Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

A few years ago he was but the learner. Now he is the master!

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.

Classic Huret Alvit derailleur
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.

Any ride to Pescadero would not be complete without a duck pond picture!
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!

New bike-specific (and frankly offensive) stop-sign addition in Los Altos

Did a sort of “wandering around” ride Sunday, heading south through the foothills, up Moody (why?), up Page Mill (again, why?), north on Skyline in the cold (where did that come from?), West OLH loop then back home. On the way I spotted the latest assault on cyclists by, I think, Los Altos Hills. I get a bit confused about where one city ends and another begins sometimes.

Apparently, in Los Altos, it’s only bikes that have issues at stop signs, so they’ve added a second red box below the regular “Stop” sign that says “BIKES MUST STOP AT ALL STOP SIGNS.” OK… so after unintentionally recording video of a car just blowing through one (making a right-hand turn, the first subject in the video above), I pulled over to record the next 4 cars through that intersection and the next.

Not one came to a full stop. Every single car had its wheels moving at all times. One or two came close to a stop, pretty much the same way a cyclist typically does. But nobody put the brakes on, brought the car to a complete stop, then started again. Which is, I think, technically what the law requires. Note that it is possible to do this on a bicycle without putting your foot down.

If the idea is to have safer streets, effort to reduce distracted driving (specifically cell phone use) would likely yield far greater results, if “results” are to be measured by fewer lives lost or injured. More likely the impetus for this comes from motorists annoyed about the growing congestion in the area and anything that’s in front of them, slowing them down, is the enemy. Or maybe it’s even jealousy; motorists stuck in traffic while cyclists zip past to their side.

Whatever it is, it’s misguided and wrong.