Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Joe stood in for Kevin; great ride, Joe ripped my legs off on upper Tunitas


Just a couple of things that make the “Coastal Classic” loop special. The bakery in Pescadero, and the Peacock that is sometimes seen staring at its reflection in a second-story window.


Kevin’s likely off the bike for awhile, awaiting his hopefully-final surgery to repair his kidney, but Joe stepped in and filled his shoes quite nicely this morning. It was the usual; the Coastal Classic, the reference ride for seeing what shape I am, or am not, in.

The ride started a lot earlier than the normal Sunday ride with Kevin; I met up with Joe at 8:15 in Woodside, at least an hour, maybe two, ahead of normal. We probably wouldn’t have been riding under gray skies later, but it was also apparent that a lot more cyclists head up Old LaHonda earlier than later.

Old LaHonda was the usual mid-22 time; I’m thinking if I wasn’t fighting off a bit of a cold I might have done better. It’s also possible I’d climb better if my bike wasn’t skipping in my favorite climbing gear, a result of running a bit too long with my last chain, causing some wear on the rear cogs. Don’t do that. Keep track of your chain wear and, if you do much climbing, figure 2000 miles is the limit!

Joe played nice, not getting too far ahead of me, and helping pace me to a decent sub-10-minute time up Haskins, on the way to Pescadero. Surprisingly, he’d never eaten at the Pescadero Bakery, so that was an obvious mandatory stop (far left on the photo at the top of this entry). Heading north on Stage Road afterward, I pointed out the house that used to have the Machine Gun Man metal sculpture in front as we passed by, then did a quick double-take as I noticed a large Peacock on the 2nd-floor ledge, staring at its reflection in the window. Had to go back for photos!

Meeting up with the Over The Hill gang at The Bike Hut

Meeting up with the Over The Hill gang at The Bike Hut

Then on to the three climbs on Stage. The first two were tough for me, but on the third, which ends at Highway 1, I finally found my legs. With that comes fear; fear that maybe we should be going for time up Tunitas. Thankfully, we had a good excuse to stop en-route as we came across a group of guys from the Over The Hill (Woodside) cycling club at the Bike Hut.

The actual climb up Tunitas? Not so great. The lack of my favorite “climbing gear” was an issue at times, although it’s not such a bad thing for me to get used to riding in a bit lower

Hanging onto Joe's wheel for dear life!

Hanging onto Joe’s wheel for dear life!

gear (I tend to use higher gears climbing than most). Joe rode ahead but kept me in sight, and when the grade eased off for the last few miles, he slowed down just enough for me to catch him and hold on to his wheel. The real fun began after passing Star Hill Road, as Joe really opened it up and I just had to try and hang onto his rear wheel. Had to remember the advice I’ve given Kevin from time to time… however hard it is to hang onto that wheel, it’s a whole lot harder to lose it and have to ride in alone!

Overall another great day on a bike. Thanks Joe!

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Do something crazy! And fix a bike or two along the way.

The Davenport Cafe is our mandatory mid-rid stop on the Santa Cruz loop.

The Davenport Cafe is our mandatory mid-rid stop on the Santa Cruz loop.

Wow, I think we’re finally back on-line, after 10 days in which the Almost-Daily Diary had vanished. Some catching up to do, like Tuesday & Thursday’s rides, but we’ll work backward and cover yesterdays’ first.

With the weather billed as being, well, awesome, we couldn’t do just any ride. And with as many miles as my legs have missed lately due to travel, clearly it was time to do something a bit beyond, and that can mean just one thing. Santa Cruz. Back in the day, a Santa Cruz loop was not all that common, perhaps done once a year, maybe missing some even, but it seems to be the new leg & body-testing ride for myself and Kevin. And why not? It’s got everything! Climbs, descents, headwinds, tailwinds, light traffic, heavy traffic, and did we mention the fantastic lunch stop in Davenport?

Just before hitting Old LaHonda we came across Lisa & Andy, customers of ours who were having trouble with a bike computer. It’s display simply said “Working…”. Seriously, that’s what it said. I did a reset on it, it still said “Working…” but came to life shortly after. Patience is a good thing sometimes.

Kevin enjoying Lunch at Davenport Cafe

Nothing fast up Old LaHonda (22:40) or Haskins (almost 11 minutes!) because we knew there was a lot more ahead. Traded pace with an Alto Velo rider we came across on the run towards Pescadero, then peeled off south for the run down the coast. Thankfully the winds were favorable, accounting for the PRs on Strava. And, as usual, the Davenport Cafe did not disappoint. Carne Asada burrito, Pepsi and a Mocha. Could have skipped the Mocha, but I’d never had coffee there so figured I ought to try it out. We used to eat at the Whaler Cafe just across the street, but they’re busier, the food isn’t quite as good (but not bad, better than just about anyplace else you’re likely to go… just not as good as the Davenport Cafe!), and it’s more expensive.

Boulder Creek Food Mart/Gas Station. Last chance for food & water before climbing to Skyline

The least-favorite part of the ride, as always, is the section on Highway 9 from Santa Cruz until you get a few miles past Boulder Creek where it finally pitches up permanently. Prior to that you’ve got leg-sapping rollers, lots of traffic, potholes… you just want to get out of there. It’s funny how much you look forward to a real climb, where you can settle in. As expected, I was feeling a lot better this far into the ride than Kevin, who’s got even fewer miles in his legs than me. Oh, right, almost forgot the mandatory stop for Mtn Dew and to refill bottles at the gas station in Boulder Creek. We’re beginning to question if it really makes sense to stop there, perhaps riding on through and stopping at Skyline (Mr. Mustard) instead. Might try that next time.

Kevin began to feel better at “Cheeseland”, the part of Highway 9 about 3/4 of the way up from Waterman Gap, where there’s a large parking lot on the right with a terrific view. He calls it “Cheeseland” because there used to be a sign there for “Cheeseborough Scout Camp” or something like that. We almost reeled another rider in just before the top, but not quite.

No stop for Mr. Mustard today; we still had plenty of energy drink left, and since Kevin’s legs were feeling better again, it made sense to just keep going. We did get stopped for a few minutes by the almost-mandatory motorcycle crash on Skyline (at least this guy had the sense to wreck near the fire station), and then stopped again to fix a guy’s chain at Sky Londa.

112 miles, almost exactly 8 hours door-to-door. Not a speed run, but it really felt good.

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