Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Ride support early, followed by “uneven” ride to the coast

Kevin and I started out the day doing ride support for the Foster City Community annual bike ride. Look closely at the fork on the kid's bike and you'll see it's backward...
Kevin and I started out the day doing ride support for the Foster City Community annual bike ride. Look closely at the fork on the kid’s bike and you’ll see it’s backward…
The "after" photo, with fork properly oriented.
The “after” photo, with fork properly oriented.

It was a longer day than most, starting out with our annual tire-pumping ritual at the Foster City Community Bike Ride. We’ve done this for a few years… it’s not technically difficult, but you do get a workout inflating a zillion bikes that arrive with very low air pressure. If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see the fork on the kid’s bike is reversed. This is not unusual for department-store bikes but creates serious handling issues (meaning, simply, the bike is dangerous to ride). Fortunately, an easy-enough fix for us.

Our tire inflation duties ended about 10:30 or so, just in time for an afternoon ride during the heat of the day. It was supposed to be the usual coast run, finishing up Tunitas, but Kevin was getting some flank pain again (kidney stone stuff) so by the time we arrived in Pescadero, he wasn’t in great shape. Better shape than one of the markets in Pescadero though, which had burned down early this morning.

The burned-out shell of the market in Pescadero
The burned-out shell of the market in Pescadero

We rode very, very slowly along Stage Road and then headed up 84 instead of continuing to Tunitas, calling for Sag Support (his sister) to meet him in LaHonda to give him a ride the rest of the way home. That left me free to hammer the rest of the way, up the relatively-shallow grade back to Skyline. I’ve really got to put that Strava segment onto my Garmin, because this is the second time in a few weeks where I’ve missed out on my best time (on that segment) by just a few seconds. Curiously, when I looked up my fastest time on that segment, it was also on a day that Kevin had to get sagged out in LaHonda, back in 2013.

Hot? Sure, it got up to about 90 at one point, upper-80s most of the time. I prefer it cooler, but I ride better when it’s in this temperature range.

The next few days won’t involve any bike riding; time to head to Las Vegas for the Interbike trade show. I’ll be around bikes, just not riding them. Hate that.

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I am so powerful rear cogs snap under the load!

Dura Ace 11-28 cassette failure stops me cold while climbing West Alpine.
Dura Ace 11-28 cassette failure stops me cold while climbing West Alpine.
The ride was screwy before it started; one of those mornings where I tried to wait out Kevin’s kidney pain (which, this time, turned out with near-100%-certainty to actually be a kidney stone, since he later expelled one), eventually figuring out he wasn’t going to end up riding at all. By that time I’d already decided to abbreviate the original ride, settling for something short & sweet… over Old LaHonda to LaHonda and up West Alpine.

I took it easy up Old LaHonda, hoping I’d be warmed up and feeling good by the time I hit West Alpine. In fact, I did. I hit the “Bridge of Death” at almost exactly 6 minutes, which is where you need to be for a decent time up the hill. Funny thing just a couple minutes earlier though; the pedals seemed to slip forward a bit on one of the small climbs on the pretty-flat lead-in to the climb. Well, just a minute or so up the real climb, right as it’s getting steep, and bam, the bike pretty much went out from under me. Loud noises from the drivetrain. Pedals turning but bike not moving. The photo above tells the story. The #7 cog (counted from the bottom-up) had broken apart. Same thing that had happened to the same cog on the same brand & model cassette last December. Almost in the same place too!

No choice but to turn back, because no way could I climb West Alpine without use of the larger cogs (in fact, the broken cog had messed up the #6 position as well), so I turned back and rode up the easy grade offered by highway 84 back up to Skyline. Just 38 miles, no epic climbing, but I did have some fun climbing up 84 with a tail wind! –MikeJ–

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