Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Very disappointed; not much rain for test of new bike!

disappointing

Somehow I doubt too many will relate to this. The idea that I’m frequently disappointed because a “big storm” is forecast for my morning ride, but all it ends up being is a light drizzle. This morning was especially disappointing because I was putting my new “rain bike” to its first real test. I normally don’t even ride on Friday mornings, but thought this was going to be an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Sure, it was wet out there, sure, the roads were probably pretty slippery for those with the wrong tires. But if it’s going to be wet out there, it really doesn’t make much difference whether it’s pouring cats & dogs or just a light drizzle. Your clothes get wet, your bike gets wet & possibly muddy. Same thing either way. But if you go out in an epic storm, you get street cred. People are impressed (by a combination of tenacity and stupidity that they’re frankly thankful they don’t share). Plus, if it’s really dumping, your bike usually comes back pretty clean. Light drizzle and everything’s a mess.

It was just a short ride anyway; quick run up Old LaHonda and back into Woodside via 84. The new bike passed every test with flying colors (well, almost… the fit still needs to be dialed in a bit, mostly the bar height, which needs to come down). The now-severely-aged Dura Ace 10-speed Di2 (first generation) that I rescued from my old bike, with 32,000+ miles on it… still works great. And I can’t say enough about disc brakes in the rain! They were everything I’d hoped for, and more. No lag time, waiting for the muck to clear off your rims before your brakes decide to try and slow you down. Extremely predictable force (easy to get used to). Consider me impressed!

new_rainbikeNow, would I consider disc brakes for a bike normally not ridden in the rain? No. I have all the stopping power I need from my rim brakes, and that dry stopping power of a rim vs disc brake isn’t much different, if at all. Plus the extra weight of a disc brake, and finally, the annoyance of a bit of pad drag on the rotor (noise, which tries to convince you that you’re wasting a lot of effort, which you aren’t).

Two big thumbs up for disc brakes in the wet, two thumbs down for the reliability of the weather service for predicting “big” storms. Of course, as I type this, at 5pm, it’s pretty nasty outside. Wish I was out there riding in it! Go figure.

 

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Mammoth down on Pescadero Road!

Hard to believe the storm of the decade was just a few days ago!
Hard to believe the storm of the decade was just a few days ago!

The scale wasn’t telling a very pleasant tale after not having ridden since December 4th (that and finding the food in Peru to be very much to my liking!). No question, this was not going to be a fast ride! But that worked out well since we had Alec (from our Redwood City store) along with us, and Alec doesn’t have too many miles yet. Plus he’s a nice guy and fun to talk with, all of which works for a more social-paced event.

Of course, it had to be the usual. Coastal classic, once again. Up Old LaHonda, down the other side, past the duck pond in LaHonda, over Haskins to Pescadero, Stage Road to Tunitas and over the hill home.

Fallen Mammoth on Pescadero Road
Fallen Mammoth on Pescadero Road
Met up with Laura Stern on the way up Old LaHonda, which kinda killed the idea of taking things really easy (for both of us; there are some people, like Laura and I, that find it difficult to just ride easy when you come across each other. It’s not a competitive thing, just something happens where you just can’t ride too slowly, maybe it’s a respect thing?). Still, Kevin and Alec came up very shortly afterward.

We did make one unscheduled stop, to take pictures of the fallen-over mammoth at the farm on the left, a couple miles before Pescadero. There’s actually two giant prehistoric iron replicas in the field, but the triceratops, closer to the road, has never lost a battle. Only the mammoth has been seen to fall over after a heavy rain. After that came the mandatory stop at the Pescadero Bakery, although just for cokes this time, as we’d eaten far too much before starting the ride, thanks to using the Woodside Bakery as the designated meeting place.

Don't worry, we normally don't ride 5 abreast; this was for the photo
Don’t worry, we normally don’t ride 5 abreast; this was for the photo

Heading north on Stage we became a larger group as we came across Linda Jackson, President and founder of the women’s Tibco racing team. Thankfully, she, too, was riding at a social pace today! We even had one of those rare days without a headwind on Stage Road. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Tunitas? That was to be the star attraction of today’s ride, getting to see (and hear) water actually running in the creek again, and it didn’t disappoint. No speed records today; it might have been possible to get under an hour from the coast, but that would have been pushing Alec just a bit too hard.

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