Not too many things pull me away from the shop, but the industry trade show, Interbike, is one of them. Not because the trade show is essential to Chain Reaction (we see most of the new stuff on the ‘net, just like our customers do, long before the suppliers actually let us touch & feel it), but I’m on the Board of Directions of the dealer asssociation (National Bicycle Dealer Association, aka NBDA) and we hold one of our two yearly board meetings at the show.
But tonight was a bit of fun, as “Cross Vegas” was held a few miles away and one of our regulars, George Smith, was racing! He’s been doing very well in local events, and even pretty good at some national events, but at Cross Vegas, he ended up starting way at the back of the field and never was able to make it up to the front. But he put on a good show and had a good time.
Don’t look for me at the shop Thursday; I fly back Thursday night. Two missed days of riding. Three days of eating too much bad food. Sunday will not be pretty.
Yet another pretty darned awesome day to ride a bike; from 71 to 83 degrees or so, very light breeze. If Kevin and I had been in better shape, this would have been the perfect day for a late-summer Santa Cruz loop! But that wasn’t in the cards; not quite up a 115 mile ride right now. Actually, I could do it without much trouble, but Kevin’s been off the bike too much during the past month.
But if it wasn’t going to be long, it had to be something “ugly.” You know, a ride that you wouldn’t normally consider much fun to do. Redwood Gulch quickly rose to the top of the list. Ride along the foothills, up Redwood Gulch to 9, up 9 to Saratoga Gap (Skyline), reward ourselves with a coke (and, gasp, a hot dog) at Mr. Mustard, then north on Skyline to West Alpine, descend to LaHonda and then back home via 84. It all worked out nicely until we got to the top of Highway 9 and Mr. Mustard wasn’t there. We were both feeling a bit hungry and beginning to feel a bit bonked, but it’s not too hard a ride north on Skyline, and in LaHonda there’s a relatively-new market with sandwiches, cokes, and substandard-sized cookies.
We stopped along the way at the LaHonda duck pond; it’s getting rather ugly looking as the water recedes and the surface is becoming scummy. It was almost surprising that three ducks were able to swim through that stuff and make it to land!
On the way up the west side of 84 I suggested to Kevin that perhaps we should add additional ugliness by heading north on Skyline to Kings… his response was to promptly ditch me and fly up West Old LaHonda so fast that I kept him in sight for only the briefest of moments. He was on this way to a stellar Strava time, unless he either cracked or had a seizure. Given that there has been some past evidence of an adrenalin component in his seizures (probably the only “trigger” we’ve been able to identify), I wasn’t too surprised, coming around a corner on the upper, forested section, to see him on the ground. Thankfully, as usual, his seizures give him enough warning that he can safely get off the bike.
In the end it was 65 miles at a pretty moderate pace, probably exactly what was needed today. Unfortunately, I’m off the bike through Thursday, as I have to fly to Las Vegas to attend the Interbike trade show. Kevin will hopefully be keeping everyone in line on the Tuesday & Thursday morning rides this week, something he can do better from the front than I can do from the back. –Mike–