Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Not the planned ride, but still good

Maybe the reason for the deviation from what you had planned was so that you could be there for someone else? Like someone who had run out of CO2 and you just happen to carry a real pump?
Maybe the reason for the deviation from what you had planned was so that you could be there for someone else? Like someone who had run out of CO2 and you just happen to carry a real pump?

It was Sunday, which meant longer ride, probably to the coast, although I was thinking about doing something just a bit different, maybe heading over to LaHonda and back up West Alpine, then south on Skyline, drop down 9, stop in at our Los Altos store to say hello and then head home via the foothills. Unfortunately, this was one of those mornings where my son (Kevin) woke up feeling sorta OK but got feeling worse and worse as we prepared to ride. Some sort of stomach thing. I waited, and waited, and waited, hoping it would settle. No such luck. So, as the skies became increasingly-gray, I finally set out around noon (quite a bit later than the planned 9:30!) and made a “utility” ride out of it by bringing a computer part (a small graphics card that fit in my pocket) to the Los Altos store. Along the way, I stopped for a couple of guys on Canada trying to fix a flax on a mountain bike; unfortunately, it was a regular valve, and my pump only works on presta. A bit disappointed, I re-mounted and, just 50 meters down the road, on the other side, another pair of riders with a flat. This time, presta valve, they’d run out of CO2, so I was able to help (shown in the photo above).

It was a bit weird “riding blind” though. My heart & power monitors both had dead batteries! I managed to find a 2032 battery in an old light that I could use for the heart monitor, but the power monitor would have to wait until I got to the Los Altos store. It’s strange, having your bike computer displaying 3 blank spots where there should be 3 & 10 second power, plus cadence. You really start getting used to looking at your power and knowing how much more you can do, or whether you might be burning a candle or two that you could use later. Yes, I know, there are people who think that paying attention to a bike computer takes away from the beauty and awesomeness of just riding your bike, and that’s fine, I get it, I understand there are some who don’t even see the point to Strava. That’s just not me, that’s all. Probably means I’m a borderline (borderline?) type-A person.

Where the ride got interesting was on the return. I was determined to duplicate as little of the outbound journey as possible; those Strava out & back routings just look kinda pointless, y’know? In fact, heading back, I was even thinking a bit “artfully”, wondering what this route or that would actually look like. All in all the ride back was definitely more interesting than the ride down, and, of course, I now had power to look at as well! Perhaps I carried it just a bit too far towards the end though. Heading back on Canada, feeling a small sectin of duplicated road, with my final climb over Jefferson coming up… well, there’s always Godetia. That ridiculous road whose grade gets ever-steeper as it goes. Godetia did not disappoint. It’s just as bad as I remember, with few (any?) redeeming qualities, other than an opportunity to really see what your absolute max heart rate is. Godetia’s good for that. If you want to know, it will tell you. There’s no way to cheat Godetia!

Just over 44 miles, relatively-low suffer score (no big hills) but definitely not an easy spin around the block. Sadly, it’s going to be 5 days off the bike now, as I head to a bicycle dealer conference in Phoenix. Phoenix, that place it’s always very-warm to super-hot. Except now. 58 degrees is what I’m looking forward to. Sigh.

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One of those days you can just barely hang onto that wheel in front of you

Kevin was on fire today; this is on Pescadero Road, where he set a new PR about 30 seconds faster than I've ridden that stretch in recent history. It was all his; I was in no shape to help at the front.
Kevin was on fire today; this is on Pescadero Road, where he set a new PR about 30 seconds faster than I’ve ridden that stretch in recent history. It was all his; I was in no shape to help at the front.
I had no illusions I was going to be riding fast today; in November and December I did enough traveling to lose a ton of base miles, and the day before yesterday I’d ridden up Mount Hamilton. Kevin wasn’t feeling well so he got to stay home and rest. Back in the day, that would have worked in my favor, but these days, yes, my legs are still feeling it a couple days later.

We left at 9:45am, giving the morning overcast a chance to burn off and enjoying much warmer temperatures than the last several rides. I think the low for the ride was a balmy 42 degrees! I told Kevin it was going to be a 26 minute time up Old LaHonda, knowing that usually I’m pretty conservative with my estimates and I’d beat it be a couple minutes, but not today. 26 was about all I had in the tank. That’s OK, this wasn’t supposed to be a fast ride. Apparently, Kevin didn’t get that memo though. Haskins was a moderate 11-something but the run-in from the Flamingo House to Pescadero? Kevin hammered. I mean really hammered, the type of pace where it was all I could do to hold his wheel.

Pescadero was the usual stop at the excellent bakery, although not having the traditional coke (due to my experiment with eliminating caffeine in exchange for lower blood pressure) really sucked. Kevin rubbed it in by having coffee. His second cup. He had another before we left the house.

Instead of the usual run up Tunitas we did 84 back from the coast, just to do something different. Well yes, it’s different, but it’s not better. That stretch from the coast to a mile or so past La Honda just isn’t a whole lot of fun, with its junk-climb rollers that sap your legs. And, of course, there was the issue of trying to hold Kevin’s wheel. How did he suddenly get so strong?

In the end it was a tougher-than-expected 60 miles, and probably our last dry ride for quite a while. The forecast for Tuesday looks messy!

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