Unexpectedly nice ride up Page Mill

The infamous steep section of Page Mill, between gates 3 & 4.
Normally the Sunday ride is a bit longer, something between 57 miles (the regular Pescadero/Tunitas) up to 111 (Santa Cruz loop). No time for anything like that today; we had to be in Carmel Valley by 12:30 for my nephew’s wedding.

I gave some thought to doing a one-way ride in the direction of Carmel Valley, something where we’d see how far we could get and be picked up by my wife & daughter, who were driving to the wedding. Didn’t work out though, as there was no place we could be sure we’d be able to take a shower. I considered hosing off at the beach in Santa Cruz (they have rinse-off showers at the boardwalk) but it takes a lot of time to navigate the boardwalk area (cars back up for blocks) and we’d still have to find a place to actually change clothes.

So we chose a short local ride instead, leaving much earlier than normal for a Sunday ride (7:30, same time as our Tuesday/Thursday ride) and head up Page Mill. Not sure why I chose Page Mill; I’ve always had a tough time getting into any sort of rhythm on the first part of the climb, and those steep pitches, if you’re not feeling good, can really kill.

But for some reason, this morning I was feeling pretty darned good, even though it was a pretty cool morning (I saw temps as low as 47). Kevin probably could have ridden just a bit faster up the steep parts, but nicely stayed with me all the way to the top. I ended up with my 4th best time since 2009, an indication that my daily poison pills for my bone marrow issue aren’t cramping my style all that much. A good thing, that!

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!