It’s about time I get a regular ride entry in here, even though somewhat of an irregular ride. It seems like nearly every Sunday ride has been the Pescadero/Tunitas loop, and for reasons unknown I decided it should be something tougher. And the ride through the foothills to Los Altos then up Stevens Creek, up Redwood Gulch, and finally 9… that’s tougher. Even though less climbing, trust me, it’s tougher.
It starts out easily enough, riding past Old LaHonda instead of heading up it, fooling you into a false sense of the ride being easier, just because you’re not climbing. Yet. We traditionally stop at the Peet’s near our former Los Altos store location which, by the way, remains un-rented. From there, it’s the not-so-fun ride up Steven’s Creek, which becomes Stevens Canyon, which takes you to the base of Redwood Gulch. Kevin was feeling better on Redwood Gulch than I was, at least at first. I was feeling really, really slow but for reasons unknown, the last third I found some extra power, saving myself from a dismal time.
9? Always a long slog to the top. Skyline? Pretty nice heading north, where you lose a bit of altitude and generally have favorable tail winds.
It was one of those rides where I felt a whole lot better than at the start. That’s always a good thing!
It had to happen sometime, an end to the long string of ever-faster times up the hills. To be truthful, I’d already told Kevin before the ride that we were going to be taking it easy today; no more 1000+ VAMS, no impossible pulls into headwinds. We’d be doing the usual Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop in “casual” mode.
The plan (remember, there’s always a plan) was maybe 27 minutes up Old LaHonda. Yeah, right, like that’s going to happen. Ended up being 25, not too far off the climb. Still, no question it still seemed like a stronger effort than it should have been. Of course, it wasn’t all that long ago I might have been really happy with a 23 or 24-something and 25 might have been almost normal. Maybe it was the heat? But just low-80s, nothing at all like climbing the Col de Lauteret in France when it was 102.
Guess we should have taken it as a sign that we saw no turtles at the LaHonda duck pond. Can’t remember that ever happening before. The Haskins climb wasn’t terribly notable, and the into-the-headwind run into Pescadero? I was pulling Kevin along because he was feeling even-less energetic than me.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of people who thought Pescadero was the place to be. It was literally a half-hour wait to get a sandwich! Plus Olallieberry Strudel plus 20oz Coke for Kevin, Mtn Dew for me. All good stuff. Fuel for the hills! Well, needed something stronger than Coke or Mtn Dew as we faced the headwinds going north on Stage. Kevin reminded me that this would have been a better day for the reverse loop. But we made it to Tunitas, even passing some people on the last Stage climb along the way.
And Tunitas? Let’s just say, if we had found the secret tunnel, we probably would have taken it. Still got to the top in less than an hour, and kinda sorta enjoyed the slower pace. Maybe. Nah. I really would have liked to have been able to ride faster! Who am I kidding?