Mind The Gap!

It was a beautiful morning. Again! It’s almost boring, one beautiful day after another, in February. Didn’t hurt that it was nearly 10 degrees warmer than Tuesday either. Light breeze, a few clouds, good day for a ride through the park up to Skyline.

Both Kevins, JR & Eric showed up; I was needlessly concerned we might see Marcus, who would have been pushing the pace harder than younger Kevin should be going after his 6 hour stint at Kaiser ER Tuesday night. Good thing because Kevin was still fighting through the effects of coming off of too much Dilaudid pain killer meds. He struggled up Kings be was pretty much back to his old self once up on Skyline.

It was up on Skyline that the two Kevins started talking and losing track of the rest of us, opening up a gap which, once I noticed, told younger Kevin to get his butt in gear and close that gap before it got too big. I told him he needed to “Mind the gap”, a phrase commonly-used in the London subway system (warning people to watch for gaps between the subway doors and the platform).

West Old LaHonda? The fog just beginning to burn off in some of the valleys between Skyline and the coast was a spectacular view. I actually stopped to get a picture of it, stopping because the Instagram app doesn’t allow you to use the volume button as a shutter release, only the on-screen virtual button, which can’t be activated with full-finger gloves.

We did have one more “Mind the Gap” incident; heading north on Skyline to 84 (after climbing to Skyline on West Old LaHonda) we had a string of cars behind us that were enroute to a construction site somewhere and really didn’t want to share the road with bikes. We were riding single file, as far right as you could get, and one of them cut a corner tightly and came within a foot or so of younger Kevin. And of course my GoPro video camera wasn’t running, because I’d forgotten to put a memory card in it. Would have been very damning footage, given that we have s 3-foot passing law (which allows for passing closer if the car slows to 15mph; these guys were doing 35 or so). Thankfully it takes more than that to shake us up, but it is a bit annoying. Not enough to spoil a great ride though!

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Saw 33.7 degrees at the start, day just got nicer and nicer as we rode

How could you not want to be riding on a day like this?
How could you not want to be riding on a day like this?

Just a few of us today; myself, Kevin (not the pilot), JR and Karl. Those not showing up missed a really nice day! Yes, it was cold at the start, and got even-colder as we crossed the San Andreas fault (on Kings right where the bridge crosses the creek, between Josselyn Lane and Tripp Road). I noticed my computer reading 33.7, but according to the Strava download, it hit 32. But as is usually the case, it warmed up nicely as we rode up Kings, a comfy 45 degrees on the middle of the climb, dropping slightly to 43 on Skyline.

Karl and I headed up the first part of Kings a bit faster than Kevin & JR but we waited for them at the park. Dumb. About a mile later Karl and Kevin rode off the front and there was no way I could keep them in sight. But while the climb up Kings kills me, I usually do fine the rest of the ride, improving as it goes, and today was no exception. Would have been nice to get some photos from the iPhone (what’s shown above is a still pulled from the GoPro, so not very high quality), but winter gloves just don’t work so well, no matter how hard you stab at the “shutter button” on the screen, it just won’t “click.”

This morning’s ride was the best Kevin would feel all day; he had gradually-increasing kidney pain while working at the shop and, by 6pm, had to be taken to Kaiser ER, as he has quite a few times over the past few years, for pain management. Finally got him home just past 1am. Kevin will tell anyone who will listen that suffering on a bike is easy compared to the pain of a kidney stone.

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