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Not as steep as it looks. Steeper!

Climbing out of Portola State Park on Camp Pompino Road.

Think different. Last week, we re-routed the usual ride to Pescadero, due to heavy fog at the coast. Today, again, we spied heavy fog at the coast (from the “picture spot” on West Old LaHonda Road) and re-routed again. This time doing something a bit more challenging than last week.

As nearly all Sunday rides do, this one first climbed Old LaHonda to break in the legs. At 22:52, it was my best time since August of last year. Kevin paced me nicely up the hill, and forcing myself to drink on climbs (pretty much required by the hydroxyurea I’m taking for my platelet issue) is likely helping too. Curiously, my heart rate was just a bit off (slightly low), something that continued the rest of the day, but if it doesn’t slow me down, I’m good!

Heading down the other side, we saw the heavy fog on the coast. Kevin wanted to do a repeat of last week’s ride, but I had a different idea, doing something we hadn’t done in a very long time. Ride halfway up West Alpine, and then drop down into Portola State Park. It took some convincing but Kevin eventually went along, reminding me many times that it didn’t like a great idea as we picked our way through missing pavement and debris on the nastily-steep descent. We even came across a very ominous sign on the way down… a dead rat lying on the road.

That descent is not just nasty, but also seems far longer than it really is. One of the few roads where climbing out goes a lot faster than expected… which is not a bad thing! Yes, it’s insanely steep at times, but in an oddly nice sort of way. Had it been 10 or 15 degrees warmer, things might have been otherwise. But at 70 degrees or so, not bad. Another benefit to the climb being so steep is that, when you get back onto West Alpine to continue the climb to Skyline, it actually seems easy!

At just 52 miles it wasn’t a very long ride, but it definitely had some punch. I thought it was a lot of fun. Kevin might suggest otherwise.

Mike went Mountain Biking???!!!

The scene from Skyline near Saratoga Gap, picture taken by Lee C, who really should be in this photo too since the ride was partly his idea.
Memorial Day was a bit different from the norm; typically, Kevin and I have done back-to-back fairly decent road rides. Well, we got the first part down (Sunday’s usual to Pescadero) but yesterday we did something different. Meeting up with a good customer (Lee C) we explored the area between Saratoga Gap and maybe 5 miles to the north. A series of single track and fire roads running along the sides of Skyline, offering great views and a lot of fun.

Not super-technical stuff (good thing, since that would’ve have put me in the dirt!) but fun. 14 miles, nearly all dirt, 1871 feet of elevation gain. No suffer score since I was recording on my iPhone app (left computer at home).