Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

The Lost Weekend

90 inland, 66 on the coast. Gotta love those Bay Area Microclimates!
90 inland, 66 on the coast. Gotta love those Bay Area Microclimates!
Two amazingly-awesome days to ride, Sunday & Monday, what an opportunity! With the shop closed on Monday, I’d been looking forward to this weekend for some time. Maybe get back to the Sierras again; it’s been quite a while since I’ve ridden either Ebbets or Sonora Pass. Or at least something challenging ’round here. That would be logistically easier, since we no longer have a shop van, so no way to transport bikes.

But instead I’ve got a very slow 12 mile ride on Sunday and a 45 mile ride today (that wasn’t quite as fast as I’d hoped for but I certainly suffered!). Kevin’s kidney procedure last Wednesday involved installing a temporary stent, a different sort than he’s had before because this one quite literally has strings attached. And those strings cause a great deal of pain, enough that he was hating life pretty badly the whole time on Sunday so what was supposed to be an easy “loop” through Portola Valley instead made it out to the end of Mt Home before having to turn around.

I was hoping today would be different, that Kevin would be back on his feet, but no such luck. I delayed as long as possible, and spent a number of hours trying to figure out the logistics of a trip to Africa that Karen (my wife) has had on her bucket list… finally, at 3:45pm, I just had to stop doing that and get out and ride.

Hot? Yeah, it was hot, about 90 out there, 87 going up Old LaHonda, and maybe it was the heat that was slowing me down a bit and driving up my heart rate, but more likely I’m just out of shape. Hate that. Hate that I get into awesome shape in France, come back, and life just gets in the way for a while. But I pushed it pretty hard, including the long stretch out to the coast into a headwind. A headwind that made me hopeful that maybe I’d get a push up the lower parts of Tunitas, but of course that wasn’t the case!

But I did get that feeling after the ride that my body had recalibrated a bit, that I had managed to avoid further deterioration, dodged a bullet. Especially appreciated that I was able to get my max heart rate back up to 174; I’d thought 172 was the best I could do. That’s a really good thing. But it really did seem close to not riding at all today, and I just cannot imagine the damage that would have done. :-)

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One ride that had it all- highs, lows, and in-between. Best of all, a great finish.

Tuesday’s ride… did it even get written up? Yes, I’m way behind. Trying to even remember Tuesday. Just checked Strava to make sure I rode, now a bit of it’s coming back to me. Pretty much a typical Tuesday ride, with Kevin heading up with the fast guys. Thursday was a near-washout, as Kevin developed some nasty flank/kidney pain, likely a small stone, and by the time we got through the park he said he was turning back. I talked him into continuing up Kings, which he did, taking 45 minutes instead of his usual 25 to 26. We turned back at the top, a whopping 17 mile ride, and I was a bit concerned about what Sunday’s ride would be like.

Kevin falling behind on Page Mill. Darned if I can figure out why he has issues on Page Mill and not other similar climbs.
Kevin falling behind on Page Mill. Darned if I can figure out why he has issues on Page Mill and not other similar climbs.

Kevin wasn’t very happy with what I proposed; my plan was to do the ride we weren’t able to complete last Sunday, due to his kidney/flank pain. Up Page Mill, down West Alpine, over Haskins to Pescadero, Stage Road and then return up Tunitas. Last Sunday it was shortened, dropping down West Alpine and then heading back home via 84. For reasons I can’t quite figure out, Kevin isn’t liking Page Mill these days. Used to be me that hated that climb, but I’m beginning to get a feel for it.

So up Page Mill we went, Kevin wishing we were doing Old LaHonda instead, probably because Page Mill is one of the few climbs where I can outclimb him. No idea why. Today was no exception, but he started feeling a bit better towards the top. Then he began to feel a lot better on Haskins, almost to the point of me getting dropped until he started to run out of gas near the top.

Sandwich & cookie break at Pescadero, where the store had┬ámysteriously-unstocked shelves where the cokes were supposed to be! We headed north into the usual headwind and just as we were getting into a good rhythm, Kevin runs over a 2-inch nail of some sort that almost wrecked his new frame (scraping against it as the wheel went ’round). Normally, that would seriously deflate (so to speak) the mood, but not this time. It was surprisingly-easy climbing Highway 1 from San Gregorio to the top, where Stage Road hits it, and I was feeling very strong on the lower, relatively-flat lead in to the real climb on Tunitas. Unfortunately, Kevin wasn’t feeling the same, not yet, so I was still holding up for him, looking at how quickly we made it to the start of the forest, and wondering how good my time might have been if I were on my own.

Of course, such thoughts didn’t last. As soon as it got steep Kevin went rocketing past me, and it was all I could do keep within 20 seconds of him on the way up. Knowing how inconsistent his pace is, I never gave up, gradually clawing back a couple seconds here, a couple seconds there, until I finally caught back up to him, just past the spot where it “rolls over” and flattens out. From there to the top he got his 3rd or 4th or 5th wind, not sure which, and it was all I could do to hang onto his wheel to the top. How differently would things have been if I’d ditched him on the lower flanks and went on at my best pace? Don’t know. I do wish we could have pushed a bit harder earlier, and gotten up maybe two minutes faster. Maybe next time.

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