Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

A PR on the steepest part of Tunitas? A very pleasant surprise!

Wow. Did not expect this. Our last Pescadero/Tunitas ride before heading to France. Would have been nice to do something longer, but thought maybe we could hit some of it fairly hard. Of course, starting out, you feel like crap. Your plan of hitting things hard rapidly fades, replaced with visions of riding up Old LaHonda at a leisurely, talking pace.

Yet another photo of Kevin on West Old LaHonda, as well as a Pescadero cookie test.

But you hit the base, start up it in too high a gear, cranking too many watts, and you just keep going. The timing points were looking solid, with a promising time at the half-way mark. At the end, strava says 22:36, two seconds faster than two weeks ago, and best time in over two years. Haskins was respectable, which meant the effort up Old LaHonda didn’t kill me. But it was Tunitas that was the big surprise. After a slow run-in to the start of the climb, due to headwinds, and even a “natural break” on the lower, not-quite-so-steep part of the climb, I discovered I had legs again. Kevin was busy climbing away from me, but I didn’t give up, kept pushing hard, stayed in too high a gear and just kept the watts up wherever I could. After a few minutes I began to do the impossible; I was actually catching up to Kevin. And passed him. And stayed ahead even on the flatter part up on top. In the process, I got a new personal record for the steepest part of the climb, meaning the fastest on the 9-minute section since at least 2009. That was a surprise!

I’m paying for it tonight; feel like I need yet another post-ride shower, as I’m continuing to sweat out in the way you do after a really hard effort. I like that. I live for that. I may be ready for France!

The coast is *not* clear; ride re-routed w/better-than-expected results!

The coast was not clear today, causing an en-route re-route since we didn’t bring cooler-weather gear.
Things didn’t go quite as planned today; they went better. It was Sunday, so naturally we’d do the normal Pescadero/Tunitas ride, but, as we rode over the top, it was clear it wasn’t clear. Still a bit of fog along the coast, and we were running light, not even thinking about bringing leg warmers. I mean, it’s summer, right? And after that awful Spring we lived through, who wants to wear leg warmers again? I mean like ever?

The first part of the re-route was easy. Climb West Alpine. Kevin’s favorite ride. From there? Kevin thought we should head north on Skyline and descend Kings. Not hard enough, ugly enough or long enough for me. I figured, if we were going to abandon the planned ride, we had to replace it with something we normally wouldn’t do, something different, something… ugly. Which meant heading the “wrong” direction on Skyline. South to 9, down to Redwood Gulch, and into Los Altos for a late refueling stop.

The climb up West Alpine went unexpectedly well. Really well. Even though I had to double-back and wait 20 seconds when Kevin got held up by car traffic on the flat lead-in, my 43:07 time from Pescadero Road to Skyline was my best in just over 4 years. It’s now pretty much evident I’ve turned back the clock two years, posting climbing times as fast as I was prior to my diagnosis of ET and having to take the bone marrow suppression drugs that drop my hematocrit. The difference I notice lately is that I have little trouble, when the pitch gets steeper, kicking up to 350 watts for a minute or so. I can even see 400 now and then without the expected consequence of feeling like death afterward. I first noticed this a couple weeks ago when I was able to hammer the Hammer of Thor segment on Tunitas.

Some of this newfound speed on the climbs may come from the weight I lost when I broke my pelvis. At first I had some concern it wasn’t a healthy weight drop, but I’ve clearly managed to stabilize about 8 pounds lighter than I was before, and dragging 8 pounds less weight uphill makes a big difference.

Descending 9 is interesting but not all that much fun; descending Redwood Gulch even less so! But soon enough we were at the Peets near our former Los Altos location, enjoying coffee and a breakfast cheese & bacon thing for me, a chicken something-or-other for Kevin. Funny thinking, at that point, that the worst of the ride is yet to come, because it’s mostly flat. Fortunately the headwind was pretty light, so not so bad getting home.