Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

A bit cool but wow, what a beautiful day to be on a bike!

This was one of those very late, almost chasing-the-sun days. Kevin wasn’t feeling great and didn’t want to ride in the cold, so with some difficulty we set him up on his Tacx trainer to ride Zwift, while I did a solo run to the coast.

It wasn’t absolutely required that I stick to the original plan; it would have been easy to rationalize not heading out to the coast and north into a headwind solo, but I figured I could just take it easy and see how it played out. Definitely glad I didn’t wimp out; it was one of the most beautiful days ever, with the light breeze and rains of the past couple days clearing out the skies so much that distant mountains looked like you could reach out and touch them.

I intentionally took it easy on Old LaHonda, saving something for Haskins. How easy? According to the Strava upload on my Garmin, I was literally running half the speed of former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s record time. Pretty sad to be reminded, as you start the climb, how fast it’s humanly possible to ride. Could not have saved enough to keep up with the gang-in-black though. Three dressed in black head-to-toe, no lights that I recall, coming up behind me at the base and passing me about 1/4 of the way up. Looking at their Strava times there was no way I could have kept them at bay, so glad I didn’t try. At least not too hard.

Good news- the first days of rain haven’t toppled the Pescadero Mastadon yet! He was standing tall, held in place by guy wires while tending a flock of geese. Yes, headwinds going towards the coast as well as north to Tunitas, but nothing too bad.

Food in Pescadero? I don’t know what’s going on there. Maybe it’s because I arrived pretty late? No cookies, literally a less-than-half-filled case with stuff I wasn’t too interested in. Settled for a raspberry ring (which actually was pretty decent) and a Macaroon. Plus a Mtn Dew, of course. Even though it was just 50 degrees it still felt surprisingly nice in the little mini-park in back of the store; no doubt a bright sun with few clouds makes a big difference.

Tunitas? Yeah well, I was thinking, briefly, that maybe it would be OK with a mild tailwind, but it ended up being almost 54 minutes! Yikes. I really thought it felt more like 50, maybe even upper end of 49. Nope. There just wasn’t much left to push on the upper part. The declining temps could have been a factor; it was 38 degrees for most of the climb, and didn’t warm up to a toasty 45 until back into Woodside. Definitely a good thing I brought two pair of winter gloves, one for milder temps, the other heavier-duty. Needed the heavier-duty gloves descending Kings for sure! And of course, I saw a fair number of people out there not even wearing leg warmers.

Winter in California. Even when we hit a patch of rain, just wait a few days for some really nice cycling weather. This was one of those days.

A few years ago he was but the learner. Now he is the master!

I didn’t have the highest hopes for today’s ride; this winter has been crueler than most to me,  possibly from the bone marrow meds I’m on. It will be interesting to see if the recent trend of a declining hematocrit level has continued; that would be the easy explanation. I’ll know more after Friday’s routine blood test. In the big picture it’s not something to be too concerned about, given that every single test done on my bone marrow turned out as good as could possibly be expected. The fuse isn’t lit; I’m going to be around for a while. I just might not be going as fast as I’d like!

Lucky for me, Kevin has no such issues. Oh sure, Epilepsy and Kidney Stones (the latter of which caused him a bit of pain today) but he’s in pretty amazing shape considering how many rides he misses. Still, drafting doesn’t work at mere-mortal speeds uphill, so as expected, Old LaHonda was pretty tough for me. Again. I should be happy about the fact that, at 24:37, it was actually my best time since October 1 last year. That’s pretty sad.

Classic Huret Alvit derailleur
Heading down the other side we came across David K on his “Eroica” bike. Talk about classic steel; this bike even had a pre-Schwinn Huret Alvit derailleur. Something so unusual I had to take a picture of it. I have an appreciation for older bikes and their equipment, but no desire to ride them anymore. I love modern bikes with awesome shifting, fantastic brakes and comfortable shoe/pedal systems that don’t require me to position my foot- it’s all done for me. When I put it that way, can an electric-assist bike be far behind?

We did the reverse Pescadero loop today, hoping to get a tailwind on Stage Road, and we did! So much nicer than having to fight your way through the wind, which is exactly what I had Kevin doing as he headed out to the coast on 84. Mile after mile after mile, he hammered at the front, battling the wind the way I used to back in the day. It wasn’t all that long ago that we’d do a Santa Cruz loop and occasionally hit a (rare) headwind riding south on the coast, and I’d just put my head into the wind and go, for a full hour, just drilling it. I’ve got Kevin up to about 20 minutes so far.

Any ride to Pescadero would not be complete without a duck pond picture!
Pescadero was busy but we timed it perfectly and got our sandwich with little delay. The cookies were back (although they’ve definitely downplayed them, and perhaps even reduced the size a bit). 12 ounce Coke for Kevin, 20 ounce Mtn Dew for me, and we were fueled and ready. Kevin’s original idea was to finish up West Alpine after the Haskins tenderizer section, but a bit of knee pain convinced him 84 would be the wiser choice. Without realizing it, I had moved into “normal” ride mode, where I feel better as the ride goes on, which I really hadn’t expected to happen. So maybe there’s hope!