Back and happy to be on the bike!

One of many reasons why we ride. How many times have I taken "this" picture? Not quite as many times as the obligatory West Old LaHonda photo showing the fog coming in from the coast, but still, quite a few times. Perhaps because it crops nicely for a header photo.
One of many reasons why we ride. How many times have I taken “this” picture? Not quite as many times as the obligatory West Old LaHonda photo showing the fog coming in from the coast, but still, quite a few times. Perhaps because it crops nicely for a header photo.

So why no entries since last Sunday? Mostly because I spend Monday-Thursday at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. Far too much time off a bike, far too much time living like an above-ground mole-person, not once leaving for “air” from the moment I checked in until the moment I left. It was important to be there; I’m on the National Bicycle Dealer Association’s Board of Directors and we had quite a bit of business to take care of. But being off the bike…

So what happens if I’m off a bike? First, you can literally add half a pound a day to my weight. It doesn’t stabilize for about 6 days or so. Second, my legs hurt. I mean they really, really hurt. My whole body starts to hurt when I don’t ride. I get stiff joints in places I didn’t know I had joints.

If you haven't tried to latest Camelbak insulated bottles, you should! Still ice in there after two hours on a hot day. Impressive!
If you haven’t tried to latest Camelbak insulated bottles, you should! Still ice in there after two hours on a hot day. Impressive!

I got home Thursday night, and Friday, got to at least ride to work & back. Not much, but just a few miles feels a lot nicer than zero miles! And then today… today it was time to jump back in, get out on a real ride, a repeat of last-week’s ride that was supposed to be, the one where Kevin had the kidney pain that caused him to have to sag back and me to re-route things a bit. Back to the usual… Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas.

It wasn’t fast or pretty, but it was fun. Kevin had few problems with the full route, although he was getting pretty tired on Tunitas. Not unexpected, since he skipped both the regular Tuesday & Thursday-morning rides while I was gone. That catches up to you. In fact, neither he nor his sister even rode to work during the week. Talk about slackers! So we took it easy until we got over Haskins (on the way to Pescadero) and fought through a headwind that didn’t respect our notion of easy.

The pigs on Stage Road
The pigs on Stage Road

Big disappointment in Pescadero. Not just the fire that burned out one of the stores in town, but the lack of any large cookies at Arcangeli Bakery! Just substandard-size oatmeal-raisin that didn’t qualify for purchase, much less a photo.

There was something out there looking slower than us today though. The pigs on Stage Road, a mile or two north of Pescadero. Did I mention the heat? Yes, it was pretty warm, and the pigs were making the best of a large mud pond. A few just sleeping in it, with little piglets running around the edge. Very cute.

Pay attention to the Tunitas Creek area roadwork infor here!
Pay attention to the Tunitas Creek area roadwork infor here!

Tunitas? Like I said, we took it easy; it wasn’t until it leveled out that Kevin decided to kick the pace up (way up), which he sustained for 3/4 of the finale until blowing apart. It was ugly; he went from riding flat-out to looking like he might stall and fall over. I went to the front and encouraged the pace the rest of the way; he gradually came back up to speed.

Was it hot out there? Not too bad, really. Highest temp we saw was 90; I think riding in France each July¬†has acclimated us to warmer temps. We did see quite a few cyclists taking a break here and there though, on both Old LaHonda and Tunitas. But all too soon we’ll be complaining it’s getting cold and griping about having to wear leg warmers and base layers again. Right, like 50 degrees will be so cold, when much of the country might be dealing with ice! Northern California is a great place to ride.

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Ride support early, followed by “uneven” ride to the coast

Kevin and I started out the day doing ride support for the Foster City Community annual bike ride. Look closely at the fork on the kid's bike and you'll see it's backward...
Kevin and I started out the day doing ride support for the Foster City Community annual bike ride. Look closely at the fork on the kid’s bike and you’ll see it’s backward…
The "after" photo, with fork properly oriented.
The “after” photo, with fork properly oriented.

It was a longer day than most, starting out with our annual tire-pumping ritual at the Foster City Community Bike Ride. We’ve done this for a few years… it’s not technically difficult, but you do get a workout inflating a zillion bikes that arrive with very low air pressure. If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see the fork on the kid’s bike is reversed. This is not unusual for department-store bikes but creates serious handling issues (meaning, simply, the bike is dangerous to ride). Fortunately, an easy-enough fix for us.

Our tire inflation duties ended about 10:30 or so, just in time for an afternoon ride during the heat of the day. It was supposed to be the usual coast run, finishing up Tunitas, but Kevin was getting some flank pain again (kidney stone stuff) so by the time we arrived in Pescadero, he wasn’t in great shape. Better shape than one of the markets in Pescadero though, which had burned down early this morning.

The burned-out shell of the market in Pescadero
The burned-out shell of the market in Pescadero

We rode very, very slowly along Stage Road and then headed up 84 instead of continuing to Tunitas, calling for Sag Support (his sister) to meet him in LaHonda to give him a ride the rest of the way home. That left me free to hammer the rest of the way, up the relatively-shallow grade back to Skyline. I’ve really got to put that Strava segment onto my Garmin, because this is the second time in a few weeks where I’ve missed out on my best time (on that segment) by just a few seconds. Curiously, when I looked up my fastest time on that segment, it was also on a day that Kevin had to get sagged out in LaHonda, back in 2013.

Hot? Sure, it got up to about 90 at one point, upper-80s most of the time. I prefer it cooler, but I ride better when it’s in this temperature range.

The next few days won’t involve any bike riding; time to head to Las Vegas for the Interbike trade show. I’ll be around bikes, just not riding them. Hate that.

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