Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Back to normal!!!! OLH/Pescadero/Tunitas loop

Last time I did the Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop was November 25th, about 6 weeks ago. That’s the last time I did any ride of substance! Then it was off to Morocco for a couple of weeks (no bike), then the plague for a couple of weeks and voila, December was down the tubes. I was just barely back on my bike by January 1st but no way to do the usual Mt Hamilton ride so I just did the local loop. I got a couple of shortened Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides in (skipping the West Old LaHonda part) until, last Thursday, I finally got the full ride in. And then today, finally, a “normal” Sunday ride!

Got to admit I had some fear & trepidation getting ready. Seemed like it was going to be cold out there, and not sure I’d be able to be comfortable. But after just a quarter mile or so I realized things were pretty much as they’ve always been in the winter. Other than discovering that Kevin, who also hadn’t been riding in a while, doesn’t suffer the way I do after taking a break from cycling. Holding onto his wheel over Jefferson was really, really tough. Holding onto his wheel on Old LaHonda was another thing entirely. Impossible. The kid (ok, 26 years old) does 20 minutes up Old LaHonda without practice. I struggled to finish under 26. How does that work?

Fortunately he couldn’t shake me on Haskins, but holding his wheel on the run into Pescadero was tough. He was flying.

I should mention that, on the bay side of the hill, we saw lots of cyclists. Everyone was out riding. A good thing! In Pescadero, just a couple. But the deli was open for business and 6 weeks without a chicken club sandwich is about 5 weeks too long. Which also means we’d been 6 weeks without a giant cookie! Good thing we arrived when we did, as there were only two left.

Stage Road… well, it’s good to be back, but despite riding it hard, it wasn’t very fast. Just felt like it should have been fast. And Tunitas? At 55 minutes, hey, it’s still under an hour. It was discouraging to see how low the power meter readings were but hey, it’s January, lots of time to improve. And it feels so good not to have a hacking cough anymore.

This coming Tuesday’s ride looks like the worst case scenario- light drizzly rain that just makes a mess of your bike and not heavy enough that you get any credit for being out there. Hopefully Thursday will be a good storm. See, I’m back to normal, thinking it will be fun riding in really bad weather!

Not the view of Mt Hamilton I was looking for. Not a week I’d want to re-live either!

Upper right, those two little dots, that’s my view of Mt. Hamilton today.
Today, New Year’s Day, is my annual Mt. Hamilton ride. I was going to make it a big deal this year, publicizing it here, sending out an email, telling people which train to catch and everything. Encourage a lot of people to do soemthing BIG on New Years Day. Something I’ve been doing for well over 20 years. Maybe it’s well over 30. A long long time anyway.

But not to be this year. A week ago Sunday I had a bit of a sore throat, nothing too bad, so Kevin and I did a shorter-than-normal loop up West Alpine, mainly to be back in time for the one Sunday a year the shop is open. I was hoping that riding would burn it out of my system. Not so entirely sure it would be that easy though since my wife had come down with a nasty hacking cough a couple days earlier, but had to try, and I didn’t feel that bad. Nobody was feeling great Christmas; but I wasn’t doing that badly and did an easy solo ride Thursday morning. Not Kevin; he isn’t into the “burn out a cold” program like I am. Saturday, I actually left the shop an hour prior to closing and didn’t even consider a ride Sunday. That’s pretty unusual for me. Yesterday (New Years Eve) I started to feel a little bit better, but no way could I commit to Mt Hamilton. If I woke up feeling great, great!

Typical readings from my Garmin today. Hey, at least I haven’t flat-lined!
Needless to say, I didn’t wake up feeling great, and Kevin felt worse. Still, I did feel better, and there was no way I was going to miss yet another day on the bike. I was getting concerned I’d be losing “mind over legs” control, if you know what I mean.

And… it wasn’t terrible. It was slow, and it took about 15 minutes before I could breathe without coughing, due to the sudden change in temperature. Same thing happened when I got home two hours later. But in between, I was on my bike, taking it easy, and feeling pretty good. Average power output down by 25% and any thoughts of chasing people down in front of me shot. Hated that, but there was also a certain peace that came from knowing that just wasn’t in the cards today. Just a couple hours on the bike, feeling the pedals turn, shifting gears, using the brakes, enjoying some of the most basic silly things imaginable.

Hopefully this thing is on its way out. I’ve had extended bouts of bronchitis before, usually in the summer, where I’d be hacking for maybe 6 weeks. And I’ve had plenty of times I’ve lost my voice for a few weeks in the winter. But never, ever, anything quite like this. That feeling, until today anyway, that you’ve totally lost track of what it feels like to be well. But that feeling is within my grasp now. I can tell. I’m coming back.