Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Sad ride after putting a pet down

Pretty nice up on Skyline today, as you can see in the photo, but it took quite some time before there was any enjoyment in today’s ride. Something to do with having to put down my daughter’s chameleon, Galahad, beforehand. Known as “Sir G”, Galahad had been with us for almost 4 years, which apparently is a pretty normal lifespan for a chameleon in captivity. No, he wasn’t stolen from the Amazon or anything like that, but raised on whatever passes for a chameleon “farm”, something more humane than poaching animals from their native environment.

Let me tell you that chameleons do require a bit more special care than, say, a dog, or a cat. Who knew. This little guy has seen the vet quite a few times for various minor ailments (and if you need a good vet on the Peninsula, by all means consider Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos), including surgery. Yes, you can actually do surgery on a lizard.

It had been tough going lately. He wasn’t eating like he should (my daughter has a gram scale that she’d regularly weigh him on, same type you use to compare expensive bike parts), he would get a prolapsed something-or-other and need to see the vet occasionally for stitches (and later removal), and the other day, sitting in his very large home (a 55 gallon terrarium), he decided to let his tongue hang out… and I mean really hang out… should have take a photo of it… he was up on a high branch and it reached down nearly a foot. A chameleon’s tongue is a bit like a coiled spring it turns out. It was frightening to see this, although he did eventually pull it back in.

Sir G lookin' good a few months ago
Sir G lookin’ good a few months ago

So he was brought in to the vet this morning, knowing that sure, he could be pumped full of fluids again and keep going for a while, but this wasn’t a healthy happy lizard and it was time to go. You’d not think that a small lizard (ok, chameleon) could elicit so much emotion from people, but it wasn’t just my daughter and son who were in tears, but also the vet. Me? Must have been a cold, that’s why I was sniffling.

So Sir G was put to rest, after assurances it would be humane (anesthesia first, then the stuff that stops the heart), and an hour later he was taken home for burial in the side yard, alongside other family pets over the years.

So when you see a 30 minute time for going up Old LaHonda, and no trip out to the coast, that’s why. It was hard to get Kevin going at all, and it took time to get his mind off the sadness. After scuttling the original plan (which, by the time we left, would have had us finishing in the dark), we turned south on Skyline, descended Page Mill, and wound our way back home. Just 36 miles and not very fast. We’ll make up for it next weekend. –Mike–

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Is there a Strava Tunitas segment handicapped for snakes?

Stopping to rescue snake on Tunitas, stopped earlier to view LaHonda duck pond birds. We may ride hard, but there's always time to enjoy the surroundings!
Stopping to rescue snake on Tunitas, stopped earlier to view LaHonda duck pond birds. We may ride hard, but there’s always time to enjoy the surroundings!

This was an unusual ride. Not unusual for its route; how many times have we done the Coastal Classic (Woodside/Pescadero/Tunitas)? Too many to count. What made it unusual was that it was me feeling better on all three climbs, having to hold back a bit for Kevin. That hasn’t happened in ages. Could have something to do with goofing off with his sister in Disneyland last week? And the stars lining up in just the right way so I had that feeling I could push hard on the pedals and… just keep on pushing hard? One of those rare days where it didn’t seem my lungs were the limiting factor they normally are? Yes, all of the above.

I do wish I’d pushed a bit more towards the top of LaHonda, instead of trying to keep Kevin in sight behind me. Strava tells me my time was just a second out of my top-10 for the past 5 years, and I think I could have made top-5.

Of course we dropped by the duck pond in LaHonda; you can see the large bird in the right-side photo at the top of this page that was hanging out. No turtles, many ducks & ducklings, and yes, that pond is losing water pretty quickly now. I’m not looking forward to rain, from a cycling standpoint, but yes, we need it. If only for the ducks.

The bakery was out of face-sized cookies so a very decadent chocolate muffin had to do. Muffin sounds healthier than cupcake, right?
The bakery was out of face-sized cookies so a very decadent chocolate muffin had to do. Muffin sounds healthier than cupcake, right?

Of course a mandatory stop at the Pescadero Bakery, where the sandwich people at the back of the store know Kevin by sight and get his order going for him. Kind of like the bar in Cheers, where everybody knows your name, but much healthier. Probably not so healthy was the chocolate muffin we had afterward.

Stage Road’s gravel is beginning to lessen but still something to be careful of. Definitely slows you down a bit on the climb, so this wouldn’t be a good time to go for a Strava PR. Same thing for the lower stretches of Tunitas. Wish I understood the point of laying gravel down on the road without any oil to bind it to the asphalt. Not that I’d want to ride on a freshly-oiled road, but at least I’d understand why it was being done (the idea being that the gravel adds a new layer to the roadway, bedding itself into the asphalt with the oil as a kind of glue).

It was just a short distance from the coast (on Tunitas) that we spotted a snake in need of help in the middle of the road. Small guy, still alive, small puncture mark from where it had been dropped by a bird. We moved it off the road and hopefully it will survive. Snakes don’t deserve to be run over by cars or bikes. So yes, we always stop for snakes. Even those with rattles. Just more careful with the rattlers.

I wasn’t sure how Kevin was going to be on Tunitas; the only thing I can rely on is that his pace will be uneven. On a long climb, that can really cause me problems; I do much better at a steady pace. Fortunately, my power meter was helpful as I realized that, over time, Kevin averaged about 275 watts; anything above that and I could pull away from him. Worked great, just watched my power and didn’t worry about him speeding up or slowing down, as long as I could stay within a range of 275 to 300 watts (which I can), I’d be OK. In the end, I could have done better and had a very good time across the steeper middle section of Tunitas, but when I’m riding with someone, I don’t look for ways to drop them. Most of the time. Not today anyway. Kevin, on the other hand, if he’s got a chance to drop me, it’s bye-bye Dad, see you at the top.

In the end it was yet another nice ride to the coast & back. Without question we live in a wonderful place to ride! –Mike–

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