Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

How to identify a wheel sucker on a wet day- more mud on the face!

What am I doing, playing in this league? Sucking wheels, that's what I'm doing!
What am I doing, playing in this league? Sucking wheels, that’s what I’m doing!

A solid week off the bike and I have to admit I wasn’t thinking about a tough ride today! Tuesday & Thursday I was in Phoenix (meetings dealing with the future of the world, or at least the world as it will be for the local bike shop), so this morning I was looking forward to something easy. Some miles, definitely, but not fast. And I was really hoping for nice-enough weather to ride my super-light & fast Trek Emonda, not the still-nice but heavier Boone Cross bike. Well, you gotta be flexible, and while the weather report said rain would stop very early in the morning, Kevin and I woke up to very wet streets and drizzle.

Just prior to getting dropped by Kevin & JeffZ in Portola Valley
Just prior to getting dropped by Kevin & JeffZ in Portola Valley

Skyline looked like an ugly mess, so we stayed “low” today. What I didn’t count on was the “flying start” when we picked up JeffZ on Canada. In the photo above, Jeff & Kevin can be seen talking about whatever the really strong guys talk about. Me, I was just sucking wheels, and for the most part, successfully (other than coming off the back on that section in Portola Valley where the road tilts up until you hit the guardrail section. JeffZ stayed with us until Los Altos before he headed back home, while Kevin and I continued south, heading up over Mt. Eden and then back mostly via Foothill.

55 miles, nothing huge, but several good hours in the saddle. Wet pretty much the entire ride, so pretty messy for the bikes (and us!). Definitely a good thing we had wider tires, disc brakes and bikes that are appreciated more for basic function than style points.

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Not the planned ride, but still good

Maybe the reason for the deviation from what you had planned was so that you could be there for someone else? Like someone who had run out of CO2 and you just happen to carry a real pump?
Maybe the reason for the deviation from what you had planned was so that you could be there for someone else? Like someone who had run out of CO2 and you just happen to carry a real pump?

It was Sunday, which meant longer ride, probably to the coast, although I was thinking about doing something just a bit different, maybe heading over to LaHonda and back up West Alpine, then south on Skyline, drop down 9, stop in at our Los Altos store to say hello and then head home via the foothills. Unfortunately, this was one of those mornings where my son (Kevin) woke up feeling sorta OK but got feeling worse and worse as we prepared to ride. Some sort of stomach thing. I waited, and waited, and waited, hoping it would settle. No such luck. So, as the skies became increasingly-gray, I finally set out around noon (quite a bit later than the planned 9:30!) and made a “utility” ride out of it by bringing a computer part (a small graphics card that fit in my pocket) to the Los Altos store. Along the way, I stopped for a couple of guys on Canada trying to fix a flax on a mountain bike; unfortunately, it was a regular valve, and my pump only works on presta. A bit disappointed, I re-mounted and, just 50 meters down the road, on the other side, another pair of riders with a flat. This time, presta valve, they’d run out of CO2, so I was able to help (shown in the photo above).

It was a bit weird “riding blind” though. My heart & power monitors both had dead batteries! I managed to find a 2032 battery in an old light that I could use for the heart monitor, but the power monitor would have to wait until I got to the Los Altos store. It’s strange, having your bike computer displaying 3 blank spots where there should be 3 & 10 second power, plus cadence. You really start getting used to looking at your power and knowing how much more you can do, or whether you might be burning a candle or two that you could use later. Yes, I know, there are people who think that paying attention to a bike computer takes away from the beauty and awesomeness of just riding your bike, and that’s fine, I get it, I understand there are some who don’t even see the point to Strava. That’s just not me, that’s all. Probably means I’m a borderline (borderline?) type-A person.

Where the ride got interesting was on the return. I was determined to duplicate as little of the outbound journey as possible; those Strava out & back routings just look kinda pointless, y’know? In fact, heading back, I was even thinking a bit “artfully”, wondering what this route or that would actually look like. All in all the ride back was definitely more interesting than the ride down, and, of course, I now had power to look at as well! Perhaps I carried it just a bit too far towards the end though. Heading back on Canada, feeling a small sectin of duplicated road, with my final climb over Jefferson coming up… well, there’s always Godetia. That ridiculous road whose grade gets ever-steeper as it goes. Godetia did not disappoint. It’s just as bad as I remember, with few (any?) redeeming qualities, other than an opportunity to really see what your absolute max heart rate is. Godetia’s good for that. If you want to know, it will tell you. There’s no way to cheat Godetia!

Just over 44 miles, relatively-low suffer score (no big hills) but definitely not an easy spin around the block. Sadly, it’s going to be 5 days off the bike now, as I head to a bicycle dealer conference in Phoenix. Phoenix, that place it’s always very-warm to super-hot. Except now. 58 degrees is what I’m looking forward to. Sigh.

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