Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Hot? Only on the steepest, exposed parts of the ride!

IMG_0168hotSaturday afternoon, around 3pm I think, it suddenly got hot. The day started out pretty nice, but over the course of maybe half an hour everything changed, and it became hot. I checked the weather report for Sunday, and yep, it would be hot again. How hot? 90 degrees in Pescadero hot. That’s hot! So you’d think I would have given some thought to altering the ride we did today, maybe dropping out the climb up West Alpine, one of the steeper, more exposed climbs in the area. That might have been sensible. Perhaps move the big climb to Tunitas, which, with its tree cover, tends to be quite a bit cooler. But that wasn’t the plan. I always try to stick to the plan.

Kevin and I took it fairly easy up Old LaHonda, which hadn’t gotten too hot yet, and rode at a moderate pace out to the coast. Despite the heat coming from the valley, we didn’t get the expected tail winds though, which I had counted on to be one of the redeeming features of the ride! Not much in the way of headwinds either though, so overall a fairly pleasant ride to Pescadero. I was surprised the roads weren’t busier, figuring a lot of people would be heading to the beaches, but no, as usual, not much traffic on our regular loops. Another surprise was that Pescadero was really pleasant; after getting our sandwich & cokes and heading out to the picnic tables, it just seemed like the perfect day to just sit in the shade and read a book (or take a nap). Not like that could happen, but in a different reality, maybe. But of course, it wouldn’t last. We’d been playing with mid-70s to maybe 80 so far, and that was about to change.

I made sure we refilled our bottles (two large ones each) and hoped that would be enough to get us though the next section- over Haskins, up West Alpine and then north on Skyline to Sky Londa. That’s a long way between water stops! Normally not much of an issue, because normally you’d go through one, maybe even less than one bottle per hour. But Haskins and West Alpine redefine “normal” on a hot day. Kevin was just about out halfway up West Alpine, so I gave him the full bottle I had left and I got to sip fumes the rest of the way. It all worked out, but not much margin to spare, and not sure how we could have done better. Tough to carry three bottles on a bike, and there are simply no places to refill on the way. Heck, I even went into the parking lot at the top of West Alpine and asked someone getting into a car if they had any to spare (they didn’t) Let me tell you the Mtn Dews we had at Sky Londa were pretty awesome.

In the end it was hot, but not nearly as bad as we’d experienced a couple days in France! 68 miles, 5900ft of climbing, highest temp I saw was only 99 degrees. We arrived home feeling a whole lot better than we felt heading up West Alpine, and that’s the great thing about riding. You can almost always ride through the tough spots and start feeling better again, and almost never do you get home and think you would have been better off not riding. –Mike–

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France vs SF Bay Area, and why it feels so good to hurt

tunitas_bod_againToday was our first “real” ride since coming back from France, almost two weeks ago. Life really got in the way; we got back so late Monday night that Tuesday-morning’s ride didn’t work out, did get to do Thursday’s regular ride, and then Sunday I was off on a place to the midwest for 6 days, killing a whole lot more rides (but did get in a short ride with Kevin Sunday morning before leaving).

So today, yeah, I was really looking forward to something substantial, knowing that it likely wasn’t going to feel all that great. Kevin and I opted for the usual reference ride, heading up Old LaHonda, over to Pescadero, and return via Tunitas. Lots of high-quality climbing. And, as expected, it was the climbing which felt most-comfortable. I’ll admit that Kevin did drop me towards the top of Old LaHonda, and I’ll also admit that wasn’t too surprising. Still, my time was 22-something and I was thinking a 24 would be more-likely.

Of course, riding over Old LaHonda and down the other side, comparisons to France were inevitable, and seriously, our roads are pretty awesome here. Even heading out to Pescadero I’m thinking what a nice road, good pavement, very little traffic. And, in all seriousness, can anything compare to the Pescadero Bakery? While there, we came across a woman from Half Moon Bay who mentioned that she really enjoyed my posts from France.

Tunitas, now that was interesting. I felt really good on the steeper sections, while Kevin was in some difficulty. I did some intervals, pushing hard for a bit, then easing off and waiting for Kevin to catch up. As expected, when it leveled out towards the top, Kevin took off and it was all I could do to hold his wheel. Why he can put so many more watts to the pedals on the flatter part, I don’t know.

About 58 miles, just under 6000 feet of climbing. One flat (a very rare thing for me, but I’d hit something off the sidewall of the rear tire in Woodside), and a suitably-high Strava “suffer” score. Good times on bikes!

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