Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

If I felt as good as this picture looks…

Heading west into the setting sun on Sand Hill Road

Heading west into the setting sun on Sand Hill Road

I’d pretty much written off riding today; my cold has been doing this up & down thing where you’d feel pretty darned good in the morning and then aoubt 8 hours later you’d be wiped out. Several days in a row of that and it started getting kinda old, y’know? Worst part was when you’d be feeling bad and forget what it was like to feel good. Hate that! But funny thing today; I think, if I’d actually gotten any sleep last night, I would have been doing pretty good! But a variety of things conspired against me such that I probably ended up with a whole 3 hours, and it really didn’t help the Gent-Wevelgem cycling race, one of the early-season “Classics” in Europe, was available to watch on the tv from about 5am on. So Burt, if you’re reading this, I started watching with about 120k to go. Maybe I beat you to it this time!

By the time it was time to get up, getting up seemed like the last thing I wanted to do, but going to sleep wasn’t working out either. So I did the semi-zombie thing until about 4pm, working on the shop’s website, checking order status with suppliers, and then decided I had to get out and ride. Yesterday I wouldn’t have done so, but today, it was mostly the zombie thing, not being sick, I’ve always felt better after a ride when previously I’d been in a zombie state.

Couldn’t be much of a ride though as there’s no question my lungs are still impaired, lots of hacking, so I used modern technology to hold my heart rate at 140 or below, and power generally below 190 watts. Riding away from my house, up over Jefferson, I was beginning to have serious doubts this was a good idea; it took a while for me to “stabilize” and figure out what I could, and could not, do. There was a bit of a wind out there too, and that was playing havoc on my lungs. I could climb OK, flats weren’t too bad, but descending was awful. Why? Because I can’t breathe through my nose (never could very well and with the cold, simply no chance) and the effect of high-velocity air going into my lungs was hackingly unpleasant.

Yet in the end it was a pretty pleasant ride. Intentionally throttled back, not trying to catch up to anybody, just riding along at a pace that didn’t require much more than a walking effort. A whole 21 miles, 1400ft of climbing. “The loop.” I survived, felt better afterward, and have an appointment with the doctor to see about getting this thing cleared out of my system. But before that I’m going to get a good night’s sleep.

Oh, one more thing. At about 2am last night my son was wandering around, trying to walk off some pain from his kidney tube. We talked for a while, about pain, about the future, about getting back into shape after his operation, about the various doctors he’s seen lately who have been universal in complimenting him on his excellent health (aside from the kidney and his epilepsy). Kevin mentioned that cycling may have actually saved his life, because it got the rest of his body in such good shape that it could handle a kidney issue that meant he was running at only 35% capacity. And I brought up that perhaps the reason I’ve had to deal with feeling so bad is so I could better relate to what he’s had to go through, with his various procedures and all. Kind of a humbling thing, perhaps a necessary thing for a guy like me who rarely gets sick. Three sick days in 34 years. This latest bug has been with me just 8 days and I am so ready for it to be over! Kevin’s been dealing with the kindey issues for… well, the painful stuff for about 6 years. I have it pretty easy. –Mike–

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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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