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

The “Brown Season” has arrived

They say we don’t have seasons here. They’re wrong. We just don’t have the usual four, just two. Green, and brown.
Yes, the heat has arrived. Strangely, just two of us on the ride this morning (myself and Karen); I’d have thought we’d see more than normal as some would choose to ride earlier, when it’s cooler, than later in the day. Younger Kevin would have been with us but he’d gotten home late from a date and his stomach wasn’t happy with the corn dogs he’d had at the Boardwalk (Santa Cruz).

It was a comfy 64 at the base of Kings, but rose steadily as we climbed, topping out at 82. 82 doesn’t seem that hot, until you think about it being 8:30am. I wasn’t climbing very quickly; Karen was heading up the hill at her own pace and the last time I saw her, way up ahead, was at the 1.41 mile clearing. That’s probably about 90 seconds from where you are to where “they” are. The climb itself felt really slow, making me think I was really feeling the effects of my meds, but looking over the Strava details later, the average weighted power number was just 4 watts off a normal hard ride. Probably just not adjusted yet to the higher temps.

A byproduct of those higher temps was going through a lot of fluids. First time in years maybe that we’ve had to make an extra stop at Sky Londa, before heading back down into Woodside, to top off our bottles.

Tomorrow I find out if maybe it wasn’t just the heat getting to me, when I get another blood test to check platelet & hematocrit levels. There’s really nothing left scary to find out; now it’s just a matter of adjusting hydroxyurea dosage to the relevant level. For the first time in 6 weeks, I’m actually looking forward to seeing the results!

Watt’s up?

There’s only one number that counts, right? The time up Kings. And it was becoming clear pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to be anything great this morning. Marcus, George & Kevin all rode away from me pretty early up the hill. George said he was beat and was going to take it easy, but his version of taking it easy just barely kept him in sight on the longer straight stretches of the climb.

To get under 30 minutes, you really need to be right at 20 (or less) with 1.41 miles to go (the long wide section, where there’s plenty of room for cars to park on the side). I was at 20:10 or so. Not quite yet ready to give up on the idea of 30, but it was fading as I continued. I really felt like I should have been faster, and was more than willing to blame things on the Hydroxyurea I’m taking, which is the opposite of the EPO that cyclists have used to enhance performance. In fact, I even named my Strava entry accordingly, but the reality was different from both the feeling and the time up the hill, as Strava showed a weighted average of 206 watts for the ride, just a few watts short of the 211-212 I get on a “good” day. So maybe this was one of those “high gravity” days? Yeah, must be it.

Kevin was riding considerably faster, getting something like 26:05 on the climb. I can still remember days like that, but they’re about 10 years past. I’m better at the long game now; the Sequoia 100 mile ride a couple weeks ago was pretty easy. But I do miss the fast game.