“The Last Breakfast”- Kevin’s pre-brain-surgery ride

Kevin leading out the train on West Old LaHonda this morning, his last bike ride for a month.
Kevin leading out the train on West Old LaHonda this morning, his last bike ride for a month.
Kevin, bottom left, enjoying his breakfast at Alice's.
Kevin, bottom left, enjoying his breakfast at Alice’s.

It’s going to be an interesting month coming up, as Kevin goes through what will hopefully be a life-changing brain surgery to reduce or possibly even eliminate his epilepsy. At his request, today’s ride was a “breakfast ride” where we stop at Alices (Sky L’onda) before heading back down the hill.

Good turnout today; Eric, Karl, Karen, JR, Scotty, Kevin (pilot) all there to send Kevin off. Everyone took it pretty easy up Kings; I could even have brief conversations without being winded! Still a bit on the cool side (mid 40s) but today we were smart enough to bring our long-fingered gloves. Much less wind, fewer clouds, dryer roads.

Kevin (Pilot) with his favorite drink, Diet Coke. Might taste OK but apparently not a hair tonic.
Kevin (Pilot) with his favorite drink, Diet Coke. Might taste OK but apparently not a hair tonic.

The plan (remember, there’s always a plan) is an early-morning surgery in which a “grid” is placed over part of Kevin’s brain, which will map where he seizures come from. He’ll have his medication gradually reduced so his seizures become more frequent, and after a number of days, they’ll make the decision to either surgically repair (actually, remove) the part of his brain that’s causing the seizures, or implant this gadget called a “Neuropace” that “listens” for signs of an upcoming seizure and sends an electrical impulse that blocks it. It’s part of a long process that can take up to two years to determine how well it’s working.

But for the next month, don’t look for Kevin on the roads. You may find him on Strava though, as he has a Tacx Elite trainer that he’ll try to stay in shape on, once he’s home.

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Why did we stop? Old guy crossing Jefferson, slowly, we had tons of time…

Kevin and I are riding on Jefferson heading to work; wide 4-lane road, and this old guy, I mean stooped-over old guy, is slowly making it across the road. Not in a crosswalk. You’re thinking geez, what’s this guy doing? Who’s looking after him? So we’re doing 20mph or so, and by the time we pass him, he’s made it just past the middle of the road. Nowhere close to us. Perfectly safe.

Except that we didn’t pass him. I yelled to Kevin to stop; he looked at me quizzically, wondering, why? There’s no safety issue; we’re nowhere near him and it would seem he’d take another minute to get to where we are.

Here’s why we stopped. Nobody’s looking for an old guy crossing the road nowhere near an intersection. They might, however, see a couple of people on bikes, with not one but TWO bright tail lights. And if they’re focused on us, they might not see the other guy. But… if WE stop, they (the cars behind us) are going to have to stop. Well hopefully anyway! And a car in the other lane might wonder why we stopped, and look around, and see the old guy.

That’s one of the reasons why the law says nobody gets to proceed through a crosswalk, as long as there’s someone in any part of it. You stopping, whether on a bike or a car, sends a signal to others that there’s a reason to stop. It greatly reduces the chance of a pedestrian getting run over. Just something to think about, next time you see someone crossing the street in front of you. Even if you can squeeze by, maybe you shouldn’t.

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