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

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. I had that moment.

Karen in the lead, followed by JR & Kevin, as we head towards West Old LaHonda on the ride that Strava says didn’t happen.
Of all the rides for my Garmin to decide to eat, this morning was a really REALLY bad one to pick. I feel like it didn’t even happen, because it’s not on Strava. I know I climbed Kings in 29:04 timed manually, and I was hoping that Strava would put it at 28-something. I know that I was FLYING on the descent from Bear Creek to 84, and thought I had a chance at a PR, but no, that moment too is gone. No Strava, no proof. I have a feeling that my average weighted power was higher than it’s been in a very long time, but no way to know for sure.

This morning it was Kevin (kid, but at 25, is I guess he’s a “kid” compared to 62-year-old “Pilot” Kevin, but I think, at 25, he’s even past that awkward “young adult” label), Karen, JR and, for a short time, Alex. Alex isn’t a high-speed climber type, and of course, neither am I these days. The difference is that he’s sensible enough to not pretend otherwise; he escorted us to the beginning of the climb and let the rest of us do the suffering thing. Kevin got to the top first, a 26-something time, while Karen stayed just out ahead of me, in sight but not reachable. My goal was to keep it under 30 minutes, if possible, after having been disappointed last Tuesday by a slower ride than expected. I was watching the timing points closely and it was looking good; by the archery range, it was looking barely possible I could get a 28-something. Unfortunately I was losing it in the steeper sections and I didn’t have quite enough fight left in me to really nail the final stretch to the top, but I did try. Not that it matters, since I have no records. No heart rate. No 20 minute FTP (functional threshold power) score.

I did spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to recover the damaged file, but it simply wasn’t showing up, either as a corrupted or deleted file. It’s just not there. The damage happened when it tried to auto-upload to Strava when I arrived home.

Darn. It was even such a nice day that we didn’t need leg warmers or base layers. About time ‘cuz, after all, it is July. But, in the end, it never happened.

First Thursday ride finishing “on schedule” in… years? And a solo ride at that!

Once in a while it’s nice having the whole world to yourself, like I did this morning.
You get so used to riding the same route with others, matching pace (or trying to finish a climb on the same day), finding common ground with the others on the ride, that you can forget what it’s like to be out there on your own, with nothing but the road and scenary keeping you company (and doing a pretty good job at it).

This morning was one of those times. Normally I’d at least have Kevin (kid) with me, but he screwed up the night prior and took a double dose of his epilepsy meds by accident, which was causing him to see double. Not a good thing on a bike. Nobody else showed up either, which is unusual for the summer, although it’s possible some were deterred by the gray morning and heavy fog that you could see hugging Skyline from miles away. I wondered where I’d find my motivation, even thinking, briefly, that maybe I ought to stay in the foothills and not head on up. Very briefly. That’s just not how I roll.

I wasn’t feeling fast, but I was definitely feeling consistent. I found a pace I could settle into and just keep going, from beginning to end. Even the fog burned off nicely just before the top, allowing for some very nice views.

Average weighted power increased from the typical 202-208 watts up to 217, with overall average, at 192, higher than I recall seeing in recent history. The higher overall average likely reflects that, without anyone to draft, I was “on” for the entire ride. Average speed came in at 15.9mph, so yes, I’ve got something I need to work on there! Too close to 16 to ignore. Back in the day, my average speed used to be 16.4-16.6 or so. But perhaps most important was getting back to the start on-time. The schedule for the ride, outside of winter when we slow down a bit, is supposed to have us back at the start between 9:18 & 9:22am. Generally Thursday rides, heading up through the park, are a couple minutes slower than Tuesday rides, so I was really happy to arrive back at the start at 9:22am. I did cut it pretty close though; it was actually 9:22 and 47 seconds. On the other hand, I was delayed 1 minutes, 8 seconds (but who’s counting?) for a bit of touch-up on the new roadwork near the bottom of 84.

I think I’m ok. I’ve given up a bit more than I’d like on the climbs, but I can still ride pretty hard, pretty long. And that occasional solo ride feels a bit like a reset button has been pushed, something that needs to be done every once in a while, just because. Kind of like how you have to reset your modem and/or router to keep your internet connection intact every couple weeks. Nobody can really tell you why it has to be done, it’s just common knowledge that it works.