Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

About time I felt better than Kevin!

Kevin sporting the new “kit” (jersey & shorts) that will soon be seen by Trek’s team at the Tour de France next week. This isn’t as dangerous as it looks; the car had pulled over and there were no oncoming cars in sight.
Nice day for a ride, much nicer than it would have been Saturday, when it was much hotter! Kevin and I lucked out, seeing nothing higher than upper-70s. On the other hand, three weeks from now we’ll be in France where it’s going to be quite a bit warmer, most likely plain darned hot!

We got off to our usual very late start, shortly before noon. Old LaHonda was… interesting. I rode very strongly for the first half, then faded on the second, managing to get exactly 1000 VAM (climbing rate, measured in meters/hour), with a time just 4 seconds slower than two weeks ago. I’m wondering where I wasted 5 second! Heading down West Old LaHonda we came across Sarah Coyle, long-time customer who loved Kevin’s new kit (jersey & shorts). Got to admit it is a pretty good-looking jersey!

Haskins… well darn, a repeat, sort of, of Old LaHonda. Once again, just 4 seconds off my time of two weeks ago. What’s up with that???!!! But the good news is that I felt generally pretty good on both, aside from sweating a bit more than I used to, a side-effect of the meds I’m on for my bone marrow issue. Hate that, but just gotta deal with it, and deal I will.

It was the run into Pescadero that surprised me. The last 4.5 miles I was able to go to the front and pull into the wind, all the way to Pescadero. I haven’t done that in ages. It wasn’t the epic pull Kevin gave me a few weeks ago, heading out to San Gregorio on 84 (that was a good 7 miles) but it was a solid effort. I would, of course, pay for that effort later.

Lunch in Pescadero, the usual Chicken club with a cookie for Kevin, a Olallieberry pastry for me. Stage Road- well, I’ve got a photo showing “the flag” on the edge of Pescadero, the one that gives you an idea of what to expect. Today, tailwinds heading north! We did not, however, challenge our Strava PRs from last week.

Tunitas? Well, looks like it’s going to be a while before I get back into the swing of things there. Just over 50 minutes despite favorable breezes on the lower part. Just not too much left in the tank. Kevin could have dropped me easily, but stayed with me all the way to the top.

Descending Kings was nice because, well, no traffic. Almost. Half-way down the hill we came across a slowly-moving car that nicely moved out of the way so we could safely get by. Kevin and I are *way* slower than the really fast descenders on Kings, but unlike them, we don’t play percentage games- we stay in our lane and the lines we take assume there could be something unexpected around the next corner. Doesn’t mean we can’t have fun though, and today, we did have a bit of fun.

PRs may be harder to get, but not impossible!

Heading up Pescadero Road towards Haskins, near the start of a lengthy Strava segment, one that we actually scored a personal best with today!
Strava says I’ve ridden the segment from Pescadero to the start of the Haskins climb 39 times since 2008. In the opposite direction, it’s likely many times that; truthfully, climbing Haskins from the coast side isn’t all that much fun. But that’s what we did today, and, using favorable conditions (not too hot and slight tailwind) Kevin and I set a new PR for that section, beating my 2013 time by 3 seconds. Not much, but as you ride the same roads over and over and over, and you get older and older and older, it gets tougher and tougher and tougher to get new pesonal records!

It was the “Reverse Pescadero with West Alpine” route today, about 67 miles, 6158ft of climbing, 15.8mph and 203 weighted average watts. I’m OK with that. Kevin’s average watts will have been much, much higher, since he did a dramatic pull from LaHonda all the way to San Gregorio, into the wind. How much difference does drafting make? Kevin averaged 251 watts for the section, vs my 166. Anyone thinking drafting doesn’t make a huge difference doesn’t know how to draft! Trust me, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become very, very good at drafting. 🙂

I also *finally* got over the 1000 VAM mark (vertical meters of climbing/hour) on Old LaHonda. 1003, to be exact.

Overall, Kevin’s weighted average power of 218 watts for the ride isn’t that much higher than my 203 though, so clearly I was doing my best to pull my weight the rest of the way. Kevin did get to unleash his legs on West Alpine; all I could do was watch him ride away and hope he was having fun. Unfortunately I did catch up to him about 3/4 of the way up, where he’d had to stop for a brief seizure. I wasn’t having much fun on West Alpine, dealing with some really extensive sweating, totally soaking my headband messing up my glasses enough that I had to remove them for the upper part of the climb. It wasn’t that hot at the time (59 degrees) so even with leg warmers and a base layer, I shouldn’t have been sweating quite so much. Obviously, I need to ride faster, more often!

There is some evidence the new breathing meds are working; it’s not as if my times are rapidly decreasing, but I’m not gasping for air nearly so much and can even talk a bit on a climb, something I haven’t been able to do in ages. I’m thinking I just have to retrain myself to breathe like a normal person does.

Apart from the sweating issue (accompanied by a bit of drop in power) on the upper parts of West Alpine, there was a feeling that things are improving. At least, once I got past the idea that there was absolutely no possible way for me to take a pull as Kevin charged towards San Gregorio! Very, very impressive ride by Kevin on that section. –Mike–