Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Three days, three rides, three missing almost-daily diary entries!

VIRB0565foggy_startSunday, Monday & Tuesday… three days in a row on the bike. Can’t get a whole lot better than that! But it wasn’t anything like the epic nature of such things in the past; in a “normal” year I would have had two round-trips to Santa Cruz under my belt by now. This has been anything but a “normal” year though, starting out with the end of the 4 or 5-year-long drought (which put quite a bit of pressure on the business), followed by a series of family medical issues. Eventually I think it did take a toll on my riding, cutting back both on mileage and intensity (but not frequency; if it’s a Tuesday or Thursday morning, I’m out riding… same thing for Sundays).

The spectacular view of the coast from West Alpine
The spectacular view of the coast from West Alpine

IMG_1978w_alpineThis past Sunday would be the start of getting Kevin back on the bike; he’d been off for the past two weeks following his first two brain surgeries for epilepsy (just one more to go!). A a relatively-easy ride up Old LaHonda, south on Skyline, dropping down Page Mill and looping back home. He was pretty apprehensive about it at first but got stronger and stronger as the ride went on. Plus, he actually enjoys descending Page Mill! Go figure.

 

Monday the shop was closed (Memorial Day) so a slightly-more-challenging ride, up Old LaHonda again, then down to the LaHonda duck pond, up West Alpine and north on Skyline. Definitely a tougher ride! West Alpine was at what should have been a pretty easy pace, but no matter what speed, that hill’s always a brute. Kevin was doing pretty well, too well perhaps, as he challenged the climb up from where Old LaHonda hits Skyline, getting a new PR for that segment and doing a number on his left knee.

IMG_0082wolhThis morning I got him up and… well, his knee was just not up to it, so I rode off alone into, surprisingly, fog! Where did that come from? Carl, Karen, Eric and Kevin (pilot) showed up to torture me up Kings. I did fine as far as the park entrance, after which I was in survival mode to the top. Definitely over-dressed as the fog burned off quickly; at the top I removed the leg warmers and enjoyed the mid-60s temps. Summer is here.

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Le Tour is just 6 weeks away…

Tough to know if I’m ready for France. Actually, not so tough at all. I’m ready. Whether that means I’ll be as strong as I’d like to be is almost irrelevant. I’m ready now. It’s been a tough past 4 or 5 months, but I’m beginning to ride a bit stronger, the weather is getting a bit better week by week, and the coverage of the Giro is getting me into the mood of, well, being someplace else.

I could, perhaps should, feel bad about leaving the shop during July, when things are pretty busy, but I’ve got a great staff in place, led by BeckyJ and MikeF. I’d just like things to settle down just a little bit and seem normal for a few days at a time, instead of what seems to be a constant feast or famine. And of course it would be nice if the various health issues in my family would stabilize too, like Kevin’s final epilepsy surgery (now scheduled for June 6th, a fair amount later than I’d expected) and Karen’s chemo for her thankfully-not-metastasized breast cancer.

Right, the ride this morning. Karen, Karl, JR, Marcus, George & Eric. First ride with temps getting to 60+ by the end; I actually felt slightly overdressed in base layer and leg warmers! Nothing too fast today, which didn’t bother me.

Now back to the Tour de France. I got thinking about some of the past years, and the theme music that, I don’t think, has been equaled since. Like what’s below.

I know what follows is Phil Ligget and his, to many, tiresomely-repeated phrases and perhaps excessive rooting for the home-town riders (for broadcasts in the US, that would be riders from… the US). I never thought that was so bad, to tell you the truth.

I am so ready for France. For the long flights, for the transfers from CDG to Montparnasse train station, the long train ride to Lourdes, several days in the Pyrenees followed by a train to Avignon, seeing the Ventoux stage on Bastille day… it’s like a comfortable old shoe. It’s nearly as much routine as my Tuesday/Thursday ride up Kings. Time to play the “good” theme music once again! And to get ready for what, to me, has become the “sound” of France; that set of tones unmistakably associated with French trains…

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