I didn’t have the highest hopes for today’s ride; this winter has been crueler than most to me, possibly from the bone marrow meds I’m on. It will be interesting to see if the recent trend of a declining hematocrit level has continued; that would be the easy explanation. I’ll know more after Friday’s routine blood test. In the big picture it’s not something to be too concerned about, given that every single test done on my bone marrow turned out as good as could possibly be expected. The fuse isn’t lit; I’m going to be around for a while. I just might not be going as fast as I’d like!
Lucky for me, Kevin has no such issues. Oh sure, Epilepsy and Kidney Stones (the latter of which caused him a bit of pain today) but he’s in pretty amazing shape considering how many rides he misses. Still, drafting doesn’t work at mere-mortal speeds uphill, so as expected, Old LaHonda was pretty tough for me. Again. I should be happy about the fact that, at 24:37, it was actually my best time since October 1 last year. That’s pretty sad.
Heading down the other side we came across David K on his “Eroica” bike. Talk about classic steel; this bike even had a pre-Schwinn Huret Alvit derailleur. Something so unusual I had to take a picture of it. I have an appreciation for older bikes and their equipment, but no desire to ride them anymore. I love modern bikes with awesome shifting, fantastic brakes and comfortable shoe/pedal systems that don’t require me to position my foot- it’s all done for me. When I put it that way, can an electric-assist bike be far behind?
We did the reverse Pescadero loop today, hoping to get a tailwind on Stage Road, and we did! So much nicer than having to fight your way through the wind, which is exactly what I had Kevin doing as he headed out to the coast on 84. Mile after mile after mile, he hammered at the front, battling the wind the way I used to back in the day. It wasn’t all that long ago that we’d do a Santa Cruz loop and occasionally hit a (rare) headwind riding south on the coast, and I’d just put my head into the wind and go, for a full hour, just drilling it. I’ve got Kevin up to about 20 minutes so far.
Pescadero was busy but we timed it perfectly and got our sandwich with little delay. The cookies were back (although they’ve definitely downplayed them, and perhaps even reduced the size a bit). 12 ounce Coke for Kevin, 20 ounce Mtn Dew for me, and we were fueled and ready. Kevin’s original idea was to finish up West Alpine after the Haskins tenderizer section, but a bit of knee pain convinced him 84 would be the wiser choice. Without realizing it, I had moved into “normal” ride mode, where I feel better as the ride goes on, which I really hadn’t expected to happen. So maybe there’s hope!