All posts by Mike

Breakfast in America

Breakfast at Alice’s in Sky L’onda.
We normally have a breakfast ride to Alice’s for Kevin’s birthday (the younger Kevin, not the older guy who likely doesn’t look forward to birthdays anymore), but last Thursday was both his birthday AND Thanksgiving, so we postponed it to today. We got the word out to the former regulars, but the fog and work commitments kept everyone away. Everyone except the older Kevin, who had started up the hill several minutes earlier than us and circled back down once he got to the top.

He really didn’t need to head up earlier. We are going SLOW these days when it’s cold, and it’s pretty much always cold. The sub-30-minute times we could routinely get during the summer (and Kevin could sometimes do much better than “just” sub-30) have turned into 34-37 minute casual cruises, slow enough that even I can carry on a conversation. Sometimes.

We did get passed at the bottom of Kings by someone who was really flying; I joked that we could cut him off by riding through the park. Like I said, it was a joke.

At Alice’s we met the owner and heard about the history of the place, and learned that the pond behind Alice’s was actually a mill pond from back in the day, making railroad ties for the long-abandoned line that ran, for a few years, from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. Older Kevin (pilot) didn’t actually join us for breakfast; he rode the West Old LaHonda loop while we ordered our food, and arrived back in time to keep us company while we scarfed down the healthy stuff you see in the photos.

Some days you think about turning around, but you don’t, and it does get better

It gets better unless you don’t have any brakes descending 84, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Not such a bad morning to ride. Wet roads but it wasn’t raining, and the temps weren’t too bad (lowest was 42 I think?). I’d gotten a text message from older Kevin saying he was heading up the hill “early” and couldn’t quite figure out what that meant. But one thing the other Kevin and I did know… we weren’t feeling like we’d be in chase mode trying to catch someone who started out ahead of us!

Yes, it was a really slow pace up the hill. Actually slower at the start I think; I finally found my legs maybe 2/3rds of the way up Kings. But not before I considered turning back a couple times. Just did not seem like climbing Kings was what I wanted to do. Which, of course, is exactly why I needed to do it. Just past that 2/3rds point, older Kevin was riding back down Kings towards us. Thankfully, he wasn’t feeling any faster!

OK, the brakes. On younger Kevin’s bike, he hadn’t bothered to check the adjustment on his disc brakes, and by the final descent, he was squeezing both levers all the way to the bar and just barely able to keep his speed down. But just barely was good enough to get to the bottom where we stopped and I readjusted them to compensate for wear, and all was good.