It was Kevin’s first ride in… three weeks? More? I don’t think he even remembers. He didn’t ride when my wife and I were in Israel, then a girlfriend gig, then something else I don’t remember. But finally got him out there this morning, and talk about a cold-turkey reintro to cycling! It was cold… 32 in Woodside. He was having issues with his epilepsy meds creating balance/vision issues on the climb.
And… it was slow. I mean really slow. 40 minutes slow up Kings. How can you even ride that slow? At that speed it seems like everything around you is so much bigger than life, and you’re not making things happen, you’re waiting for them.
That picture, taken at the top of Kings. I wasn’t even thinking about it thematically when I took it, but pulling it up on the phone, enlarging it, filling the screen with just Kevin with tall trees around him… there it was. Small & inconsequential. Once in a while I think it’s OK to feel like that, to be a bit player in a grand scene instead of trying to make a difference.
By the time we got to Sky L’onda we should have already finished the West Old LaHonda loop. We. Were. That. Slow. No chance of riding that section today, especially since Kevin had to stop at the restroom at Alice’s to get rid of a bad peach (an old Greg LeMond reference about a stage in the ‘Tour where he had a pretty bad attack of the runs).
There was a chance this ride wasn’t going to come off at all, and sometimes, those are the rides that just absolutely have to happen. Last night (this morning?) I was with my mom at Kaiser from about 11:30pm until 3:30am. Her husband (not my dad; he passed away 32 years ago, and mom remarried 8 years ago I think?) was having some issues that might be rooted in a lung infection that somehow causes disorientation and a degree of dementia. Weird stuff to be sure. He’ll be in the hospital for a few days but should be ok. Safe to say I slept in a bit this morning, and upon waking up, had more issues to deal with regarding mom and her husband.
I was close to giving up on the idea of riding, thinking why bother? And then… do you really want to start out the first week of the new year like that? No way. Riding out to the coast wasn’t going to happen, especially solo (my son had a nasty cold and, unlike me, if he feels miserable he doesn’t ride), but so what? You can still have fun. I seriously didn’t think I was going to have fun, doing a modified version of “the loop”, but I did. Got out there and my legs actually wanted to work! I figured two hours on the bike, nothing too challenging, but heading through Portola Valley I got thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve been up Alpine and “walking” Joaquim. What the heck. Go for it. And I did. Alpine felt great. I was able to push hard the whole way. Joaquim? Ouch. Any climb where I have no choice but to use my lowest gear isn’t fun. Doesn’t happen often. Really not at all. Except Joaquim. Maybe if I wasn’t pushing myself so hard before I got to it? But you still have that wicked downhill to look forward to.
The fun continued on Arastradero; I was still find I could push my legs harder than expected. It was fun. Nice day to be out on a bike.