Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

How does Kevin do it? Climb like that, I mean?

IMG_0761_50_SHADES_MAYIMG_0754_WOLHYep, another day of gray! Wonder if there are stats for “gray” days? We keep track of rain, we keep track of temperature, but is there a “gloom” index? If so, I’d have to think this May would rate extremely high!

Today it was the usual coastal run, up Old LaHonda, out to Pescadero for lunch, Stage Road north and then over Tunitas & down Kings. Kevin wasn’t his usual climbing monster on Old LaHonda, lagging just a bit behind me, and Haskins was taken at a pretty casual pace too. Perhaps the turtles at the duck pond were a sign?

IMG_0755_TURTLESBut after the fueling stop in Pescadero, Kevin started showing signs of life, actually climbing the three hills on Stage at a pretty good clip, quite a bit faster than normal. I was thinking Tunitas might be pretty fast after all! But without favorable tail winds we hit the base of the hill pretty late, and Kevin started lagging behind again. This is where I constantly make a tactical error when climbing with Kevin. When he’s having trouble; when it appears I have him on the ropes and pulling away quickly, instead of taking advantage of it and just heading up the hill, I wait for him. Did this three times on Tunitas. And that third time? He just went flying on past me. On the top part, where it flattens out, he took more than 30 seconds off my best time. He was flying!

Up to that point, he wasn’t thinking it was much of a ride. That was then, this is now. He got about 10 Strava accomplishments plus some really really sore legs, so he’s thinking it was a pretty good ride after all.

And that gray? It finally disappeared once we started down Kings, heading for home.

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Chased but never caught (AltoVelo A-ride somewhere behind us)

Kevin not his usual self on West Alpine
Kevin not his usual self on West Alpine

The plan was to hook up with the Alto Velo A-Ride and do the reverse-Pescadero loop. Nice plan, but when we got to the bottom of Old LaHonda for the rendezvous, just a bit early, Kevin didn’t want to wait, so we just headed up the hill, figuring they’d catch up to us soon enough.

Traditional cookie "big as your face" test
Traditional cookie “big as your face” test

But there’s something about knowing that there are “dogs” chasing you… something that makes you go just a little bit harder. Me anyway. I figured they’d likely catch up to us on the long run to San Gregorio, but no, we stayed clear. We continued to stay clear on Stage Road, although I kept looking back across the valley to see where they might be. Figuring that we’d need to keep the food break at Pescadero short, no sandwich today, just a pastry plus half a cookie.

As is usually the case, I feel better as the distance increases, but it was still a bit of a surprise that I’d need to hold back a bit for Kevin on Haskins, and corgisIMG_7298mildly frustrating later on to see that, if I hadn’t held up, I would likely have had my best Strava time up Haskins. West Alpine proved to be a “Bridge of Death” too far for Kevin, as he continued to fall off his normal torrid climbing pace. This was most-likely due to him not riding last Sunday, and made a bit worse because I got in quite a few more weekday miles than normal (when I rode to see the Tour of California stage near San Jose).

Fortunately the ride ended on a high note as Kevin spotted the two Corgis on Olive Hill near Canada.

And, by the way, “they” never passed us. We saw a few of “them” in Pescadero, but it looked like a pretty small group was doing AltoVelo’s A-ride, likely with most if not all of the faster riders off doing a race somewhere.

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