I’ve often said winters here are never an excuse for not riding; on any given week, there will be at least a couple nice days to ride. Lately I’ve begun to not believe what I preach as we’ve been hit by storm after storm after storm. My “rain bike” has been getting a workout, to say the least. But not today.
There had been a slight threat of a rogue shower or two, and I could have dealt with that, but none showed up. It was time to get back to my “normal” Sunday ride. First time since January 27th. And, like that ride, this was also solo, as Kevin wasn’t feeling very “up” today (relationship issues). I chased a few people, got caught by a few people, and not-too-spectacularly made my way over Old LaHonda & Haskins to Pescadero. Took a break there for coffee (didn’t mention yet that it wasn’t particularly warm) and an olallieberry struddle and then headed north into a stiff headwind on Stage Road. I’ll admit that I was thinking how much nicer it would be to have Kevin to help pull into the wind, but maybe I needed this. After stopping for a photo close to San Gregorio a couple guys caught up with me and I tried, with success, to hang onto their wheels riding up Stage to Highway 1. They were out having an easy ride, and that “easy” pace was pretty much exactly the max I could coax out of my legs. One of the guys was from Amsterdam and “commutes” to the US on a regular basis. Been doing that for 18 years. Surprising I haven’t come across him before!
I did manage to get my best time on the infamous “Hammer of Thor” section of Tunitas since October, so I was happy for that, and found it just a bit easier to push myself than expected.
Let’s just hope… or at least let’s say I’m hoping… that the worst of the rain is behind us. I know we “need” it, but it’s the most we’ve had in at least three years, and besides the effect on my own riding, it’s not exactly the best thing for sales at a bicycle shop either. 🙂
Sort of a goofy (and cold!) ride, checking out the damage to West Old LaHonda road. As you can see, it’s on the upper section (the forest), less than half a mile from Skyline. A bit more than half the lane had been undermined and was originally hanging mid-air; that has since collapsed. Since there are two saw horses (caution signs) down the hillside, it looks like the collapse continued after the county closed off the road.
The collapse was apparently caused by water eroding around the outside of an under-the-pavement pipe. Repairs to this section could prove difficult as the hillside can’t be cut into as it was further down a few years ago (too steep and likely unstable). Presently the outlook doesn’t look good.
It appears the county did temporarily lay in a new drainage pipe to try and prevent further erosion. Remaining pavement is wide enough for bikes to get through, but there’s no certainty that will continue, or that it couldn’t collapse while transiting it.
I will contact the county to find out what their plans are, as I believe this is a safety issue for cyclists, given that the alternative route up to Skyline is via 84, which has heavy & fast car traffic as well as very narrow and sometimes non-existent shoulders on some of the corners, due to continuing rockslides.
And yes, it was cold out there. Strava says the average was 36, but that doesn’t take into account the 20 minutes or so that it was recording too high because it had been in a relatively-warm garage overnight. Had we left a bit later, it would have been less wet and warmer. By 10am it was not longer raining, or even drizzling, but the roads were a mess so our “rain” bikes were a very good choice. Lowest temp we saw was 31.1 degrees, as we rode from Star Hill to Skyline. It was pretty much right at freezing the entire way along Skyline, warming up to a nice toasty 41 on our return to Woodside. A bit of snow but we were hoping for more. No ice, always a good thing!