We thought we’d get in under the storm, and maybe we would have if we’d stayed on “our” side of the hill. I told Kevin it might not be a bad idea to “stay low” and do a boring ride in the foothills, but he wanted to do “his” ride, Old LaHonda/West Alpine. At least I let him convince me that 4 layers (baselayer, jersey, jersey/jacket and waterproof lightweight rain jacket) would be better than 3.
Slow going up Old LaHonda; Kevin is still not on his game. He started out fast, and I’m wondering how quickly I’m going to get dropped, but he faded after 4 minutes or so. From that point on it was the usual, where I’m able to push on ahead for a bit at pretty high power, then throttle back and wait for him to catch up. I’m still pretty surprised I’m able to do that, and honestly wondering if a supplement I’m taking, L’Arginine, might be responsible (I’d read that it can help with asthma issues and I’m willing to try just about anything that can help with my breathing).
It stayed dry for the first half of West Alpine and then… it wasn’t really “dark” clouds moving in, just a whole lot of gray. Contrast went to zero. Hate that. I like contrast in my life. And then it started getting cold but hey, we were climbing, so not so bad. But by the time we got to Skyline it was down to 35 and light rain. Thank goodness for all those layers! Tights instead of leg warmers might have been the better call, along with our rain bikes (with disc brakes & fenders).
Sure, it would have been nicer to ride with others up Mt Hamilton today, but Kevin wanted to spend time with his girlfriend, the other Kevin is in Switzerland (with his girlfriend) and it didn’t quite seem appropriate to publicize a group ride that might involve taking the train to the start. I was hoping that my long-time friend Ron would be able to ride; he’s recovering (remarkably so!) from cancerous brain tumors and no way, just a couple months ago, it would have seemed possible, but the new miracle targeted-t-cell drugs are working their miracles for him! But his wife nixed the idea of riding anywhere very far from home.
I was surprised by the relatively-small number of cyclists on the hill; it took a few minutes before I was able to overtake anyone. No heroic effort today, although Strava says it was my 4th-best effort since 2010. And of the 36 people listed by Strava (so far) who climbed today, I was 4th on that list too! So not a completely sluggish climb. I think, riding with others, I could have ridden a bit faster (and probably wouldn’t have stopped twice for pictures).
I did see some familiar faces at the top, including Jeff H, who I descended with.
No coke at the top, as the gate at the base of the observatory was closed and signs on the way up warning no restrooms. I did venture further down the other side a bit in search of a plant to water, and caught some really nice views of the valley below.