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

Messy on Skyline; weird re-route ‘cuz Kevin doesn’t like wet pavement

kingsIMG_7312When will the gray drizzle end? This morning was another “might as well have been raining” up on Skyline morning. Not because anything was coming down from the sky, but because it had apparently already done so. Seems like it’s been such a long time since I woke up and got to see the sun!

This morning it was Eric, George, Kevin, Kevin and JR riding up Kings with me, although George turned back a bit early. Kings wasn’t so bad, and these days, getting a 27-something, for me, is OK. But younger Kevin was way off the back on the (wet) descent into Sky Londa and would have no part of an obviously-wet West Old LaHonda loop, so the two of us split off from the rest and headed straight back down into Woodside, where we looped around a bit and then did something we haven’t done in years, and remembered why. Summit Springs Road off Tripp Road. Yikes. I’d forgotten just how steep a climb could be! 7 nasty minutes of pain, and not really the good type of pain, the type of pain where you feel like you could tear off a chunk of it and say yeah, that was good, give me some more! No, this was the type of pain that makes you wonder what the point it. Kevin fared much better, at least until his VNS (the gadget that zaps his vagus nerve at a regular interval, trying to keep seizures at bay) went off, which wrecks his breathing for about 30 seconds. Coming at the steepest part of the climb, up near the top, it just about toppled him off the bike. He couldn’t continue up so he circled back down a bit until his breathing came back and he could resume his climb to the top. Even after all that, he still got there well ahead of me.

After heading back down (the only option you have; Summit Springs literally dead-ends into the side of the mountain) we amazingly bumped into JR & the other Kevin, returning from the “real” route. They confirmed what Kevin feared; that the descent down the west side of 84 to West Old LaHonda was not pleasant. Less-pleasant than climbing Summit Springs? Hmm…

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A meandering missive on Bike To Work Day

"Downtown Improvement Project" off West Old LaHonda
“Downtown Improvement Project” off West Old LaHonda
The final climb to Skyline on West Old LaHonda is *so* much harder than it looks!
The final climb to Skyline on West Old LaHonda is *so* much harder than it looks!

Every day should be like today. It’s going to rain, that’s a given, but it waits until you finish your morning ride, and your ride to work, before it starts. And then it ends in time for the roads to dry out for your ride home! Is that perfect or what?

It was even a bit warmer this morning; no lower than 41 degrees! Amazing what just a 5 degree difference can make. Not many of us out there to enjoy it though; myself, Kevin and JR. Ah, right, one more person, Tom joined us for the first time in quite a while. Just to the top of Kings (and in enough of a rush to get to work that he had to head right back down Kings, passing JR & I as we were still on the way up).

"Downtown Improvement Project" off West Old LaHonda

Kevin actually pulled for a bit descending 84 west, something rarely seen. West Old LaHonda was a pretty as every single one of the other 663 times Strava says I’ve ridden it since sometime in 2008. That’s actually a pretty amazing thing… 663 times on that segment of road. 663 times I’ve looked forward to “that view.” 663 times I’ve passed that outhouse-like building on the left-hand side of the road with the “Downtown Improvement Project” sign. That comes out to… what do you know, just over 100 times/year, which means I’ve ridden past it twice a week (since the beginning of time as we know it, which goes back to March 23rd, 2008.

Yet another interesting thing to note. Pre-Strava vs Post-Strava. Do the couple hundred thousand miles I rode prior to March 23rd, 2008, count? I’m guessing not. My earliest almost-daily diary entries go back maybe 10 years earlier than that, so maybe I could stretch credibility as far as 1998. I would have been 42 then which, coincidentally, it the answer to Life, The Universe, & Everything. Backing that up is the absolute fact that riding at 42 degrees is comfortable while 41 (and below) is not.

Getting back to the present, Kevin and I celebrated Bike To Work Day by stopping for both donuts and coffee on our ride in to work, arriving a good two hours ahead of the rain. And we’ll be riding home in an hour or so, again, without rain. And without guilt too, since it did rain in the middle of the day.

Random oddness:  A page of quotes reminding me that the movie Buckaroo Bonzai is so much better than most people give credit for.  I’ve always liked that movie, but have had a tough time understanding why. Looking at those quotes, it’s easy to find the answer.

“Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is.”

This is the good life. Now we just have to find some employees so Kevin and I can head to France in a couple of months! I will probably not be the easiest person to get along with come mid-July if I’m climbing Kings instead of Alp D’Huez. :-)


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