Why did Page Mill seem easy today?

Party time on West Old LaHonda today?
Party time on West Old LaHonda today?
Great start to the day this morning, watching the Olympic Mountain Bike Race. Was really hoping Peter Sagan, road racer extraordinaire, would be a major factor in the race, but unfortunately he flatted just into the 2nd lap (of a 7 lap race). Great race anyway and good to have a bit broader focus than just road cycling.

As for my ride… Kevin and I did something a bit different today. Let me start by saying I hate Page Mill. I just haven’t done well on steep stuff in a very long time. But today I decided I wanted to do something other than the usual coastal loop, but still tough. Page Mill to the rescue. My overall time wasn’t great because we made two stops on the way up (first, to tighten a rear quick release that was making a racket, and second, to retrieve a water bottle that had ejected from someone else’s bike… I don’t like bike litter), but I felt like I actually had some real power in my legs on that gnarly section between gates 3 & 4. Strava says I even got a new PR on that part. Truthfully, I could have gone faster, but this was one of those rare days Kevin didn’t have his climbing legs. I think today was what Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) refers to as an “opposite day.”

The Olive Hill Corgis of Woodside
The Olive Hill Corgis of Woodside
We quickly descended West Alpine (Kevin’s definitely got his groove back after his crash descending Page Mill a few weeks ago), refueled at the market in LaHonda, then road up 84, West Old LaHonda, and then, for “fun”, headed north on Skyline past Sky Londa to Kings Mtn. Skyline in that direction just isn’t much fun, but today, it felt not-so-bad. Another quick descent (Kings) followed by a stop to see the Woodside Corgis on Olive Hill.

Not a very long ride; just over 50 miles. Not a very fast ride; 14.3mph. Reasonable amount of climbing (exceeded 1,000ft/10 miles). But pretty much the perfect ride for today.

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Thinkin’ it’s time to put out that Big Sur fire maybe?

Those rays of sunlight through the fog? That's not fog. That's smoke from the Big Sur fire. You could actually smell it.
Those rays of sunlight through the fog? That’s not fog. That’s smoke from the Big Sur fire. You could actually smell it.
Just a few of us this morning; myself, Kevin (kid), Kevin (pilot/professional diet coke drinker), and Eric. The two Kevins rode on ahead (actually, I held on for about 1/3rd of the way up the hill before detonating) while I rode up with Eric. I had some misplaced hope of being able to keep up with the older Kevin, who’d already had a swimming workout prior to the ride, but that notion went to pieces as I saw the way he climbed through Huddart Park!

About that fire. They’ve apparently decided it’s too dangerous to put more firefighters in harms way, so they’re letting it burn “naturally” with a new expected containment date of September 30th. So a few more smoky days ahead. The good news, I think, is that when the wind shifts and smoke is sent up our way, it probably means the fire is turning back on itself instead of burning new territory.

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