Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Could be worse… could be raining. Oh. Wait.

It’s not been an easy road bike on the bike after 10 days off, being in vacation with my wife in South Africa. Got back last Wednesday evening, rode the annual Turkey Trot to Pescadero and back via Tunitas with my son Kevin and Karen, one of our Tuesday/Thursday semi-regulars, and, well, it was tough. I was on fumes climbing Tunitas Thursday, with Kevin and Karen finishing many minutes ahead of me, but I made it (as if there was an alternative?). One of the few rides where I really didn’t feel like I could have ridden any further.

Then today… rain? Really? It was just me doing to solo gig; Kevin was on a date with his girlfriend, and nobody else was going to be out there with me on the first real weekend rain ride. The plan was to do the usual Tuesday ride; up Kings, across Skyline to 35, west side 84 to West Old LaHonda and then back down 84. It was a bit of a slog, not unexpectedly, heading up Kings. Meaning, slow. But slow got slowly faster as I rode, and by the time I made it to the top of Kings I was feeling pretty decent. Oh, I should also add that I had a mildly-dragging rear brake the whole way. The story behind that? I discovered when I got the bike ready this morning that both front and rear disc brake pads were shot, the rear ones in particular, which were almost down to the metal backing. After installing new ones, I couldn’t move the pads quite far enough away from the rotor not to scrape. I figured after a few miles in the rain they’d probably wear away enough to not be adding much resistance, although I admittedly haven’t checked since.

OK, just checked, the brake is still dragging a bit. Well, the good news is that I got a better workout than otherwise, right?

It was up on Skyline that I discovered I wasn’t quite ready for my first rain ride. I’d forgotten something. Something important. A cycling cap, under the helmet. Absolutely essential for keeping salty water from coming down into your eyes, as well as keeping the rain off your face while descending. I found myself having to stop every mile or so on the Skyline descent so I could wipe the stinging salty water away from my eyes so I could see again for a while, and decided I’d have to head straight back down 84 instead of doing the West Old LaHonda loop. But, since I didn’t see anybody else out today, I thought, maybe, not such a bad thing.

Well, as I turned off Tripp Road onto Kings, I came across a couple of guys who’d just descended Kings, after having headed out to the coast and back via Tunitas. What I should have done, probably would have done, had Kevin been with me and I hadn’t forgotten my cycling cap. I’ll be better prepared next time!

Kevin thought I was dying on Old LaHonda

The deceptively-soft start to Tunitas. Beautiful day but cool enough to require a base layer and leg warmers!
The bare-legged woman of West Old LaHonda
Left a bit earlier than usual today, since we had to get back in time for me to finish packing and head to the airport for a series of flights that will eventually land my wife and I in Cape Town. Presently at 38,000ft someplace over Nevada maybe? Summer is now little more than a memory; there aren’t going to be many, if any, opportunities to ride without leg warmers and a base layer. At least not quite cold enough to require long-finger gloves, although we did bring them, just in case.

I was hoping I’d be nicely warmed up by the time we got to Old LaHonda, but no, it got cooler as we headed up in the shade, and my breathing was the worst its been since, well, since it’s been this cool. I had really gotten spoiled over the summer! Kevin thought we should shorten the ride by heading back down 84 and riding “the loop” but that wasn’t going to happen. Between my breathing issues and the recent bone marrow thing, I’m not about to back down anytime soon and look back at a particular day as the turning point, that day I gave in, the day from which “giving in” might become more the norm than exception. Or, as they say, #notdeadyet.

Frankly, I’ve got to talk with Kevin and encourage him to be more, well, encouraging! Fortunately, as expected, I felt better and better with each passing mile. The struggle to get to the top of Old LaHonda is quickly put to the back of my mind once we’re heading down the other side. The duck pond was its usual pretty self, although the turtles… where have they gone? There were some large ducks sitting on the floating branches where you’d normally see 3 or 4 turtles, leaving Kevin to wonder if Turtles actually hibernate this time of year.

Very little traffic out and, in Pescadero, a nearly-empty Arcangeli store/bakery. Think I know why- they had no cookies out! We weren’t the only ones surprised by that; a woman came in asking about the missing cookies, which her daughter was apparently looking forward to, and voila, a couple cookies appeared from the back room. We snagged some too, although frankly, these cookies did not pass the #cookiefacetest. A bit too small! We met a nice young couple (guy from France, woman from Belgium) cycling from San Francisco to… well, they weren’t really sure. Santa Barbara maybe. They’d just keep going south until their sense of adventure for this particular trip was fulfilled. There’s something appealing to that. It’s certainly in stark contrast to my own trips, where everything’s planned to the nth degree.

Tunitas, well, yes, it’s still there, it’s still a tough haul. I rode with Kevin up to half-way through the steep section before watching him ride on, arriving at the top about 3 minutes later than he did. On the way passed two young women we’d seen earlier on West Old LaHonda, when we’d asked if they might have been a bit cold with their bare, no-leg-warmered legs. “COld? No, numb!” one of them replied at the time. Fortunately it was considerably warmer climbing Tunitas.

Overall a very nice day to be out on a bike. And much more comfortable spending 4 hours on a tiny, thinly-padded seat than the past three hours on this plane have been!