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

Final Tuesday/Thursday ride before heading to France

We got off to a bit of a late start from the house this morning, raising concern that we could arrive late for the ride, something that is absolutely, positively against the rules. Kevin’s solution was to charge up over Jefferson like a man possessed. We overtook someone who was moving pretty well; Kevin kept the hammer down due to Rule #1. Never pass someone you can’t stay ahead of. As we passed the nursery school where it levels off slightly, Kevin says something like “We had to keep the speed up after we passed that guy”, not realizing “that guy” had latched onto my wheel. Kevin is one of those people who very rarely looks back. Needs to work on that.

Actually did get a couple PRs for segments over Jefferson, which wasn’t a surprise. Well, it was a little bit, given that my Strava records go back over 10 years now. Now, you have to wonder, does this mean I arrive at the start warmed up and ready to go hard, or does it mean I arrive already shelled? A little bit of both, actually. We had one other guy with us, Tom, and Tom can definitely challenge Kevin on Kings. I was able to hang on for a while, but could do little but watch them ride on ahead as we neared the park entrance. I managed to finish just over 29 minutes, still a bit over 1000 VAM, but it definitely wasn’t a strong finish; I couldn’t get many watts going on the steeper sections.

I was glad that Sunday’s short ride didn’t impact me very negatively, if at all.

Thursday morning, 8:05am, and we’re off to France. One of those very long travel days, arriving in Paris 7:45am Friday, getting on a train at 11am and arriving in Lourdes, which will be our base during the Tour de France, around 5pm if I recall correctly. Still a *lot* to get done before we leave! Been packing and figuring things out, but I’m about done for the evening (11:54pm right now), figuring it makes sense to get to sleep and wake up early enough to catch the last 90 minutes of tomorrow’s big stage on TV, while continuing to get things organized. Tomorrow I’m expecting to feel pretty stressed, wondering what I’ve forgotten and what loose ends I might have left at the shop. Fun!

I met “The Man with the Hammer” on West Old LaHonda today

Nice layer of fog out on the coast that unfortunately didn’t move in far enough to cool the shop. Pretty though!
I wasn’t sure what to expect this morning, following Tuesday’s really strong (and not recorded by Strava due to computer eating the file) ride. Last time I had a great Tuesday ride, Thursday sucked. But I was thinking this morning could be different.

Tom, Kevin (kid) & Karen out there with me this morning. I held my own riding up through the park, riding stronger than I have in about a year. To be honest, in general, I’m tracking last year pretty closely right now. I would like to do just a bit better than that though. So what if I’m getting older, right? The fast time through the park didn’t translate to a fast time up Kings though, as we stopped at Kings to remove the leg warmers that weren’t needed. For what it’s worth, that takes 1 minute, 20 seconds. Unfortunately that doesn’t translate into a time that’s just 1 minute, 20 seconds longer, because it takes me a long time to get my climbing rhythm back if I stop in the middle. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Not every inch of West Old LaHonda could be covered quickly today.
It was West Old LaHonda that really surprised me. Kevin was pushing the pace a bit across the middle, and for that precisely 1-mile segment I ended up with 4:59, my fastest time since… Sept 1, 2015. This is a segment I have no real-time awareness of while riding; it’s one of those Strava things that shows up when you download your ride. I might have gotten close to the time for the full distance of West Old LaHonda from 9/1/15 if not for a very recently downed tree lying across the road, a bit before you head into the forest. The harsh winter of 2016 still seems to be with us!

It’s taken a very very long time, but I can finally ride hard enough that I really feel it in my legs later. For the most part my maximum effort has been limited by my breathing, but the new meds seem to be helping. I still can’t talk, or at least not very much, while climbing, and it’s still hard to drink, but that’s different from a few months ago, when the difficult, or hard, were simply impossible.

Am I ready for France? Yes and no. I’m strong enough to take on the gnarly climbs again, but not at the speeds Kevin will want to. But I’m going to ride myself into shape, just like the ‘Tour guys do.