Lazy Sunday ride

Sometimes there’s a reason for why you are where you are, when you are. Today was one of those days.

Got out earlier than normal; Kevin (kid, not Pilot) was elsewhere so I hitched onto someone else’s ride with Kevin (Pilot), Mark, Laura, and several others. This was not a fast ride, nor was it an “express” in terms of infrequent stops. More of a milk train with strong riders who chose not to go terribly fast today. Hey, what the heck, it’s not like I’m that fast anymore either! And it gave me a chance to actually have conversations while climbing hills, a rarity. But at 30 minutes up Old LaHonda, easily done.

A LOT of people out today!!! Or maybe there are simply more people out at 9am than 11 or 12, when Kevin and I usually get going. Whatever, the hills were alive with cyclists! Including San Gregorio, where we made a stop and saw quite a few groups cruising through.

The coast was quite clear, no smoke (finally!). The run up Tunitas was unusual; a stop on the way for the old guys to make sure roadside vegetation wasn’t too dry (it’s still fire season, right?) and then the group split up a bit on the climb. About halfway up we came across a guy struggling with his wheel at the side of the road. A spoke had broken and he couldn’t get it out. Turned out to be much worse than that; a spoke had come loose, gotten itself wrapped around the space between the cassette and the hub and totally jammed things up. It took quite a bit to get it dislodged, but finally got him on his way. One of those things where it did actually take someone with a lot of bike knowledge to figure out what needed to be done, so glad I came along at the right time.

Kevin’s first ride on his “real” bike in two months wasn’t very fast

95 degrees climbing West Alpine, while the view of the coast shows something a whole lot nicer.
I knew it had been a very long time since Kevin had ridden his “real” bike (his Trek Emonda instead of his e-bike) when I inflated his tires and they were down to 30psi.

Kevin actually started out pretty strongly, powering over Jefferson, Canada and Mountain Home on our way to Old LaHonda. No sign of knee issues, and close to strong-like-bull. Given that he hadn’t really ridden hard in two months, I didn’t think he could keep it up, and I was right. Old LaHonda quickly showed his limits, as he geared down and slowly ground his way up the hill. As he later noted, he didn’t recall a time in recent history that he’d only passed one person going up, while many passed him. Over 30 minutes to the top, a time Kevin likely hasn’t seen in 13 or 14 years???

Kevin was game for the full ride though, down to LaHonda, up West Alpine and back Skyline. I tried to talk him into stopping in LaHonda for a coke, but no, he just wanted to keep going. In retrospect, I think he needed a coke. We made it up West Alpine, but certainly not in style. It was really REALLY strange for me to have to hold up for him. Climbing West Alpine my heart rate should be in the 155-160 range, and I was seeing… 125? At least the reduced effort made the heat a lot easier to deal with (got up to 96 on West Alpine).

165 watts average weighted power is lowest in like… forever? 12.5mph average speed is lowest in like… forever? This too shall pass and I’ll have faint memories of a few rides where I was faster than Kevin.