Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

A wild windy day on Skyline; the weather will get nicer soon, right?


It was a dark & stormy night… no, not quite, but sure am glad I haven’t bothered to clean my bike for a while. It’s been one damp ride on Skyline after another.

Normally Kevin and I would be doing the Pescadero loop, but the coast looked to be as fogged in as we could visually see on Skyline, so we opted instead for the always-painful loop through the foothills, up Redwood Gulch and return on Skyline. Even with the tailwinds heading towards Los Altos, I wasn’t feeling on top of my game, which was too bad since it would have been a great day to pick up some Strava records.

Kevin had already had enough coffee prior to the ride so we didn’t make the usual stop at the Peet’s close to our former Los Altos location; this would come back to haunt me towards the end of the ride, as I started feeling a bit bonked. But the upside was that I didn’t feel quite as badly as I expected to, heading up Redwood Gulch and Highway 9.

No Mr. Mustard at Saratoga Gap; where has that guy gone? A quick Google search turns up nothing. We wouldn’t have wanted to hang around up there too long though; it was about 42 degrees, foggy and windy. We gamely turned north, heading into gusty sidewinds that made us forget about the fog and cold and focus instead of just holding our lines. The video gives you an idea of what it was like. Some challenges are fun; this one was an ordeal we were happy to be done with once we started heading down 84 into Woodside.

Tomorrow morning I hope to find some answer to better riding through better breathing. New lung test to see how things compare this year to last, and whether there might be something different I can take, for better results. Last years’ efforts got derailed when my bone marrow issue was discovered, but I’m not letting my pulmonologist off the hook that easily! –Mike–

Chris Froome and I have something in common

This morning’s Giro d’Italia stage saw Chris Froome come unglued from the leading riders, watching them ride on ahead while he got to think about the time he’s losing and how to minimize his losses. It was a moment of weakness in a race that, for him, is defined by unusual and difficult scenarios, beginning with the doping issue hanging over his head (he was tested at twice the legal amount of Albuterol during last-summer’s Tour of Spain, as yet unresolved in terms of penalty) plus his goal of winning both the Giro and the Tour de France in the same year. Watching him ride this morning was painful to watch. But he stayed cool and in interviews, talks the long game, knowing that we’re not even halfway through with the biggest climbs ahead, plus a time trial where he’s expected to do very well.

And of course, all his issues started because of a breathing problem. Like me, he uses an Albuterol inhaler before hard physical efforts, to help his lungs work better. But Chris Froome, on his very worst day, can outride me on an e-bike on a great day. Maybe I need to take enough to trigger a positive doping test?

OK, today’s ride- Solo ride as Kevin has recently developed (or re-developed, since this has happened before) a very sore knee. My thinking is that he doesn’t have enough base miles to support the hard-charging hill climbing he’s capable of. I don’t know how he does it; he can skip quite a few rides and still ride very hard & fast up Kings, Old LaHonda, Tunitas, you name it.

It would have been nice to be just a bit warmer and not have to wear a base layer and leg warmers, but really can’t complain too much; it was between 54-64 degrees. No need for long-fingered gloves anyway! West Old LaHonda was too slow to mention and had me wondering if I’d make it back in time for mother’s day dinner. I recovered a bit on Haskins, and arrived in Pescadero feeling pretty good. Mtn Dew and an Ollalieberry Strudel and I was fueled up for the return.

Stage Road… could have been more fun without a tail wind. Why? Because in the Strava era, you can’t waste a tail wind. You have to push and see if you can “accomplish” something. Today, I did. No personal bests, but I did get my 2nd fastest time up the first Stage Road climb.

No Tunitas today; I thought it would be a bit faster taking 84 back. I’m not sure if that’s really the case though. From San Gregorio, it takes just under an hour to get to Skyline via 84, while going by way of Tunitas, it takes… maybe just a few minutes more. And from Tunitas you get dropped off at the base of Kings instead of having to ride from the base of 84. My guess? It might actually be a couple minutes faster via Tunitas.