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

Saw 33.7 degrees at the start, day just got nicer and nicer as we rode

How could you not want to be riding on a day like this?
How could you not want to be riding on a day like this?

Just a few of us today; myself, Kevin (not the pilot), JR and Karl. Those not showing up missed a really nice day! Yes, it was cold at the start, and got even-colder as we crossed the San Andreas fault (on Kings right where the bridge crosses the creek, between Josselyn Lane and Tripp Road). I noticed my computer reading 33.7, but according to the Strava download, it hit 32. But as is usually the case, it warmed up nicely as we rode up Kings, a comfy 45 degrees on the middle of the climb, dropping slightly to 43 on Skyline.

Karl and I headed up the first part of Kings a bit faster than Kevin & JR but we waited for them at the park. Dumb. About a mile later Karl and Kevin rode off the front and there was no way I could keep them in sight. But while the climb up Kings kills me, I usually do fine the rest of the ride, improving as it goes, and today was no exception. Would have been nice to get some photos from the iPhone (what’s shown above is a still pulled from the GoPro, so not very high quality), but winter gloves just don’t work so well, no matter how hard you stab at the “shutter button” on the screen, it just won’t “click.”

This morning’s ride was the best Kevin would feel all day; he had gradually-increasing kidney pain while working at the shop and, by 6pm, had to be taken to Kaiser ER, as he has quite a few times over the past few years, for pain management. Finally got him home just past 1am. Kevin will tell anyone who will listen that suffering on a bike is easy compared to the pain of a kidney stone.

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What’s a picture like this worth? Maybe a 7:45am ride up to Skyline?

IMG_6763_DxO1200Not even sure where to start; the picture kind of upstages the ride by a country mile. The picture certainly helped frame the rest of the ride.

JR, Eric, and… Keith. Ouch. Super-fast Keith. Neither Kevin; the pilot was flying to London, the kid at home with another round of kidney pain. It was a bit cool, a bit foggy, actually more foggy than Tuesday’s ride. Eric had already been most of the way up the hill (he does that, when he has time before the ride, guess he just can’t get enough of Kings) and reported that the fog cleared higher up the hill. A good thing, that; my lungs work a lot better in dry air.

I was dumb enough to follow Keith’s lead, while JR and Eric took it a bit easier. I actually felt not-so-bad heading up through the park, yet was hoping Keith would circle at the top and wait for JR & Eric. No such doing; I don’t think Keith’s wired to “idle.” I did what I could to stay on his wheel, and he did what he could to not accidentally ride away. I think this was the first time he’s been exposed to my heavy breathing for any length of time, not realizing that I’m not on the verge of hyperventilating, but rather just doing my best to suck in enough air to keep going.

I made it to the top, with JR & Eric less than a minute behind. The run along Skyline was relatively-brisk and uneventful, but the following gradual descent on west 84 towards West Old LaHonda wasn’t much fun at all, heavy fog having moved in. I was quite happy to have not one, but two flashing tail lights!

Keith started pushing the pace on West Old LaHonda, with Eric jumping on, and I was in that mode of wondering, do I pick some particular point where I figure it’s ok to fall off the back or do I just hang on until I die? I chose the latter, and just kept hanging on for dear life, not knowing if Keith planned to turn on the gas at any moment or would just keep riding tempo. It’s at this point where you realize it’s up to you, nobody else, whether you hang on until the end. You just have to decide there’s nothing more important than hanging on to that wheel in front of you.

We regrouped at Skyline (where the photo was taken) and then semi-gingerly descended damp roads into Woodside. “Semi” because Keith doesn’t really know how to take it easy. We arrived back at the start at 9:22am, a good, in-season time for the “park” version of the ride. And it’s nowhere near “in-season.”

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