The old guys rode away

IMG_9980oldguysNot talking about myself; there are actually a few guys out there older than me. This morning it was Scotty and JR; also riding were Eric, Kevin (pilot), Karl, Karen, MarkP… seems like there were more.

rattlesnake_wolhSince it’s Thursday we ride up through the park, but somebody forgot to wake up the park ranger to open the lower gate! That didn’t seem to slow people down much though. I might be having just a bit more trouble than normal since I’m just three days into switching from Qvar to Singulair (for my breathing issues), but as the ride went on, I felt increasingly stronger. By the time we got to West Old LaHonda, I was feeling pretty darned good! Good enough to be following Karen’s wheel, ahead of the others, until I spotted a snake in the road and turned back to see if it was alive and needed to be moved off the road. Closer inspection showed it to be a rattlesnake and, unfortunately, dead. On the positive side, first rattlesnake sighting of the year; summer is near. On the negative, I didn’t get to it soon enough to prevent it from being run over.

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Le Tour is just 6 weeks away…

Tough to know if I’m ready for France. Actually, not so tough at all. I’m ready. Whether that means I’ll be as strong as I’d like to be is almost irrelevant. I’m ready now. It’s been a tough past 4 or 5 months, but I’m beginning to ride a bit stronger, the weather is getting a bit better week by week, and the coverage of the Giro is getting me into the mood of, well, being someplace else.

I could, perhaps should, feel bad about leaving the shop during July, when things are pretty busy, but I’ve got a great staff in place, led by BeckyJ and MikeF. I’d just like things to settle down just a little bit and seem normal for a few days at a time, instead of what seems to be a constant feast or famine. And of course it would be nice if the various health issues in my family would stabilize too, like Kevin’s final epilepsy surgery (now scheduled for June 6th, a fair amount later than I’d expected) and Karen’s chemo for her thankfully-not-metastasized breast cancer.

Right, the ride this morning. Karen, Karl, JR, Marcus, George & Eric. First ride with temps getting to 60+ by the end; I actually felt slightly overdressed in base layer and leg warmers! Nothing too fast today, which didn’t bother me.

Now back to the Tour de France. I got thinking about some of the past years, and the theme music that, I don’t think, has been equaled since. Like what’s below.

I know what follows is Phil Ligget and his, to many, tiresomely-repeated phrases and perhaps excessive rooting for the home-town riders (for broadcasts in the US, that would be riders from… the US). I never thought that was so bad, to tell you the truth.

I am so ready for France. For the long flights, for the transfers from CDG to Montparnasse train station, the long train ride to Lourdes, several days in the Pyrenees followed by a train to Avignon, seeing the Ventoux stage on Bastille day… it’s like a comfortable old shoe. It’s nearly as much routine as my Tuesday/Thursday ride up Kings. Time to play the “good” theme music once again! And to get ready for what, to me, has become the “sound” of France; that set of tones unmistakably associated with French trains…

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