Crazy to think how little actual riding I’ve done the past few weeks. Today was my first day out feeling semi-normal… well, not really… my version of “normal” would not have me feeling like a 40 mile flatter ride could be an accomplishment of any relevance. The after-effects of the flu turned out to be lungs super-sensitive to temperature change, so guess what happens when I step from a house that’s probably 60F on Tuesday & Thursday mornings, and start trying to breathe air that’s 20 degrees colder? It’s not pretty.
But today… November 12th…I was going to get to ride in 70 degree weather! No leg warmers, no base layer, light breeze. Crazy nice! And first “normal” Sunday ride in 3 weeks+ I think.
“Normal” keeps coming up. In terms of Sunday rides, “normal” would typically involve a ride to the coast & back, or at least loop up to Skyline for more climbing. But lots of climbing was out of the question; as I passed it there wasn’t even a thought of heading up. I figured I could at least do a version of “The Loop” but managed to get all the way to Peet’s in Los Altos (where our former store was). Of course the real trick would be making it back.
I never felt completely dead, even towards the end of the ride, but still didn’t think I’d left much on the table at the end.
Today was, finally, a day I felt normal. A good thing, that, since things have been decidedly not normal for a while, and even yesterday afternoon and evening I had that feeling, physically, that something wasn’t quite right. Kind of a combination of apprehension and wondering, if you feel a bit out of sorts then, how are you going to be tomorrow morning?
I did oversleep; think I finally woke up close to 9am (yikes!), with Kevin already on his way to our house. He wasn’t happy about things getting off to a late start, although it did allow the fog a chance to clear out so, by the time we got going at 10:40am, it was pretty darned nice out. No leg warmers, no base layer, and for half of the ride I got to wear fingerless gloves.
Old LaHonda was nothing special; by now, we’ve been up it so many times it doesn’t have much appeal, and Kevin’s upset about the light still being there, since it wrecks his Strava time. I’m sure there’s a new Strava segment that ends at the light, but the mailboxes are the only finish line he cares about.
I let him pull all the way out to the coast on 84; I’m not proud and didn’t want to slow us down. Passed the scene of a very recent (probably just a couple of minutes) motorcycle accident not too far past LaHonda, something we used to see a lot more of. I doubt that motorcyclists are driving more safely these days, so probably just fewer of them.
Coffee and food at San Gregorio which seems to have become our new usual thing. They’re improving their pasty offerings, which might have something to do with our more frequent stops there, and there’s something to be said for hot coffee when out on the coast.
Even though I’d told Kevin we were going to be checking out Higgins Canyon Road, I don’t think it registered with him that we’d be adding a few miles to do that! I was really enjoying the moderately-paced “longer” (than many lately) ride, and it was nice to be on roads we hadn’t visited for quite a while.
Higgins Canyon Road? Definitely not possible on a weekday, while work is being done, and on weekends, getting through requires squeezing you and your bike through a small hole cut in the fencing.
Traffic was a bit lighter than expected, given all the warnings about everyone going to the pumpkin farms, although Tunitas did have a lot more traffic than usual (maybe there was an accident on 84?).
Two annoyances descending Kings. First, at the stop sign just below the park entrance, where they have the short one-lane section. We dutifully stopped to let a car that had arrived sooner proceed up the hill… and it was followed by another car and a motorcycle! They just cruised on through, no stop. Second was blowing my rear tube. Hit something really hard, hard enough that I expected to be riding on the rim instantly so I quickly slowed down… but it was actually 20 seconds before the tire was noticeably low and I had to pull over. Tire was ok, just a hole in the tube from where it was pinched by the force of the impact. I was telling Kevin as we were replacing the tube how I had just been thinking about trying a bit lower pressure. Er… no.
This was one of the few rides where I was feeling, for the second half of it, a whole lot better than Kevin. The slightly cooler temps on the coast were causing him some knee pain, so he was soft-pedaling the whole way up Kings. 1 hour, 9 minutes. For me, it was kind of nice going up a climb at a pace I could actually talk, but there were times my legs just wanted to get going.