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Baby it’s cold outside

Returning to the location where the tree fell across the road as I rode past last Thursday, I found that somebody had come across one of our Chain Reaction bottles by the side of the road and placed it on a stick. A bit odd, but I brought it back home to dispose of it (the cap had broken).

Not too much time to ride this morning; last Sunday prior to Christmas so the Redwood City store is open, limiting me to something short. And, of course, cold!

I thought I might miss the worst of it by waiting until the last minute (8:30am) before heading out the door, but if I did, wow, it must have been totally north pole-like earlier! I was seeing 29 degrees heading into and through Woodside, a nice warm-up to 33 heading up Old LaHonda, and between 32 & 30 degrees on Skyline from Old LaHonda all the way past Kings.

I did stop where the tree had crashed across the road near me on Thursday’s ride. Lots of evidence of flares and chainsaws, plus, oddly enough, the water bottle seen in the picture.

Cold but surprisingly comfortable. Heavy winter gloves sure (although 5-finger, not the “Lobster” style usually associated with extreme weather), winter tights, shoe covers, base layer and a Bontrager softshell jacket/jersey that really does a remarkable job keeping you warm without sweating much.

It was my first post-Peru ride where I felt almost normal. Still getting over a cold, but being off the Prednisone for a few days is a big help. Power output not quite back to normal, showing just over 200 watts weighted average, but that’s better than the 190 I struggled to accomplish on recent rides.

It’s wet, it’s a bit on the cool side, and guys are out there in bare legs?

The guy riding next to Kevin is out in the cold & rain with nothing on his knees?
The guy riding next to Kevin is out in the cold & rain with nothing on his knees?
It was one of those wet rides that was a bit disappointing; light rain so no choice but to ride the rain bikes, but not heavy enough to make the ride in any way epic or even noteworthy. In fact, it looked at first like it wasn’t going to rain at all, just wet mucky roads! Kevin was even thinking about just riding a trainer at home. Heavens. But a light rain started, signalling that it was time to get out and ride.

Not a fast ride, maybe partly because I forgot to use my inhaler (Albuterol) prior to the ride, which seemed to make it take even longer than normal for my lungs and legs to get in sync. I couldn’t hope to stay with Kevin on Old LaHonda when he latched onto a passing wheel, but about halfway up he stopped and waited for me. Probably took a while; it was almost a 28 mile ride up the hill for me. Ouch.

It’s Sunday, so you’d normally be thinking I’m riding to Pescadero, but not today. Just up Old LaHonda, down the other side, and back via West Alpine. A wimpy 40 mile ride that didn’t feel all that wimpy. Looking at the speed, 13mph, yeah, that’s pretty wimpy. But the average weighted power, at 200 watts, wasn’t as bad as expected.

We actually saw more cyclists on the road than expected; my theory is that many gave up on the idea of waiting for a better day to ride, this being almost winter, so they just got on their bikes and rode. The real surprise was seeing so many people out there without anything on their legs! 46-48 degrees and wet… that is not good for your knees. Similarly, it’s not great weather for your nice bike either, and we saw quite a few people out there on their “Sunday Best” as it were. Most without even fenders.

The two-week forecast has been changing by the hour; a short time ago, it showed no rain at all, but now it’s suggesting this coming Friday and Saturday will be met, with maybe another wet day a week from Thursday. The good news, Thursday’s Turkey Day ride should be nice & dry!