Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

Back to normal? We normally don’t do gravel on Thursdays!

Williams Ranch Road, a shortcut we used to skip the closed lower part of West Old LaHonda
After a “light” ride Sunday, then being off the bike completely for the next three days while in Reno for a trade show, I wasn’t sure how things were going to go this morning. And seeing two of the faster morning-ride guys at the start, George and JeffZ, didn’t exactly boost my confidence! But things worked out OK; younger Kevin went off the front with JeffZ, George and older Kevin (pilot) rode behind at a steady pace, and me, well, I hung for a while then watched George and Kevin (pilot) ride away, but slowly clawed my way back to them on the upper reaches of Kings.

It was nice to have some real horsepower on the ride this morning; George and Jeff pulled hard down 84 towards West Old LaHonda, where things ground to a bit of a halt when we discovered they were doing some serious road work, laying down gravel & oil and I’m sure making a mess of the road for quite some time. So we retraced our way back up the hill a bit and then, at Kevin’s (pilot, the old guy) suggestion, rode up Williams Ranch Road, which intersects West Old LaHonda right at the end of the section they were working on.

Things aren’t going to return to full-normal for a while yet; Sunday morning Kevin (not the pilot) and I have a gig in Foster City where we’ll be pumping up a lot of flat tires for a community bike ride, and afterward heading out for a pretty late ride, probably the usual, Pescadero/Tunitas. And in-between rides going a bit nuts because things are very busy at the shop and we’ve got extremely-thin staffing at the moment (if you know anybody who’d like to work in a great bike shop, let me know!). In fact, this Saturday we’ll have just a few of us in the shop on the busiest day of the week, as my brother Steve has a relative getting married and another employee injured her foot. By Sunday I’ll be needing a bike ride… desperately!

Unintentional experiment- what happens if I don’t use inhaler? Results as expected.

Heading up Kings with Kevin & Kevin
It’s every single Tuesday & Thursday morning, no matter what. The clock goes off at 6:50am, there’s a very specific ritual that involves getting dressed, putting on a heart monitor, coffee, something to drink, airing up the tires, using the toilet and… for me… using an albuterol inhaler 15-20 minutes before heading out. The routine never changes. Once in a blue moon I somehow forget to strap on my heart monitor, and that’s really not fun because I don’t get a Strava “suffer” score. But today, I did worse. Somehow I forgot to use the inhaler. Which means, in theory, my breathing is reduced.

Heading up Kings with Kevin & Kevin, I didn’t notice much difference, not at first. Pilot Kevin wasn’t going too fast, and younger Kevin seemed OK with that. For a while. I was hanging in nicely while the two of them were in casual cruise mode but on the steep part after the big hairpin and before the wide open clearing, younger Kevin picked up the pace, going from 250 watts, which I was able to keep up with, to just over 300. It didn’t take too long before I blew. They rode away from me at what looked like a rapidly-accelerating pace, such that any chance of recovering and making up some ground quickly went away.

At the top I found out that yes, younger Kevin just kept on pushing things, dropping Pilot Kevin and motoring on strongly. I was fine across Skyline, and even helped keep the pace up on West Old LaHonda, although still about 30 seconds slower for that segment than my solo ride on Tuesday. Nevertheless I paid for it, gasping for air pretty seriously towards the end.

So yes, I now have proof that I’m much better off with Albuterol than without.