Summer is clearly gone; we’re at that time of year where we’ll still get a few really nice days, but they fit into the “bonus” category, something not to be counted on. More common are darker mornings (which will continue to get darker until daylight saving time ends) and overcast skies. Leg warmers, base layers and long-fingered gloves have become the norm. Summer, where did you go? Seems like I barely knew you!
That also means that any chance of a decent time getting up the hill this year is over. I had fun riding this summer, but never got fast, at least not fast in any way that I’d recognize. It’s tough to say whether my breathing did me in, or I gave in to my breathing. My mileage was fine though, despite having ridden 100 miles only once (the Sequoia Century) and not a single Santa Cruz loop. There’s still some time to rectify that, although not a whole lot.
This morning wasn’t too cold, nor too wet. It was fast at times, slow at others. Karen, Eric, Kevin, JR… no Marcus, no older Kevin today. Karen’s in high form, peaking for the Cyclo Cross season, and it showed as she flew off the front up Kings. Not sure why but I took after her, chasing her as far as the park entrance before dropping back to check up on Kevin and Eric (JR was right behind me). I rode up with Kevin for a while but quickly wondered why I waited… he just got faster and faster. I’m kind of used to that by now.
Karen took off again on West Old LaHonda, and again I found myself, for reasons unknown, trying to keep up with her. JR, Eric and Kevin had fallen behind, or so I’d thought. I wasn’t even looking back until the “U” at the far end of the valley, and there was Kevin, right on my wheel. I was gassed so let them ride on, but I’m now wondering if maybe I could have kept up if I’d given it everything. Trouble is, I’ve lost track of what “everything” really is. But just being in the game, even for a little while, at least gives me a chance to think about it.
OK, that Santa Cruz thing. Realistically I’ve only got two Sundays left to play with; after that, two weeks on vacation with my wife, no bike. This coming Sunday looks like it might be wet, and Kevin’s got something planned for later in the day (and right now, a Santa Cruz loop would consume pretty much all available daylight in a day!). The following weekend? We’ll see. It would be quite the challenge, especially for Kevin. Me? Lots of miles, I can probably get through it, and generally get stronger as the day goes on. Kevin hasn’t ridden more than 70 miles all year. We’ll see.