Seemed like we were riding into a war zone

Slowly but surely what’s left of the old tree on West Old LaHonda is going away.
Just Kevin (kid) and me at the start, joined a few minutes later by Marcus, which meant I got to climb Kings by myself this morning. Not that I’m not used to that by now. Not entirely by myself though; quite a few fire engines and emergency equipment vehicles at various places on the climb, along with helicopters flying overhead, all part of trying to get a handle on a fire started by lightning last night. Didn’t cause us any issues; we could see the smoke from down below, but nothing whatsoever on the way up, or on Skyline for that matter.

But it did turn out that 30 mintues after we started up the hill, they closed Kings to all but emergency vehicles, so if I check Strava, presumably there will have only been a few of us today. OK, just checked, 8 total. Slow ride for me, with Kevin waiting a couple minutes at the top. Nicer air than home; didn’t seem nearly so humid. Actually, the only time I felt comfortable today was when I was out there riding; the rest of the day I was pretty uncomfortable.

Guess I just need to spend all my time on a bike. Yeah, that would do it!

The kid has limits

Not all tandems are fast on climbs. This one was!
Four weeks off the bike for Kevin after his busted arm and sure, we wondered how he’d do once he was back in the saddle. I was actually pretty predictable.

Old LaHonda? We took it easy, probably mostly because it takes me a while to get warmed up these days (apparently warm weather has little to do with the amount of time it takes me to start feeling like I want to attack a climb, since it was certainly warm today!), and Kevin really didn’t have his legs back quite yet. He still likely could have dropped me though. He started feeling better as the ride went on though. But even on Haskins, we were still riding at a pretty easy pace. He only started getting his legs back around the time we got to Pescadero.

NO COOKIES IN PESCADERO!!! I don’t know if that’s ever happened before. Shocking not to have a cookie face test. Somehow we survived.

The first Stage Road climb went fairly well, with no fear of being caught as the only bike we could see behind us, well down the hill, was a tandem. Tandems don’t climb very well. Usually. On the second, steeper climb, that tandem looked to be making some ground on us. ???!!! We stayed ahead of it, just barely, until the final Stage Road climb out of San Gregorio. No wonder it was fast. Ted Huang on the front, Christine Thorburn-Huang on the back. We’re talking championship pedigree here! Hanging onto their wheel going up that last Stage climb was probably what pushed Kevin over the edge; by the time we got to Tunitas he’d developed quite a nose bleed and was running out of gas.

We actually stopped at the Bike Hut so Kevin could attend to his nose before continuing on up Tunitas. This was just climbing a hill, going through the motions for Kevin, getting to the top as painlessly as possible. I get stronger as the ride goes on, even if I’m not on top of my game, but that seems to be something more common in older, er I mean, more-experienced cyclists, than those younger. But he made it back, and I have no doubt that on Tuesday I’m going to lose sight of him on Kings as he climbs away from me.