Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

The Mystery of Marcus Rock Explained!

Far left, Kevin having to survive a trip to Pescadero without a suitable cookie! Middle is the mysterious rock on Tunitas that Marcus posted on Strava. Far right it appears Kevin has discovered its source!

Superbowl Sunday- typically a nice day to ride because there’s not much traffic on the roads. Definitely the case today; in fact, very few bicyclists on the other side of the hill either! Probably because the forecast afternoon rain scared people away from longer rides.

We had toyed with the idea of doing the reverse Pescadero loop (counter-clockwise) and climbing West Alpine, but with the potential for wet roads decided a longer ride might not be the best idea, so we settled on what’s become the usual Sunday ride for me & Kevin… up Old LaHonda, over Haskins, Stage Road then Tunitas. Same as last week. Same as the week before that too if I recall correctly. And my times we just the tiniest bit faster on Old LaHonda (24:00 vs 24:12) and Haskins (10:34 vs 10:49). What Strava isn’t showing is the segment between Flamingo house & Pescadero, where Kevin was absolutely drilling it. I insisted to Kevin that I was actually pushing him from behind, but the truth is that I was doing everything I could just to hang on.

The Pescadero Bakery/General Store was the quietest we’ve seen in ages, and yet… no selection of face-sized cookies! Kevin had something else, as you can see in the photo. But it’s not the same without the cookie face test.

The big surprise was the tailwind heading north on Stage! That’s something you can’t let go to waste, so I made sure we pushed the pace a bit and got a new PR for the first climb… by 1 second. That’s cutting things close! The tail wind also provided for a very fast descent on Highway 1 to Tunitas, and knowing that we’re only 11 seconds off the Strava record for the segment, well, next time there’s a tail wind on that segment, I’m going for it.

On Tunitas we looked for and found the rock Marcus Gosling posted a photo of on Strava. To be truthful, I’d seen the rock last week and pointed it out to Kevin, although he had no memory of that whatsoever. It’s a very odd shape for a rock, leading us to wonder if it is in fact extra-terrestrial, possibly placed there by ancient aliens. Or maybe it’s the world’s biggest kidney stone from a prehistoric dinosaur. Kevin did discover where it had most-recently come from though, on the hillside on the opposite side of the road.

We took it very easy up Tunitas, even stopping a couple times for photos on the way up. The weather was beginning to move in on us, not bad until we began the descent on Kings, and by the time we got home, it was more than just sprinkles. Curiously, it pretty much stopped for two hours right!

Sadly it looks like the usual weather pattern has daily rain on weekdays, clearing up only on the weekend, so it might be another week before we’re out on our Madones again. This year our rain bikes are getting quite the workout… but at least not today.

May have numbers to prove things are getting better!

The obligatory pretty ride picture; nice to see temps in the mid-60s once we got out towards the coast!
No rain, almost entirely-dry roads, slightly warmer… what’s not to like? I did the “reference” ride with both Kevins today, that being the usual Sunday event up Old LaHonda, Haskins, lunch at Pescadero, Stage Road then back via Tunitas. It was really nice not having to bring rain gear and the stuff you have to wear for really cold weather.

Kevin (pilot) telling us how he’s too health-conscious to eat a cookie, with his Diet coke in the foreground.
Old LaHonda, well, it wasn’t easy but it was nice getting back into 24 minute territory again. The two Kevins still rode away from me though. Haskins I was feeling stronger and able to keep up. On the run into Pescadero it was nice having “pilot” Kevin along, pulling strongly into the slight headwind. Lunch was the usual Chicken Club sandwich shared with the younger Kevin, along with coffee instead of coke. Seems like the coke-in-Pescadero ritual may be moving on. Pilot Kevin, on the other hand, remains addicted to his Diet Coke, and won’t touch a cookie because he wants to avoid the sugar. As if there’s nothing bad for you in Diet Coke?

As usual, I’m at my best on the three Stage Road hills, for reasons I’ll never understand. I don’t particularly like any of them! Especially the second one, just prior to San Gregorio. I’ve never felt like I could get into a rhythm on the lower part; it’s only when it begins to get steep that I feel OK. Perhaps the best thing about those three hills is that each is pretty short, something around 6-8 minutes long, and maybe that’s about what I can do before running out of gas. Whatever, I’ll admit it was fun to have both Kevins trailing behind by a bit.

Tunitas of course digs out the real truth. I began to fall off before we even got to the Bridge of Death, and barely kept them in sight until they waited for me at the grassy knoll.

The Olive Hill Corgis
The good news came later, when I looked at the data and found my 20 minute power is beginning to come back. 281 average watts for 20 minutes is something I haven’t seen in at least half a year! My climbing times are still slower than they should be, but most of that is probably from the extra 6 pounds I’m carrying right now. Hopefully the worst of the rain is behind us, and since nicer weather = longer and harder rides, which will help to get that weight off!

Oh, almost forgot one of the best parts of the ride! For the first time in many months, the Olive Hill Corgis came out to see us. Life is good.