Category Archives: Personal stuff

A meandering missive on Bike To Work Day

"Downtown Improvement Project" off West Old LaHonda
“Downtown Improvement Project” off West Old LaHonda
The final climb to Skyline on West Old LaHonda is *so* much harder than it looks!
The final climb to Skyline on West Old LaHonda is *so* much harder than it looks!

Every day should be like today. It’s going to rain, that’s a given, but it waits until you finish your morning ride, and your ride to work, before it starts. And then it ends in time for the roads to dry out for your ride home! Is that perfect or what?

It was even a bit warmer this morning; no lower than 41 degrees! Amazing what just a 5 degree difference can make. Not many of us out there to enjoy it though; myself, Kevin and JR. Ah, right, one more person, Tom joined us for the first time in quite a while. Just to the top of Kings (and in enough of a rush to get to work that he had to head right back down Kings, passing JR & I as we were still on the way up).

"Downtown Improvement Project" off West Old LaHonda

Kevin actually pulled for a bit descending 84 west, something rarely seen. West Old LaHonda was a pretty as every single one of the other 663 times Strava says I’ve ridden it since sometime in 2008. That’s actually a pretty amazing thing… 663 times on that segment of road. 663 times I’ve looked forward to “that view.” 663 times I’ve passed that outhouse-like building on the left-hand side of the road with the “Downtown Improvement Project” sign. That comes out to… what do you know, just over 100 times/year, which means I’ve ridden past it twice a week (since the beginning of time as we know it, which goes back to March 23rd, 2008.

Yet another interesting thing to note. Pre-Strava vs Post-Strava. Do the couple hundred thousand miles I rode prior to March 23rd, 2008, count? I’m guessing not. My earliest almost-daily diary entries go back maybe 10 years earlier than that, so maybe I could stretch credibility as far as 1998. I would have been 42 then which, coincidentally, it the answer to Life, The Universe, & Everything. Backing that up is the absolute fact that riding at 42 degrees is comfortable while 41 (and below) is not.

Getting back to the present, Kevin and I celebrated Bike To Work Day by stopping for both donuts and coffee on our ride in to work, arriving a good two hours ahead of the rain. And we’ll be riding home in an hour or so, again, without rain. And without guilt too, since it did rain in the middle of the day.

Random oddness:  A page of quotes reminding me that the movie Buckaroo Bonzai is so much better than most people give credit for.  I’ve always liked that movie, but have had a tough time understanding why. Looking at those quotes, it’s easy to find the answer.

“Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is.”

This is the good life. Now we just have to find some employees so Kevin and I can head to France in a couple of months! I will probably not be the easiest person to get along with come mid-July if I’m climbing Kings instead of Alp D’Huez. :-)

 

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End of an era; RIP Jobst Brandt

Very sad news indeed, hearing of Jobst’s passing. Jobst was something of an institution. I was a source of frustration for him, because he figured I was smart enough and had been around him enough to agree with him on everything, and that surely wasn’t the case! He would admonish people on the strangest of things, including STI shifting. He didn’t think people needed to shift all that often. Not sure what the downside to shifting too often is; maybe all that shifting effort contributed to global warming?

Most of all I remember 100+ mile rides, “Jobst Rides”, through the Santa Cruz mountains. I was 15 at the time, skinny super-climber type, like a number of other young guys on his rides, and sure, we’d get to the top of the climbs ahead of him, but he was a diesel, he just never slowed down, and mile 95 we’d be heading home on Foothill, into a headwind, all of us strung out behind him, trying to hang onto his wheel. Amazing. We also took our road bikes places where some mountain bikers might fear to tread. It was the early-70s, so no such thing as a mountain bike, just goat paths in the mountains that must be ridden!

Jobst knew all the “safe” places to get water, including this little pipe that dribbled out of the hillside on Mountain Charlie Road. In the distance you could see a house, and when the water slowed to a trickle we’d yell “FLUSH!”

He was also the last person to regularly call me “Jake”, my nickname from the way-back days. I’d be told there was some older cantankerous guy at the shop looking for “Jake”, to the puzzlement of my employees. I always knew who that was.

Jobst gave me the key to the Santa Cruz Mountains. Doing my best to pass that on to my son. RIP old friend.

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