Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Strava’s “suffer score” isn’t quite right

The large slide on Skyline, just north of Sky Londa. One of many that may remain active for a while.

182. That was my suffer score today. It felt a lot harder than last week’s just-slightly-longer ride that scored a 207. The flaw in the rating? It’s about your ability to actually produce watts. You can run out of gas and suffer like a dog, but your score will be relatively low because suffering is more related to maximizing your potential, not how badly you feel.

I knew this was going to be a tough ride, first because I was riding solo (Kevin wasn’t feeling well, and second because I got out so late (leaving just before noon) that there weren’t going to be as many people on the roads near the coast, which means fewer rabbits to chase. Somehow you manage to up your game when there are lots of rabbits ahead of you.

The normal ride didn’t seem quite right, since it wasn’t a normal day, but I didn’t have the willpower to bypass the Pescadero Bakery. So the usual up Old LaHonda (slow start but picked up speed further up the hill), Haskins (the one place I did have a rabbit, but not one that I could catch), coke and a chocolate croissant in Pescadero, then north into a moderate headwind on Stage but… I decided I wanted to do a slightly longer ride, and yet not do Tunitas.  So at San Gregorio, I turned onto 84 and headed towards Skyline, and once there, instead of descending 84 into Woodside, I headed north on Skyline and descended Kings.

First half of the climb up to Skyline was OK; second half I was beginning to lose power and questioning my decision to make the ride “ugly” by heading north on Skyline. But riding slowly gave me an excuse to stop and take photos of some of the roadside carnage from last-month’s heavy rains, so it wasn’t all bad.

The Sarah Palin Road to Nowhere ride

One ride to rule them all! Or at least have a full complement of interesting things, like roads that disappear, ultimate helmet hair and nosebleeds.

What do you do when just about every Sunday you ride the same loop, heading out to Pescadero and back via Tunitas? You do something different, of course! The ride didn’t actually start out to be different; Kevin and I kinda fell into the same lazy trap, heading up over Old LaHonda and out to the LaHonda duck pond, presumably en route to Pescadero. Except that, riding down West Old LaHonda, the view of the coast was definitely not clear, and we’d dressed, enthusiastically, for the warmer temps forecast.

Kevin suggested heading up West Alpine, down Page Mill, then looping out to our Los Altos store before heading back home. Well, maybe, but that didn’t seem very adventurous, or challenging. So after heading up West Alpine we turned south (the “ugly” direction) on Skyline, past Saratoga Gap and out to the literal end of the world (or road, anyway) so Kevin could see where Skyline simply didn’t exist anymore.

We joked about how a road to nowhere, in this case, could be fixed by using Sarah Palins’ bridge to nowhere, and from that joke came a new Strava segment you can see here.  It’s a 7 mile round-trip from Saratoga Gap to the end of the road (despite signs telling you the road is closed in 2 miles),  pretty much entirely uphill. You start to wonder if maybe you should have stopped at Mr. Mustard (for a coke and hot dog) beforehand rather than afterward!

From there we descended Highway 9 which frankly isn’t a lot of fun anymore with its rough and tumble road surface due to all the road reconstruction and slide removal, then down Redwood Gulch and shortly found ourselves at our Los Altos store, where we took a short break for coffee and, apparently, for Kevin to show off Wiki-entry-worthy helmet hair.

Finally we looped through the foothills & home, with a stop in Los Altos Hills to take care of a nosebleed Kevin got, and wash out the glove he’d been wiping it with. Kevin thought blood on his nose was kinda gross, but what do you call that elegant nose plug made from a paper napkin?