Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Awesome start to the day, not-so-hot middle, great end

Climbing West Alpine we saw a few homes with "Million dollar views." I suspect that's sadly out of date; a "Million dollar view" in many parts of the bay area would feature somebody's back yard. But the "earned" view from a bike? Priceless!
Climbing West Alpine we saw a few homes with “Million dollar views.” I suspect that’s sadly out of date; a “Million dollar view” in many parts of the bay area would feature somebody’s back yard. But the “earned” view from a bike? Priceless!
Kevin providing ride and canine support for the Ravenswood Health Center ride
Kevin providing ride and canine support for the Ravenswood Health Center ride

Interesting day! It actually started Friday, when Kevin took a phone call at the shop from the organizer for the Ravenswood Family Health Center’s benefit ride, looking for someone to step in at the last moment and help out with bike support when someone else wasn’t able to make it. Kevin basically volunteered that we could do it, figuring that it was early in the morning (7am-8:30am) so we’d still have the rest of the day for our own ride or whatever else needed to get done. And maybe that would get us out on the road earlier than normal, since we’d already be up and moving!

It’s quite an event, much smaller in scale than others we’ve helped with, but very well organized, and apparently a very successful fund raiser for the organization. Julie Brody of Atherton does a pretty amazing job putting it all together.

Lemonade concession at the top of Old LaHonda Road
Lemonade concession at the top of Old LaHonda Road

Afterrward we picked up coffee and breakfast for the rest of the family, and should have been out on the road by 10am or so. Should have, but Kevin wasn’t feeling great, probably the result of strong coffee at the morning event followed by more coffee we picked up for breakfast. By the time he felt more-or-less OK it was… 12:30. A bit late for a ride to the coast and up West Alpine, but you do what you have to do. Not very fast up Old LaHonda, as I might have been feeling a bit too-caffeinated myself, but a nice reward at the top, where we found a young kid with Lemonade, asking for $1 donation to a cause (never found out what) but offering it free if you didn’t have anything on you. At that point we knew this would be a good ride!

Flat tire on 84, just west of LaHonda
Flat tire on 84, just west of LaHonda

And it was a good ride, until the first of my flats, on 84 a mile or two past LaHonda. Might be tough to see in the photo, but there’s a small piece of beer-bottle glass that pierced the tire casing. Drat, two cyclists passed while we were putting the new tube in and patching the hole in the tire with a piece of roadside trash (a part of a potato-chip bag). No way to catch back up to them, even though we were going into a pretty stiff headwind on the way out to San Gregorio, and I’m pretty good at that these days.

Stage Road skirted the coastal fog all the way to Pescadero, quite a contrast from the high temperatures back in Redwood City! And nearly all of the gravel is thankfully gone.

In Pescadero we had the requisite sandwich and face-sized cookie from the bakery and, of course, felt just a bit bloated heading back via Haskins Grade. Kevin was having just a bit of knee pain so we took it pretty easy going up Haskins, and no records were in danger of being broken up West Alpine either. That’s OK, the views were incredible and it felt great finally getting in a bit longer and bit tougher ride than the usual Pescadero-Tunitas loop.

Due to the heat our bottles were running dry so we made what was supposed to be a quick stop at Sky Londa, only to find my rear tire was going flat again. Good thing to figure that out before descending 84! Obviously I didn’t get all the glass out of the tire first time through. Guess I get flats so rarely that I’m out of practice!

In the end it was about 67 miles at a moderate pace.

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Sad ride after putting a pet down

Pretty nice up on Skyline today, as you can see in the photo, but it took quite some time before there was any enjoyment in today’s ride. Something to do with having to put down my daughter’s chameleon, Galahad, beforehand. Known as “Sir G”, Galahad had been with us for almost 4 years, which apparently is a pretty normal lifespan for a chameleon in captivity. No, he wasn’t stolen from the Amazon or anything like that, but raised on whatever passes for a chameleon “farm”, something more humane than poaching animals from their native environment.

Let me tell you that chameleons do require a bit more special care than, say, a dog, or a cat. Who knew. This little guy has seen the vet quite a few times for various minor ailments (and if you need a good vet on the Peninsula, by all means consider Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos), including surgery. Yes, you can actually do surgery on a lizard.

It had been tough going lately. He wasn’t eating like he should (my daughter has a gram scale that she’d regularly weigh him on, same type you use to compare expensive bike parts), he would get a prolapsed something-or-other and need to see the vet occasionally for stitches (and later removal), and the other day, sitting in his very large home (a 55 gallon terrarium), he decided to let his tongue hang out… and I mean really hang out… should have take a photo of it… he was up on a high branch and it reached down nearly a foot. A chameleon’s tongue is a bit like a coiled spring it turns out. It was frightening to see this, although he did eventually pull it back in.

Sir G lookin' good a few months ago
Sir G lookin’ good a few months ago

So he was brought in to the vet this morning, knowing that sure, he could be pumped full of fluids again and keep going for a while, but this wasn’t a healthy happy lizard and it was time to go. You’d not think that a small lizard (ok, chameleon) could elicit so much emotion from people, but it wasn’t just my daughter and son who were in tears, but also the vet. Me? Must have been a cold, that’s why I was sniffling.

So Sir G was put to rest, after assurances it would be humane (anesthesia first, then the stuff that stops the heart), and an hour later he was taken home for burial in the side yard, alongside other family pets over the years.

So when you see a 30 minute time for going up Old LaHonda, and no trip out to the coast, that’s why. It was hard to get Kevin going at all, and it took time to get his mind off the sadness. After scuttling the original plan (which, by the time we left, would have had us finishing in the dark), we turned south on Skyline, descended Page Mill, and wound our way back home. Just 36 miles and not very fast. We’ll make up for it next weekend. –Mike–

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