Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

WHAT CAN AN E-BIKE DO FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Mike J- reasonably hard-core enthusiast road biker who likes to push hard up tough climbs.
Karen J- married to Mike J and has very different ideas of what a good time on a Sunday afternoon means. Hint: It’s never, ever, meant sweating hard on a climb, trying to keep up with people who think that’s fun.

Can this marriage be saved? Er, I mean, can these two go out on a bike ride together and have a good time? It’s been literally 40 years since that answer was sorta yes. But that changed when the two did “The Loop”, Mike on his road bike, Karen on a Trek Super Commuter E-Bike. Truth be told, Karen hadn’t been on a bike ride longer than 4 miles in quite a few years. She’s endured breast cancer three times and willfully inflicting pain on her body just doesn’t make much sense to her. But that Sunday, she cruised, pedaling easily (“effortlessly” would be stretching things just a bit) up Woodside Road from Redwood City to Woodside, and rode comfortably along Mountain Home Road. Meantime Mike was riding at an enjoyable speed, a little bit below normal, but happy that he could actually ride with his wife again.

The plan (if you’ve read his “Almost daily diary” you’ll know there’s always a plan with Mike) was to head out to the new Roberts in Portola Valley for lunch, before completing the loop and returning home. Karen didn’t think she could make it that far, but she did, with just a couple stops along the way for water. She was so please with the E-Bike that she was even giving test rides to other cyclists who stopped at Roberts.

After lunch she was convinced climbing back up Sand Hill would be too much and tried to convince Mike to head back via the much-flatter Alameda; this was probably the only real disagreement on the ride. She gave in to “the plan” though, and motored up Sand Hill quite nicely. Then it was back to Woodside via Manzanita & Mountain Home, then Canada Road and over Jefferson to home. But, not before stopping to say hi to a Woodside resident walking his Corgi (named “Lance” and he had another until recently named “Tiger” and yes, both named after defrocked sports heroes before they were defrocked).

All in all a very nice Sunday afternoon bike ride, made possible by Trek’s Super Commuter E-Bike. It’s entirely possible that Mike & Karen could do more rides together, and still remain married. That’s amazingly high praise for what an E-Bike can do for a couple, any couple, where one is a much stronger rider than the other. Mike J, Partner, Chain Reaction Bicycles

Shouldn’t it be the older guy with the knee issue?

A former Quarry now turned into a small lake
It was going to be our “Return to Pescadero” after a few weeks away from the usual Sunday loop, but Kevin’s knee was acting up, so we pulled over at the base of Old LaHonda and decided it wasn’t worth risking further damage. He figured he could make it to the top, but it wouldn’t be much fun. While stopped, we did get to fix a guy’s Di2 electric shifting problem (his cable had pulled out of the shift lever).

So instead of the coast we took one last ride to check out the dismantling of our Los Altos operation, a very slow ride because his knee wasn’t getting any better. In fact, by the time we got to the store, we decided it was going to be a one-way for Kevin, getting a ride back home with my wife, who was also able to pick up the computers and bring them up to our Redwood City operation.

While we’d deliberately chosen the easiest route possible heading to the store (mostly Foothill), I decided to explore a bit on the way back, taking advantage of the new Garmin Edge’s monstrous screen to check out roads I’d never been on. It’s pretty fun, actually, just cruising through the hills, trying every uphill direction you can that isn’t a dead end. My plan was to try and connect up with Moody, not knowing if it was possible, but figured I’d just stay “high” and keep heading north and eventually I’d get there. Along the way I discovered an old quarry that’s been turned into a small lake (shown in the photo above) and a “Not a through street” that most definitely does go through!

This was one of those rides where it just got more fun as I went along, feeling stronger all the time. By the time I finally did get to Moody I was able to push to a new PR on the climb, which was mildly surprising, but yeah, I was pushing pretty hard.

Hopefully next week will be back to normal. At least most of the angst closing the store will be over with; no more moving stuff from Los Altos into Redwood City from 9:30pm to midnight like tonight. Won’t miss that!