Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

What does “The Perfect Ride” look like? It sure surprised us!

Who knew a gray day like this could produce a great ride!
Perfect ride, perfect morning, maybe what made it perfect was the unlikeliness of the day for a great ride.

It started much earlier than our normal Sunday ride; typically, we think we’re going to get out at a reasonable hour but by the time we finally get going on a Sunday “morning” it could be almost 11am. That really wasn’t an option today, because we knew rain could move in early, perhaps as early as 11am. Helping us to get motivated for an early start was the on-line coverage of the Amstel Gold Classic, one of the more-famous spring races in the Ardennes (largely Belgium).

Sure, getting up at 7am we only got to see the last hour of the race, but that’s usually where the action takes place, and no exception today. Great finish, right at 8am, and by 8:17am we were out on the road. No time to do the usual coastal loop (and besides, would the Pescadero bakery be open Easter Sunday?) so we did one of Kevin’s favorites, heading over Old LaHonda to LaHonda and up West Alpine.

Definitely no sign of the sun, but it wasn’t looking like we were heading for a soaking either. Just gray. Normally I’m not a fan of gray, but today, it just felt great to be out there, making the most of the morning, beating the rain. We even got to help a customer with a brake that I could hear dragging a bit as she was riding up Old LaHonda. Double bonus for that one- getting to help someone with a bike issue and having a good excuse to take a breather.

The Flanders flag when it used to be displayed at 8100 West Alpine. Would have been fitting to be out today!

West Alpine… oh sure, it was steep, and yes, Kevin escaped on the steeper later section of the climb, finishing a minute ahead of me. Along the way we passed the house that used to fly the Flanders flag, at 8100 West Alpine. For kicks I looked it up on the ‘net and found this. Looks like it sold recently and apparently no restriction in the deed of sale requiring the new owners to continue to fly the flag.

We were feeling the occasional sprinkle heading up West Alpine so the idea of going down Page Mill and doing “the loop” to get in some extra mileage didn’t seem like a good idea; better to head straight back via Skyline, which would have us descending 84 so we could check out the new section of missing road. Surprisingly, the rain continued to hold off, and equally surprising, the new section of damaged roadway has already been largely dealt with by carving into the hill a bit, preserving lanes in each direction, allowing them to work on the area that’s damaged without stopping traffic.

Getting down into Woodside it still wasn’t raining, so we gave thought to riding out to the end of Canada & back, but Kevin had the idea of looping around the hills above Redwood City by heading up over Edgewood and home via narrow back roads. This just happened to have us passing by the coffee shop near Canyon Inn, Emerald Hills Café & Roastery. A great way to relax for a few minutes before the last mile or two home.

And funny thing… just as we got home, like within 100 meters of our house, it started raining. Actual rain, not just drizzle. Perfect timing. Perfect ride. And back in plenty of time for Easter Sunday dinner. –Mike–

Strava’s “suffer score” isn’t quite right

The large slide on Skyline, just north of Sky Londa. One of many that may remain active for a while.

182. That was my suffer score today. It felt a lot harder than last week’s just-slightly-longer ride that scored a 207. The flaw in the rating? It’s about your ability to actually produce watts. You can run out of gas and suffer like a dog, but your score will be relatively low because suffering is more related to maximizing your potential, not how badly you feel.

I knew this was going to be a tough ride, first because I was riding solo (Kevin wasn’t feeling well, and second because I got out so late (leaving just before noon) that there weren’t going to be as many people on the roads near the coast, which means fewer rabbits to chase. Somehow you manage to up your game when there are lots of rabbits ahead of you.

The normal ride didn’t seem quite right, since it wasn’t a normal day, but I didn’t have the willpower to bypass the Pescadero Bakery. So the usual up Old LaHonda (slow start but picked up speed further up the hill), Haskins (the one place I did have a rabbit, but not one that I could catch), coke and a chocolate croissant in Pescadero, then north into a moderate headwind on Stage but… I decided I wanted to do a slightly longer ride, and yet not do Tunitas.  So at San Gregorio, I turned onto 84 and headed towards Skyline, and once there, instead of descending 84 into Woodside, I headed north on Skyline and descended Kings.

First half of the climb up to Skyline was OK; second half I was beginning to lose power and questioning my decision to make the ride “ugly” by heading north on Skyline. But riding slowly gave me an excuse to stop and take photos of some of the roadside carnage from last-month’s heavy rains, so it wasn’t all bad.