Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

Ride reports for everything *but* the Tuesday-Thursday morning ride

November in California, a pretty awesome time to ride

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It wasn’t going to be an easy ride for Kevin; the past couple weeks he’s had colds, kidney issues, and, while I was off in Africa and he should have been riding… long story short, about three weeks since he’d done a “real” ride. That plus I got a nasty cold that peaked yesterday but I’m still dealing with it today (Kevin’s finally getting over it), so sure, it wasn’t the fastest “coastal classic” ever, but it was up there with the better ones. Gorgeous weather; really clear, temps from about 47 up to 63 (warmer out on the coast, which is pretty normal this time of year). Easy to dress for- just regular stuff plus a light baselayer and leg warmers. We brought along long-fingered gloves, just in case, but didn’t need them.

Less than an hour from home and I've got roads like this to ride..
Less than an hour from home and I’ve got roads like this to ride..

Lots of people out there. In Woodside, up Old LaHonda, even a fair number on the “other side” (west of Skyline). Easy enough pace up Old LaHonda that two people passed us (at 23:30 it was surprising it wasn’t more!). The Duck Pond in LaHonda still needs water but at least it’s surrounded by green, not brown. And it’s always around that area that you realize it’s going to be a good ride, no matter how you felt before. Not that we rode too quickly up Haskins, but the pace felt good, not really fast, but not sluggish. Good. Sometimes “good” is a pretty great feeling.

Click for a larger view of the strange cloud formation. Maybe you had to be there...
Click for a larger view of the strange cloud formation. Maybe you had to be there…

The usual stop in Pescadero for a sandwich and a coke, where we were kept company by a black cat we haven’t seen before, and looked up into the sky to see an unusual cloud formation where everything seemed to be flowing west from a central point, radiating outward. As if the center of the universe was just over our heads. Yeah, I notice strange things sometimes! But check out the photo and see what you think.

Heading north on Stage Road was the usual headwind slog for the first part, but thankfully, there’s no longer any relevance to the warnings about loose gravel.

No rush on Tunitas today, but there was some incentive to keep the pace up a bit when we came across some other unexpectedly-fast cyclists and, you know the rules, if you pass someone, you have to stay ahead of them!

So we arrived home feeling pretty good about a ride where there was some concern we’d feel pretty bad. Not that that’s every actually happened though; that’s one of the amazing things about riding a bike. You almost always feel better as it goes along. –Mike–

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Chasing the Sun solo ride (kidney issues for Kevin again)

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This could pass for a road in France! Fortunately, Higgins Purissima doesn’t require traveling 12 hours in a metal tube with bad air to ride it.

It was supposed to be the usual Sunday ride out to the coast with my son, maybe with West Alpine thrown in at the end. Didn’t work out; Kevin’s getting kidney pain again and instead of riding got to spend 4 or 5 hours at Kaiser. It was after 1pm by the time I finally got out on the road, which meant I’d be chasing the sun, trying to get in a good ride with very limited time. No biggie; I had two flashing tail lights, and, believe it or not, three headlights. Two meant for flashing mode and a super-bright Bontrager Ion 700 that can light up the road if it got seriously dark.

Beautiful view from a high point on Higgins Purissima, looking out towards the coast and the valley below
Beautiful view from a high point on Higgins Purissima, looking out towards the coast and the valley below

The most-unusual aspect of this ride was that I didn’t know where I was going. I wanted to do something a bit different, but what? Well, it’s like this. Virtually every single ride I do heads up over Jefferson and turns left on Canada. All of them. Whether it’s a ride to the coast, to Santa Cruz, up Kings, or south through the foothills. They all turn left on Canada. Today, I turned right. Headed north on Canada Road, the “Bicycle Sunday” route, then over to the coast via 92 to Half Moon Bay. What, you’re thinking it’s crazy to ride 92, that’s it way too busy? Well yeah, that’s hard to dispute. It is really busy, which mostly means noisy. Really noisy. But I’d wouldn’t call it unsafe, if you’re an experienced cyclist that can put some watts into the cranks when needed.

Looking up to Skyline from the coast
Looking up to Skyline from the coast

I passed on the coffee shop/cafe in Half Moon Bay that cyclists generally stop at, because, as I said, I was racing the sun. I headed up Higgins Purissima, discovering that it’s gotten a lot steeper since I last rode it! Where did that long climb come from??? Strava tells the story; I’ve only ridden it three times in modern history, in 2008, 2010 and today. 2008 would have been the last year I did many rides without Kevin, so it’s gratifying to see that I was actually faster today than I was then. But that’s not totally surprising because I was pushing it pretty much the whole time, stopping briefly only a couple times to take pictures.

After Higgins Purissima I looped up the Lobitos Creek cut-off to Tunitas, and then, instead of climbing back up to Skyline like you’d expect, I rode out to the coast and back home via San Gregorio (84) and West Old LaHonda. 57.5 miles (which happens to be exactly the same as the usual Pescadero/Tunitas loop), a lot of roads less-traveled, and at the end, my legs telling me that I rode. Doesn’t get much better.

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