Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Downed branches blocking roads? We’re on the job!

Kevin clearing a tree branch from the road on Tunitas Creek
Kevin clearing a tree branch from the road on Tunitas Creek
Finally, a fully-qualified rain ride! Not the usual, where it starts nasty but ends sunny & dry. Hate those, because you don’t get any cred for riding when it’s nice when you get back. Not today. It started wet and finished wet.

Nothing huge, up over Old LaHonda, out to San Gregorio, and return via Tunitas. Wet & windy but not too cold; 52 to 59 degrees. Pretty easy to dress for conditions like that. Much tougher when it’s in the lower-40s and wet! Still, there were a few times I had to kick up the watts a bit to feel comfortable.

Lots of road debris; not just the tree branches seen in the pictures, but some pretty large rocks have fallen onto 84 in places. If you’re driving out there, be careful. Something ironic about a cyclist thinking it’s no big deal riding in a storm, but the motorists need to watch out. But hey, that’s how we roll.

We saw maybe 10 other cyclists, including a woman on Mountain Home we stopped to help. She’s somehow dropped her ear pieces into her rear wheel, tangling the cord up into the rear gears. Kevin dutifully mentioned to her that it’s not safe riding with ear pieces. Out towards the coast we saw 2 guys heading east on 84; Strava showed they’d done a Pescadero/San Gregorio loop. Also, several people in full touring gear, carrying sleeping bags, everything, heading south on Highway 1. I doubt they’d planned on wet weather when they laid out their ride!

Descending Kings reminded me just how awesome disc brakes are in the rain. People think they have tire traction issues in the wet, but I think the biggest problem is predictable braking. Our tires felt solid, never sliding (except a few places climbing Tunitas, where the combination of road debris, chipseal gravel and water made it a bit slick), with Kings actually seeming like a pretty easy descent. Easier if rain hadn’t been pummeling our faces, of course.

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A very satisfying commute home

ebike_jeffersonHeading home after work tonight, we spotted another cyclist turning onto Jefferson from the opposite direction. She had the hole shot at the intersection (Jefferson & El Camino), so we lined up behind her, waiting for the light. I wasn’t sure, but thought she might be on an e-bike. Kevin was sure, but didn’t mention anything.

Normally, I’d be letting Kevin pull us home on Jefferson, where he’d be doing about 18mph. She was doing 16.5mph, which isn’t bad at all, just a little bit slower than our normal speed. There’s enough traffic that passing wasn’t really an option for several blocks, and in the back of my mind I’m thinking e-bike, do I really want to try and pass an e-bike and then find out I don’t have the motor myself to stay in front? I’m also wondering what I’m doing out in front in the first place. But I figure I can come up to speed and pass her, and let Kevin take over at the front.

Anyone reading this is thinking there’s too much thinking going on about pretty much nothing, and they’d be right, but that’s how I roll. At least that’s what can help make a 3 mile ride home a bit interesting.

4 blocks past El Camino I make my move, bringing my speed up to just a bit over 19mph and slowly passing her, watts increasing from 125 to 210 or so. I said hi as we rode past; she responded in kind. I’m thinking, is she drafting us now? I’m thinking, with a speed 2.5mph higher than hers, are we gradually pulling away, or is she picking up speed behind? I’m thinking, how long can I keep this speed up, since normally I’m drafting behind Kevin and having trouble as he picks things up a bit?

A couple blocks later I ask Kevin if she’s still there, and mention that I’m a bit surprised I’m still able to keep the speed up. I mean, what am I doing, passing someone on an e-bike? Rule #1, don’t ever pass someone you can’t stay in front of. Very risky when the person you pass has the ability to cruise along at speeds up to 20mph with a significant motor assist. But I did it, we stayed in front all the way to the climb, and despite putting out a lot more effort than normal, I didn’t feel too bad. Even had some fun on a ride home that’s become pretty routine over the years.

Not too many times I’d post a Strava record from my commute home, but this one does pretty clearly show the kick up in speed from 16.5 to 19mph. 🙂

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