Just another nice day on the bike, plus update on Kevin, Becky & Karen

wolh_05_03_16Not quite warm enough yet to dispense with the base layer and leg warmers, but at least we’re into regular (short-finger) glove mode! Eric, JR, Marcus, Karl & Karen this morning; older Kevin is off cycling in Mallorca, while younger Kevin is still having his brain scanned.

It was one of those rides where you really felt pretty awful at the start, but the longer you rode, the better you felt. Truthfully, I felt OK once we hit Kings. I didn’t know I felt OK until I found I was still on Marcus’ wheel when everyone else had dropped off the pace a bit. A quick regroup at the park entrance, after which things split up again… I dropped back to keep an eye on the rear, but chased back up to the front again, finally circling back at the wide open section. It’s likely I could have had another decent time on the climb, but more important to make sure everyone’s OK.

kevin_fat_frogAfter work, it was time to check up on Kevin and see if he’s still OK. He’d had an interesting day; his doctor had come by and was, literally, playing with Kevin’s brain. Those 80 electrodes connected to his brain, the electrodes that tell the doctor what Kevin’s brain is up to? Turns out they can be used in reverse. Pretty cool. The doctor can stimulate any one of those areas and basically do a sort of puppet-master thing on Kevin, causing him arm to fly out and open, various muscles to twitch, or, in one of the funnier things anyone has seen, force an involuntary smile. Seriously. I got to see a recording of it his girlfriend had made. Pretty hilarious!

Kevin will be leaving the hospital on Sunday, and then head back a couple weeks later to have a very high-tech brain stimulator implanted in his skull. Something that will actually learn from his seizures and (hopefully) figure out a way to trigger an anti-seizure before a real seizure gets a chance to start. Clearly, interesting times are ahead!

Tomorrow is lining up to be another significant day. On the good side of things, Becky finally gets the cast off her broken foot. It’s been a month since she’s been able to ride to work. On the praying-for-good-news side, my wife (Becky & Kevin’s mom) gets the results of a high-tech scan she had today, results that will hopefully show that her newly-discovered cancer hasn’t spread beyond what was found (and removed) a couple weeks ago. If the scan does find more, hopefully it will give her doctors the information they need to aggressively go after it. This is her 3rd time with breast cancer, something she’s lost her mom, and one of her sisters to. The road ahead will not be easy, but cancer treatment is significantly better today than even the 5 or so years ago when she lost her sister. Still, it’s going to be a challenge holding everything together, but you just have to take things one at a time, as they come to you. That and a healthy amount of prayer. –Mike

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Dog Day Afternoon?

The famous Corgis of Olive Hill Road, known for sleeping in (so they're never seen by our Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride) but they're usually out looking for someone to stop by and pay them attention on Sunday afternoons.
The famous Corgis of Olive Hill Road, known for sleeping in (so they’re never seen by our Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride) but they’re usually out looking for someone to stop by and pay them attention on Sunday afternoons.
Today was the first Sunday ride without Kevin in some time, a mostly-solo version of the “usual” Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop, sometimes known as a “reference ride” because I’ve done it so many times that I can get a good sense of what shape I’m in.

Today? It wasn’t about going fast; it was about enjoying a really beautiful day in the sun! Oh sure, I was a bit disappointed that I could only do 22:16 up Old LaHonda, and my Haskins time similarly just a bit off the mark, but I met a lot of nice people along the way, including Sarah and Mary, two long-time Chain Reaction customers, first at the Pescadero food stop (they were leaving shortly after I arrived) and then later, I caught up to them at the base of Tunitas Creek. That was especially fortuitous, as it gave me an excuse to be social instead of “drilling it” (trying to get a good time up Tunitas). Even better, Mary performed the “cookie face test” photo (of me) in Pescadero. Sadly, this particular cookie failed.

Descending Kings was fun; little traffic, great conditions, so a fast ride down. Better yet was seeing the Woodside Corgis on Olive Hill (as seen in the photo at the top). All in all, a very nice ride, but looking forward to Kevin being back on the bike. –Mike–

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