Feeling better about France

I’m not climbing as fast as I’d like to be, not yet, not on Kings anyway, but my weight is back down to within a pound of its lightest last year, and, more importantly, Kevin, who had the car run into him three weeks ago, got a clean bill of health on the hand that might have had a scaphoid fracture. That means I can scuttle “Plan B” for the trip to France, that being a way to do the Tour de France trip without actually riding bikes.

That might be interesting, but I don’t think it would have been much fun!

This trip will be the first, I think, where we’ve only stayed in two places, this time 9 days in Grenoble and one final night in Paris. It’s really nice not having to move around so much and getting to settle in to a place, and in this case, it looks like a pretty nice place in Grenoble that we’ll be settling into! Dishwasher, washing machine, lots of space, 200 feet from the train station and car rental. Probably just two stages that we’ll have to use a rental car to access, Alpe d’Huez and Pra Loup.

As for today’s ride, let’s see, we had Eric, Karl, Kevin (Pilot), JR and Keith. Second time this week for Keith. At lest this time he was handicapping himself with a backpack as he flew up Kings! I was doing OK, nothing great, but held back at the clearing for JR to catch up.

I doubt that Kevin (my son) will be out on Thursday-morning’s ride, but hopefully he’ll be riding to work on Thursday and feeling like something “real” on Sunday. Just 15 days before we leave so can’t waste much more time!

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A Day at the Races followed by “Ugly” ride

Kevin looking "Pro" with a pair of cameras hanging from his neck
Kevin looking “Pro” with a pair of cameras hanging from his neck

I really should have gotten out on an early ride this morning, and then taken Kevin to the Burlingame Criterium so we could practice taking race photos before heading to France. But I really hadn’t settled on heading to the Burlingame Crit until the last moment, much too late to get in a ride first. Ideally, we could have ridden to the race, but Kevin’s not yet cleared to ride (and won’t be until at least after an MRI on his right hand Tuesday morning).

Kevin did get to feel kinda “pro” with two camera bodies hanging from his neck, one with his workhorse 55-250mm lens, the other with an 11-22mm wide angle I let him borrow. Kid with a new toy; he got some pretty nice pictures from the wide angle. Looks like it will be in the kit we bring to France. What won’t be is the “Africa” lens, the massive 150-600mm zoom. Just too much to handle, certainly too big to be carrying up monster climbs on a bike! It really made me appreciate the light weight and reasonable size of my 70-200 F4l.

Best "kit" we saw at the races; check out her matching nails!
Best “kit” we saw at the races; check out her matching nails!

It was 3:30 by the time we got home, which, this time of year, isn’t too late to get out for a good ride. But, since it couldn’t be a “real” ride (long distance), it had to be “ugly.” And nothing’s uglier than heading north on Canada to 92 & up to Skyline, then south. Lots of traffic on 92 but it was the heavy headwind that made it not-so-fun. The traffic itself doesn’t feel like a safety issue, but the noise is deafening.

Skyline heading south was actually fun, with a bit of a tailwind allowing me to keep my speed up. I took a brief stop at Skegg’s to check out the view, but the spot off the parking lot set up to see the bay is so overgrown you can’t see much anymore. How sad, thinking that trees are getting in the way of the view!

There's a house in the background with a "million dollar view." I get dozens of "million dollar views" every time I ride. So what's my bike worth?
There’s a house in the background with a “million dollar view.” I get dozens of “million dollar views” every time I ride. So what’s my bike worth?

At Sky Londa I headed west to Old LaHonda where I tried to save a snake (too late; it was squirming around but punctured by a bird that had dropped it onto the road) and made a couple of stops just to admire the view. You don’t always have to be in a rush!

After descending back into Woodside I came across an old customer (that doesn’t sound right!), John & his wife, on a tandem. I complained it wasn’t fair, two engines on one bike, and thought about the days my wife and I used to ride a tandem… a lot. But at some point the decision had to be made… keep riding the tandem or stay married. Glad that John figured out how to do both!  –Mike–

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