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

Sandstone rocks live in fear of me!

First Tuesday/Thursday morning ride since my return from Africa, and I felt pretty decent. I gained just (just?) three pounds during the trip, of which two have already gone away, a very good sign. This morning Karl took off up the hill ahead of everyone else, with me glued to his wheel for a short distance (it wasn’t so hard until Marcus came along and the pace kicked up a bit). Behind were George, Kevin, Kevin and Eric. I was keeping my distance but saw one of the Kevins (my son) ride away from George, the other Kevin, and Eric, all of whom were having a nice social ride. At the wide clearing (1.41 miles to go) I decided to ease up and wait for my son. Big mistake, as usual. He gets to me in a minute, and pretty much rides right on past. I should know better. I can keep up a pretty good pace if… if I keep it up. I am not so good at starting & stopping. In the end, 28-something up Kings, could have been 27-something if I’d just ditched my kid and kept riding.

The excitement came on Skyline, on the long descent into Sky Londa. A couple of guys ahead of me noticed, and avoided, a large rock in the road. Me? I nailed it. I mean really, seriously, nailed it. So hard I thought I must have broken a wheel, or, at the very least, gotten at least one flat out of it. First order of business, slow down and see if I’ve got a flat tire. Eric, who’d been right on my wheel, wasn’t too happy I’d slowed down so quickly, but I didn’t want to see how well I could handle a flat tire at 37mph, if in fact it was flat. Maybe 40 years ago I would have thought differently.

It was really pretty amazing there wasn’t any obvious damage. It was a good-sized rock, but thankfully sandstone (must have been, because I literally obliterated it). I found out a bit later that I’d ejected my water bottle; will have to go back for that on Thursday.

Only obvious downside from two weeks off the bike is a heart rate running about 5 beats higher than normal, but it “tracks” properly (rises and falls with effort, and does so gradually) so nothing I’m too worried about.

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Yes, another awesome ride Thursday…

kingsIMG_5765Getting way, way, way behind as I prepare to leave for a trip to Africa tomorrow night, but that’s no excuse for not keeping the almost-daily diary updated!

Thursday morning saw the “return” of the Kevin, who’s getting his hill-climbing legs back in gear. I could see this beginning a week or two ago, but he’s progressed faster than I thought likely. We rode up fairly easy for the first half of Kings, but once we hit the open section (1.41 miles to go), the two Kevins (pilot and my son) took off, along with Chris and, not sure, maybe Mark P. At the top I’m told that Kevin (younger Kevin, not the old geezer pilot guy) passed up the other Kevin just before the line.

But the really amazing ride was done by Chris, who simply powered away on the gradual descent towards West Old LaHonda. When he came around I thought no biggie, I’ll just get his wheel… but his wheel was moving away from me very, very fast and by the time I could respond I was putting out a lot more horsepower than could be maintained for very long. I did catch his wheel though, and hung on for dear life. Not easy, despite the fact that Chris was putting out a lot more wattage, probably 30% more, than I was. Chris later repeated the same type of effort on Tripp Road. Amazing.

I’ve got just one more ride before leaving, tomorrow’s usual Sunday ride with Kevin, and later catch a red-eye (yuck) to Dulles (DC), then Ethiopia and finally Kenya. A few days in Kenya before a short flight to Tanzania, where we do the Safari thing for a week. By the time I get back my bike legs will be gone. So I’m looking forward to the trip, not so much the return. :-) –Mike–

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