electric-assist) to good use, commuting to & from the shop once a week.