It’s pretty darned near impossible to get the timing right with these “atmospheric rivers” that have been invading us these past couple of months; the best you can do is to prepare to get really wet and, who knows, you just might not get wet at all!
Today was supposed to be one of those “really wet” days but the scheduled deluge we’d been watching for a couple days began to fall apart as our Sunday morning ride approached.
It was supposed to be heaviest from 7-9am, and then again several hours later. Kevin and I left the house with a very light drizzle about 10:30am, which turned into a very light rain heading up Old LaHonda. We didn’t put on our light rain jackets until exiting West Old LaHonda onto 84, and ended up removing them in LaHonda.
The plan… well, we were pretty flexible today, willing to modify the ride as conditions merited. Things were beginning to look kinda bleak out towards the coast so instead of Peascadero we headed up West Alpine, at a decidedly leisurely pace. It was pretty nice, for once, not killing ourselves on that climb, and having the time to look around and admire the carnage of fallen trees.
The unexpected came on the higher part of the climb, when we came around a corner and a Golden Eagle swooped in and landed on the ground, just 10 feet from us. This was one of those times I wished I had something better than a video camera set to relatively-low resolution with me! He hung out on the ground for 10 or 15 seconds after we came to a stop, before casually flying off. Pretty amazing.
Shortly after that we noticed someone coming up behind us, and funny thing about that, we suddenly started riding faster. Fast enough that the poor guy, who must have been closing the gap pretty rapidly before that, couldn’t catch up. Truthfully, since we’d been taking it so easy, we had a lot of reserves; otherwise, the guy probably would have passed up pretty easily.
We thought about heading north on Skyline, but visibility looked really bad (we were quite literally in the clouds) and getting hit by some pretty heavy winds. Time to head back down, Page Mill in this case. Nice to have really awesome brakes on our rain bikes! One more plug for disc brakes in the wet. Just can’t be beat.
We headed back via Sand Hill, stopping by Sharon Park Shopping Center to check out the relocated Woodside Bakery which, we found out, is closed Sundays!!! So back on the bikes, winding our way through Woodside and discovering that we weren’t quite going to get to the 50 mile mark, and 48 miles doesn’t seem anywhere near as legit as 50. That’s why you’ll see a rather convoluted path on our way home, instead of heading straight over Jefferson. Even then we looked like we might come up .1 mile short, so we did a zig-zag near home and voila, 50.2 miles. Nice ride.