Another cold morning, although thankfully not nearly as cold overall as Sunday’s ride! Small group today; just myself, Kevin, Kevin and Marcus (although Marcus was along only as far as Swett Road, where he often peels off and heads home). I did see it dip just below 30 for a very brief time, but by the time we got up to Skyline, it was nice and warm… about 38 degrees!
With the shortest day of the year being tomorrow, it’s no surprise that shadows were in short supply today. Just not that much sun up yet. What was surprising was seeing Kevin (younger Kevin) pulling hard at the front on the descent from Sky Londa to West Old LaHonda. That’s a section where he usually just hides in the back while others do the heavy lifting.
I’m definitely looking forward to the warmer & longer days ahead.
I was really looking forward to an epic, or at least semi-epic ride this morning. Unfortunately, indications were that the storm was largely heading to the north, leaving me with the icky drizzly stuff to contend with. Light rain, mist, the sort of riding that makes a total mess of your bike without the satisfaction of being out there in the elements.
It did start out that way, but turned out the ride had a bit of a kick to it after all! First off, nobody but me this morning. My son’s getting over a cold (and he seems to think it makes sense not to ride when sick; he certainly didn’t learn that from his dad!). I did come across a guy I know on an electric mountain bike who was descending Kings when I was about halfway up, and further up, a young woman whom I think we’ve seen a number of times before, also heading down. Funny. Nobody was going up! But me. Albeit kind of slowly. Very slowly. I was even concerned about being overdressed, as it was 46 degrees and, like I said, not much rain.
Until Skyline. As I headed south, it began to get a bit heavier, and you could hear the wind blowing through the trees. At Skeggs Point I rolled to a stop and put my lightweight jacket on (helpful hint- leave your zipper connected a few inches when you put it into your bag. It’s still easy putting it on over your helmet, and you won’t have to try and deal with a zipper that doesn’t want to connect when you’ve got gloves on).
The descent on Skyline to 84 felt fine; I was on my rain bike, with disc brakes and 28c tires and felt totally confident. No slippage, excellent braking. And, by the way, I was lit up like a Christmas Tree with multiple rear flashing lights to. Not taking any chances! But I was caught by surprise when I heard what sounded like nearby lightning! A loud crackling noise, and there, on the left-hand side of the road, part of a tree is crashing down to the ground and heading towards me! Truthfully I didn’t even notice how close it got until I looked at the video, and thankfully I’m almost impossible to rattle on a bike (nerves of steel, legs of lead?). But it’s pretty cool watching the video now; glad I had the camera rolling!
I stopped by the fire station at Sky Londa to report it, which they didn’t seem to take too seriously yet when I descended I saw a road-scraper truck heading up, so maybe. Hopefully nobody ran into it in the meantime; there were maybe three cars heading in that direction and no good way to warn anyone.
But yes, one begins to wonder if maybe spending a couple hours on a Wahoo Kickr trainer, one of those fancy ones we sell that varies the resistance according to whether you’re climbing, drafting, descending etc., and displays idyllic surrounding (at least until you get to some gnarly climb and you suffer like a dog!) might make sense on a day like this. –Mike–