Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Labor Day, cooler, but very few people riding?

Even passing by the super-popular Stanford Dish trail, there were very few people hiking up to it, far fewer than normal. Where did everybody go?
It wasn’t a “real” ride day; I had some work to get done, including taking care of a few loose end in Los Altos, but I figured why not combine work with riding? So at about noon I headed out into really weird skies, felt a few sprinkles, quite a bit of wind and rode from Redwood City to our Los Altos location, where I met up with my wife and did some transfers between the two stores (she had a car, obviously).

Along the way I saw very few people, but one did stand out. On the Robleda “roller coaster” in Los Altos Hills, that piece of road that used to be really fun before they put the stop sign in the middle of it? There was a guy ahead of me wearing, get this, a first-generation hard-shell helmet, the Bell Biker. That helmet is seriously 35 years old and probably about as effective at this point as wearing a styrofoam hat. Of course, being safety-conscious, he had a rear view mirrow attached to it. And then proceeded to blow thorugh the Robleda stop sign, and another two after it, without slowing down in the slightest. Pretty strange and pretty annoying.

Strava “warning” me that a segment is approaching and challenging me to do something about it.
The plan was to ride pretty easily, but darn that Strava and the “segments” feature. I’m heading back, about to turn right to go up Sand Hill from Foothill, and up pops a 6 minute, 6 second segment ridden by George Smith, one of our semi-regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning riders. And it started teasing me. I was actually ahead of his time, likely because I was getting favorable stop lights. So instead of “just” riding, I started pushing, seeing if I could do better than George, and somehow, I ended up with 3 seconds faster. Never mind that, looking at the fastest times for that segment, I’m seeing 4:22.

It certainly warmed up on the return, as high as 87, but that’s still 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. And tomorrow is supposed to be cooler still. I’m ready for it!

Felt like turning back early, kept going, glad I did!

San Mateo County’s latest efforts to keep cyclists off West Old LaHonda road.
Finally, a day that’s not insanely hot, just hot. I can deal with hot, right? I sure didn’t feel like I was dealing with hot very well as I started up Old LaHonda! I think the preceding two insanely hot days took something out of me, even though I wasn’t on a bike, so by the time this morning came around, there just wasn’t much feeling of power in my legs. Old LaHonda felt like the toughest, slowest grind it’s been in years, and I was giving serious thought to modifying the original plan, maybe shortening the ride a lot by heading down Kings. Thankfully, I started feeling better as I neared the top, and heading down the other side things started falling into place.

Of course, things came to a temporary stop when I saw the concrete barriers shown in the photo above! Fortunately not so tall you can’t lift a bike over them. I’ve posted a rant on Facebook about them and won’t get into all the details here. Clearly we are not wanted on that road, so if you’re riding it, you need to consider it as, at best, an act of civil disobedience.

As I approached LaHonda I still had some thought of cutting the planned ride (Pescadero Tunitas) short, maybe by heading up West Alpine, but y’know, on a hot day, climbing the upper section of West Alpine just didn’t seem terribly attractive to me! So I dropped into the La Honda market for more water and a Mtn Dew and set off for Pescadero. Amazingly, Haskins Grade seemed not-so-bad! Things just got better and better as I went.

Curiously, very few people in Pescadero today, despite it being a very pleasant 74. I did do something a bit different than normal, heading up the coast instead of Stage Road, thinking it might be just a little bit cooler. Probably was; 72-76 degrees between Pescadero and Tunitas.

Tunitas? I took it fairly easy, stopping twice on the way up (once to take a picture, another to deal with the very large amount of water I’d been drinking, some of which needed to be, er, released?), trying to actually enjoy the climb.

Crazy busy up on top due to the Kings Mountain Art Fair, with quite a bit of traffic on Kings itself. This would not have been a good day to be riding up Kings, that’s for sure!

Temps never got higher than 97. I can deal with that! Really glad I didn’t turn back earlier. –Mike–