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!
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
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!