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

First hard effort that felt good in a long time


There are a lot of days you’re out riding and it seems harder than it should be. Hard is good, nothing to show for it, not so good. I’ve had a lot of the latter lately; you’re really glad you’re out there (because, as we all know, the worst day on a bike is better than the best day doing a lot of other things), but it’s not like you could take that effort and mentally frame it and put it up on the wall as something you’re proud of. It was, simply, a tough ride.

Today was that rare day where it felt, a few times, like I could twist the throttle and go. That doesn’t mean I was in a position to drop Karen, Karl, Eric, Scotty or Kevin (pilot). Not for the long haul anyway. It did mean that I could ride hard through the park and be with the group up front though, and keep them in sight the rest of the way up Kings. It also meant I could push hard in the sprints again; all 3 of them. I lost the Sky Londa sprint to Karen (I’ll blame it on Eric not providing a fast-enough lead-out), uncontested on West Old LaHonda final ramp, and nailed the finale (as seen in the video).

Too bad younger Kevin wasn’t there to see it; he’s still nursing the sore knee he got sprinting on Skyline on Monday’s ride. I am finally at peace with what I can do on the bike. Sure, my breathing still leaves a lot to be desired, especially with all the pollen in the air. But I felt some real power in my legs a few times today. I like that feeling. I want more of it.

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Three days, three rides, three missing almost-daily diary entries!

VIRB0565foggy_startSunday, Monday & Tuesday… three days in a row on the bike. Can’t get a whole lot better than that! But it wasn’t anything like the epic nature of such things in the past; in a “normal” year I would have had two round-trips to Santa Cruz under my belt by now. This has been anything but a “normal” year though, starting out with the end of the 4 or 5-year-long drought (which put quite a bit of pressure on the business), followed by a series of family medical issues. Eventually I think it did take a toll on my riding, cutting back both on mileage and intensity (but not frequency; if it’s a Tuesday or Thursday morning, I’m out riding… same thing for Sundays).

The spectacular view of the coast from West Alpine
The spectacular view of the coast from West Alpine

IMG_1978w_alpineThis past Sunday would be the start of getting Kevin back on the bike; he’d been off for the past two weeks following his first two brain surgeries for epilepsy (just one more to go!). A a relatively-easy ride up Old LaHonda, south on Skyline, dropping down Page Mill and looping back home. He was pretty apprehensive about it at first but got stronger and stronger as the ride went on. Plus, he actually enjoys descending Page Mill! Go figure.

 

Monday the shop was closed (Memorial Day) so a slightly-more-challenging ride, up Old LaHonda again, then down to the LaHonda duck pond, up West Alpine and north on Skyline. Definitely a tougher ride! West Alpine was at what should have been a pretty easy pace, but no matter what speed, that hill’s always a brute. Kevin was doing pretty well, too well perhaps, as he challenged the climb up from where Old LaHonda hits Skyline, getting a new PR for that segment and doing a number on his left knee.

IMG_0082wolhThis morning I got him up and… well, his knee was just not up to it, so I rode off alone into, surprisingly, fog! Where did that come from? Carl, Karen, Eric and Kevin (pilot) showed up to torture me up Kings. I did fine as far as the park entrance, after which I was in survival mode to the top. Definitely over-dressed as the fog burned off quickly; at the top I removed the leg warmers and enjoyed the mid-60s temps. Summer is here.

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