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

Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you. When do I get the bear?

From Tuesday's ride up Kings.
From Tuesday’s ride up Kings.

Sorry for the recent lack of entries. It’s been pretty hectic (surprising for this time of year, but people are apparently mowing their weeds and finding all sort of old rusty bikes in need of replacement but it takes a very long time to convince them that it’s not reasonable to expect something left outside for quite a few years is going to run well for $50…), but I’ve been riding as usual. Well, not entirely as much as usual. Somehow I got talked into being driven to work on Monday, so I missed a commute.

More lost time yesterday as the SF Chronicle sent a photographer by to get photos for a story they ran today on the tacks & nails found on Kings Mountain. This followed an interview on KCBS a couple days prior, that came from a belief I might be a reasonable person to talk to after a post I’d made in the Portola Valley Almanac. My 5 minutes of fame I guess? Or is the “shooting star” analogy better… a bright light followed by disintegration. Hope not!

Tuesday’s ride was actually pretty nice. I felt OK; we had fresh meat (Emil, a new employee in our Redwood City store), Marcus showed up to give Kevin a rabbit to catch, and we finished the ride pretty much on schedule, so I couldn’t have been that slow.

Today… that’s another matter entirely. There was no indication, heading out on the ride, that anything was amiss. I felt pretty decent going over Jefferson. But as soon as we started climbing through the Park, it was over. Put a fork in me, I’m done. Breathing… sucked. Power… sucked. Heart Rate… wouldn’t rise. I have not felt such lack of power in years. Nothing changed in my routine, other than getting to watch people ride away from me on the climbs earlier than usual. Eric dropped back to keep me company; couldn’t have been much fun for him, as I’m struggling to put out 240-250 watts, a good 30-40 shy of normal. Up on Skyline, I was telling Kevin (my son, not the pilot) that, on this ride, he needed to encourage me to do the whole ride and not bail early!

Kevin being helped up after a seizure on West Old LaHonda
Kevin being helped up after a seizure on West Old LaHonda

Obviously I hung in there, because that’s what I do. I had time to admire the view on West Old LaHonda even more than usual, eventually clawing my way up that final steep ramp to Skyline. Well, sort of. Brief stop in the middle where those ahead of me were tending to Kevin, who’d had a seizure and was just now getting back on his bike.

The good news? I felt much better at the end of the ride than I did earlier. Just as it should be.

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And Kevin kept riding…

kevn_kept_ridingGo figure; 22 year old guy who would love to meet a woman his age who shares his love of cycling (with zero success so far), and, after climbing up through Huddart Park on his way up Kings Thursday morning, comes across this group of women from Stanford.

And doesn’t even slow down.

OK, so he’s riding with Marcus and he’s on his brand-new bike and wants to see how fast he can go, but… no thought to letting anyone know this is a regular ride for us, what time the ride starts, maybe some might want to join us sometime? Even if just for the run across the top of Skyline?

It’s not as if I can help out, letting them know about our ride, without looking like some creepy almost-60 guy (especially so with my heavy breathing!). What can you do. I mean, yes, cycling is awesome, the most-reliable thing in your life, something that you have a great amount of control over. It’s about as un-like a personal relationship as you can get. Why wouldn’t I want him to just put everything into cycling, and forget about this girl stuff? I recall, a very very long time ago, become rather attached to the Simon & Garfunkle song “I Am A Rock”, their version of Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street.” Songs that have special meaning to you when you have, or think you have, broken up with someone. Why should I want him to go through that?

Hmm. When I think how much my cycling meant to be back in the day, rides done “with passion” because I was trying to forget, or just force myself strongly into a different reality… I’m not sure how I would have pulled through without my bike, my cycling. Wow. I started this out about Kevin, and turned it into something about me. Well what the heck, it is *my* almost-daily diary after all! –Mike–

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