Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Why did Page Mill seem easy today?

Party time on West Old LaHonda today?
Party time on West Old LaHonda today?
Great start to the day this morning, watching the Olympic Mountain Bike Race. Was really hoping Peter Sagan, road racer extraordinaire, would be a major factor in the race, but unfortunately he flatted just into the 2nd lap (of a 7 lap race). Great race anyway and good to have a bit broader focus than just road cycling.

As for my ride… Kevin and I did something a bit different today. Let me start by saying I hate Page Mill. I just haven’t done well on steep stuff in a very long time. But today I decided I wanted to do something other than the usual coastal loop, but still tough. Page Mill to the rescue. My overall time wasn’t great because we made two stops on the way up (first, to tighten a rear quick release that was making a racket, and second, to retrieve a water bottle that had ejected from someone else’s bike… I don’t like bike litter), but I felt like I actually had some real power in my legs on that gnarly section between gates 3 & 4. Strava says I even got a new PR on that part. Truthfully, I could have gone faster, but this was one of those rare days Kevin didn’t have his climbing legs. I think today was what Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) refers to as an “opposite day.”

The Olive Hill Corgis of Woodside
The Olive Hill Corgis of Woodside
We quickly descended West Alpine (Kevin’s definitely got his groove back after his crash descending Page Mill a few weeks ago), refueled at the market in LaHonda, then road up 84, West Old LaHonda, and then, for “fun”, headed north on Skyline past Sky Londa to Kings Mtn. Skyline in that direction just isn’t much fun, but today, it felt not-so-bad. Another quick descent (Kings) followed by a stop to see the Woodside Corgis on Olive Hill.

Not a very long ride; just over 50 miles. Not a very fast ride; 14.3mph. Reasonable amount of climbing (exceeded 1,000ft/10 miles). But pretty much the perfect ride for today.

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Channeling my inner Mara Abbott on the upper part of Tunitas today!

I had a few choices for the main photo; a shot of Kevin riding away from me up Tunitas, a "tunnel" shot of the eucalyptus trees on Stage Road, or this. This being the photo that makes me smile, it gets the spot here.
I had a few choices for the main photo; a shot of Kevin riding away from me up Tunitas, a “tunnel” shot of the eucalyptus trees on Stage Road, or this. This being the photo that makes me smile, it gets the spot here.

Do I ever get tired of repeating the same Sunday ride so frequently? Up Old LaHonda, over Haskins, lunch at Arcangeli Pescadero market, north into the headwind on Stage and up Tunitas? I have no doubt that Arcangeli market has much to do with the route choice! The chicken club sandwich and oversized cookies are pretty darned awesome.

The fallen Mastadon near Pescadero
The fallen Mastadon near Pescadero

Of course, to get there, you have to survive the climb over Old LaHonda, where there’s zero chance of me keeping up with Kevin, until you can feel like you’re on equal footing on the grade over Haskins. Today was no different; Kevin was a minute or two ahead of me up Old LaHonda, but I managed to keep pace with him on Haskins. Certain climbs he has a bit of trouble on, or I’m a bit stronger on, not sure which.

We made a brief stop on the way out to Pescadero to take a photo of the fallen Mastadon; poor guy has been on the ground since early winter. The Triceratops has been sadly looking upon its fallen friend the entire time, waiting for someone to put him upright again so they can face off across the field.

Stage Road is my sole remaining climb where I have a chance to do better than Kevin, especially the second bump heading into San Gregorio, and the final climb up to Highway 1. I have no idea why this is, and I doubt it will last, but I’ll take it while I can. Once we get to Tunitas, it’s all-Kevin all the time.

With favorable winds it was a good day to “launch” Kevin on Tunitas. Any day that you can get close to 10 minutes from the coast to the entrance of the forest is a good day to try and get a good time. I watched Kevin ride away, hoping that he’d just get stronger and stronger, but apparently he finished just a couple minutes ahead of me. I felt like I could have done a bit better if only I hadn’t felt a need to keep standing up to keep my legs going, kind of like American Mara Abbott did the final 10k of the Women’s Olympic Road Race… a flaw that cost her the race, as she got caught just before the finish line. For me, does it really matter if I climb Kings in 48:40 or 49:30? The main goal is to finish on the same day as my son. 🙂

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