Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

First time riding home felt good in a long time! (Putting mortality back in its place)

There’s usually not that much to say about the ride home from work, especially lately, when it’s just kinda been going through the motions, not much effort and certainly no real speed. But tonight (ok, past midnight, so last night) felt different. It was like things used to be. I wasn’t just riding home, putting in a few miles and doing the commute-by-bike thing because it’s what I believe in. It was… fun. Instead of dreading the climb up Highland & Jefferson, I was looking forward to it, and when I got there, I felt lighter and faster and just kind of alive. Something I haven’t felt like in at least two months; Strava says November 11th was the last time I had any speed up Highland.

It’s hard to say what changed. Did it just take a while, getting in some miles again after that month of basically being off the bike in December? Maybe. But I think it was also a bit of a relief going in for a blood test, first time in a couple of months, and seeing that things were OK. OK other than a declining hematocrit, which is definitely NOT ok, except that it helped having a reason for being a bit less strong. But the rest of the numbers, dealing with my essential thrombocythemia (mild bone marrow cancer), all looked pretty good and stable.

Sometimes you just have to keep plugging away, because if you keep at it, despite the discouragement that comes from the memory of how things used to be, you eventually reach some critical point where voila, you’ve arrived, you’re where you used to be, where you needed to be again. And thank goodness because how long can you go before those thoughts of “Is it over? Will I ever be able to ride well again?” are allowed to take over, so you slack off and never do get back to where you were?

Long way of saying I’ve pushed mortality off into the distance again. –Mike–

Where was the 60 degrees promised? 49 comes up short! But at least it rained.

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We knew it was going to rain, and we thought we knew it was going to be fairly warm. But it also looked like there was going to be a dry period between 11am-4pm, pretty much prime riding time for Kevin and I. What’s not to like? Well, for one thing, real live rain is preferable to wet roads. Wet roads are just… messy. You can’t ride your nice bike and you have to dress for wet. Without over-dressing.

We lucked out a bit. Leaving at noon, it had just started to rain. Not much, light stuff, but a bit more than drizzle. Given that the weather would be, at the very least, questionable, we opted for a shorter-than-normal loop, skipping Pescadero, but I was absolutely, positively, going to make it to the coast. Slowly but surely. How slow? 28 minutes up Old LaHonda slow, and it wasn’t a zero-effort climb on my part. The light rain was fine, but the temps promised didn’t hold up. Instead of 60, most of the ride was about 48. Still, we were dressed OK for it.

We saw a couple riders on Canada Road, a couple riders on Mtn Home, a single rider descending Old LaHonda… and that was it, I think. Where did everybody go? Has Strava killed winter riding? Or did everybody get out yesterday when it was nice out?

A bit of a headwind going out to the coast, as expected. Couldn’t get much protection from the wind because if I drafted behind Kevin, I got a mouthful of dirty spraying up from his rear wheel. Surprisingly, we climbed Stage Road pretty quickly, much faster than our pace up Tunitas. But while Tunitas was slow it was also nice actually being able to talk with Kevin instead of constantly gasping for air.

The wet Kings descent? Not an issue with our wider tires and disc brakes; we even caught up to a couple of cars on the way down.

Overall a pretty nice ride. Just 44 miles, but pretty high quality miles.