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Another monkey off my back; first 100 miler of the year (Sequoia Century)

Heading north on Highway 1, passing roughly half-a-zillion Aids Lifecycle participants heading the other way. That’s Orion in front of me, the guy who saved me from the headwinds.

So what happens when you’d normally have two Santa Cruz loops (111 miles) under your belt by the time the Sequoia Century comes around, only this year, life got in the way (mostly Kevin’s epilepsy issues and surgeries), and yeah, you feel it! Overall the legs are capable of 100 miles, no problem there, but you notice, after a rest stop, they really don’t want to get going again. Especially later in the ride. And not sure if I’ve ever mentioned here that I’m pretty much unaffected by saddle issues, but today? Today my hind end feels rather, well, raw. Curiously, more of an issue sitting in a chair than on a bike seat. Go figure!

Route was the same as last year, and, same as last year, I rode to the start (from Redwood City to Foothill College in Los Altos Hills), and finished back home. The big advantage to doing that is, no need to drive a car. I’ve gone pretty much car-free for a good three years now, and have been inconvenienced only rarely. The disadvantage to not returning to the start? No post-ride food, and at the Sequoia, that usually includes an Its It ice cream bar.

That route… even though the same as last year, it was a lot harder this year due to stronger winds. Almost always headwinds by the way. Fortunately I came across Orion, same as last year, and he did some hellacious pulls into the wind, starting with the run from LaHonda to the coast. My legs were OK for the climbs, but pushing hard into the wind wasn’t in the cards for me!

This being the Sequoia Century, we had our “secret” (not anymore!) soda stop at the top of Tunitas, and having Mike F, our service manager who was staffing the station along with my son Kevin, hand me an ice-cold Mtn Dew was rather awesome. Just the right thing at just the right time.

Overall a very good ride, and makes me feel like I can handle whatever gets thrown at me in July.

Easy ride Monday in the heat; odd ride Tuesday morning

Heading up Sand Hill on a hot afternoon
Heading up Sand Hill on a hot afternoon

After Sunday’s gnarly ride into and out of Portola State Park, it took a bit of doing to convince Kevin that we should ride at all on Monday, instead of just taking the day off. He wasn’t buying into the idea that his legs would feel better after an easy ride around “the loop.” I did eventually get home out there, waiting of course until it had heated up quite nicely, getting in a short 25 mile ride at a not-so-tough pace. And, amazingly, he did admit that his legs felt a lot better after than before.

Approaching the top of Kings... slowly
Approaching the top of Kings… slowly

Now on to today’s (Tuesday morning’s) ride. Not quite so fun; Kevin was having issues again with his meds which dropped him to about 2/3rds normal speed. Not much fun watching the other guys (Marcus, JR & Karl) ride off ahead, and as his head still hadn’t cleared up on Skyline, we sent the guys on ahead, planning to ride the West Old LaHonda section backward to catch up to them. Along the way we encountered the road crews beginning their resurfacing project; nothing cyclists will think much of as we still get really crappy surface treatment in San Mateo County (Santa Clara County, by contrast, is getting a more-expensive surface treatment that is much friendlier to bikes.

But the big disappointment of the ride was missing what we were told was a HUGE gopher snake hanging out on West Old LaHonda!

Adding to the strangeness of the morning was our return via Old LaHonda, due to the roadwork we’d previously encountered. Actually, it wasn’t a bad ride down Old LaHonda into Woodside, as there was very little traffic and you forget how amazingly-smooth the pavement is. Also a bit odd riding with the Tuesday/Thursday-morning crew on Mountain Home Road. Hopefully, Kevin will be back in gear on Thursday, so I’ll get to write again about being dropped on the big climbs. Business as usual.