It wasn’t supposed to be a tough ride. Hold the power down (250 watts max) and re-introduce Kevin to the routine after being off the bike through three brain surgeries for his epilepsy. We chose the old familiar… Old LaHonda/Pescardero/Tunitas Creek. Things didn’t go quite according to plan.
Old LaHonda wasn’t too bad, just slow. Not even sure how slow, but keeping the wattage down, it was probably in the 27 minute range. A bit odd being passed by quite a few people, and a bit tough a few times keeping Kevin from going into “target acquisition mode” those few times we managed to creep up on anyone. He’d had some issues with his knee a couple weeks ago, when he got out for a short ride in-between surgeries, but so far, not too bad.
Haskins, the climb over Pescadero Road, was also pretty slow. Knee still OK. Coming into Pescadero it got a bit cooler (fog moving in) and ouch, a bit of pain. Maybe it will go away after lunch.
Riding into a mild headwind on Stage Road, things started looking not very good. Kevin was taking it really easy but the knee was getting worse as he went. I suspected some connection between the colder weather out on the coast, and hoped that heading back inland soon would help. Tunitas was now out of the question; that steep & nasty run up from San Gregorio to Highway 1 via Stage would kill him. We headed up 84 instead, enjoying a nice tailwind that helped keep the power down and the pain away from his knee. Yeah well, by the time we got to LaHonda, it didn’t much matter whether the road was tilting up or flat. We stopped about half a mile east of LaHonda to consider our options and yes, got desperate enough to try and call for a sag (neither wife nor daughter answered their phones though).
What to do. This is one of those times you’re very fortunate to have a former employee and friend who’s now an extraordinary Physical Therapist. That would be Todd Norwood, who works out of Agile Fitness in Palo Alto. The plug is very well deserved. Todd suggested that he ride up near the front of the saddle, and try to keep his heels level. Thankfully I carry enough tools with me to fix or adjust most anything, so I both moved his saddle forward and tilted it down a bit at the front, to keep him from sliding back. Amazing difference! Pain greatly reduced; he was able to make it over the top and ride home. As we neared Skyline I was thinking how much life had changed in the past hour; had we sagged in, and not had a good idea what was going on and/or a way to effectively deal with it, Kevin’s trip to France was in serious jeopardy. Now, there’s hope. He’s got some exercises to do and we’ll see if the changes I made to his seat positioning allow him to get back into the groove.
Seems like this year, not much is coming easy! Next year ought to be a breeze by comparison. 🙂