All posts by Mike

Back to an almost-normal Sunday ride

img_1251_dxo1200Finally, a “regular” Sunday ride again! Nice weather, no health dramas, and who knows how many more days this nice we’ll have?

Kevin and I had actually planned to do this ride last Sunday, but for some reason or other he wasn’t able to ride (wouldn’t be too hard to look at last Sunday’s ride entry to figure it out). Up Old LaHonda (like nearly every Sunday ride), out to the coast via La Honda & San Gregorio, then south on Stage Road… hoping to catch favorable winds this way! Lunch in Pescadero, then back via Haskins (the hard way) and finally the “kicker”- West Alpine up to Skyline.

Old LaHonda… didn’t feel like either of us had legs yet. 25-something, which is fine for a casual pace. We came across quite a few first-timers on the way up; one set was happy that I was providing encouragement, telling them the hard part was behind them (actually the truth!), while everyone else had apparently convinced them the climb was endless.

As previously mentioned, I was really hoping for favorable winds, with the offshore-flow giving us tailwinds on the long haul to the coast. Didn’t work that way! Kevin gamely pulled the first half while I took over for the final part. That’s the only way it can work out (Kevin pulling first); he can go full-gas right from the gun, while it takes me at least an hour to get everything in gear. But hey, at least once on Stage, we’d have a tailwind, right? Not today. Not only that, but on the last climb & descent into Pescadero, they’d laid down more gravel. Not enough to make it dangerous to ride, but definitely meant you weren’t going to have much fun descending.

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I suppose the biggest insult was the lack of “real” cookies at the Pescadero Bakery! Very slim pickings today; there was signage for both oatmeal/raisin and butterscotch chip, but all they had were substandard-sized oatmeal/raisin. Great sandwich though. I’d hoped that the sandwich, kevin’s cookie, my berry straddle and a coke would provide the fuel we’d need for the rest of the trip, but it never really seemed to kick in.

Climbing the west side of Haskins is rarely fun and today was no exception. Sure, it’s nice being able to keep up with Kevin (possible to do because he’s missed quite a few rides over the past month), but it’s a bit sad to see him struggling a bit instead of sticking it to me. Even if he was at the top of his game, it’s still the case that I get stronger as the miles and climbs pile up. Not strong enough, but stronger. One of the few advantages for the more-experienced (older) cyclist.

West Alpine. Ouch. Slow, steady, methodical. OK, let’s just take the second two. Steady & methodical. That sounds a lot better, and it technically accurate, even without including “slow.” So that’s what I’ll go with. The climb up West Alpine was steady & methodical. About 52 minutes to the top, maybe 8 minutes slower than something really respectable. Today, that was fine.

Overall 67 pretty high-quality miles on a very nice day, leaving both Kevin and I with very tired legs. As they should be after a Sunday ride!

Feeling a bit unsettled?

Warm one weekend, cold(er) the next. Not that long ago no leg warmers, no base layers. This morning it was base layer, leg warmers and long-fingered gloves. Looks like mid-80s for the weekend. Next Wednesday and Friday show showers in the forecast.

The only thing more uneven than the weather has been how I’ve been feeling on rides, and I’m pretty sure they’re related. Doesn’t really matter; I enjoy riding even on the “bad” days. It’s one of those few things you can count on; it might not feel great when climbing Kings and others are riding away from you, but once you get on top it’s all good, the tough part behind, good times ahead. And when you get back and suddenly feel pretty darned hungry, well, you’ve got good reason to feel that way.

But I miss Summer. Already.