Part A, Part B, & 9/11 ride entry

Kevin heading straight down 84 today while I continued on the WOLH loop solo.

Another nice morning, actually nicer than most because there was…. NO FOG!!! No damp roads. Sure, low 50s at times, but that’s really easily dressed for. Surprisingly, just me & Kevin (not the pilot) and very, very few other cyclists out on the road. I was tempted a couple of times to suggest to Kevin that he kick up the pace just a bit, to get up Kings under 30, but never did, and not surprisingly, we got to the top just over 30. But it was a good 30, not one of those days where you seem to have been done in by the climb while posting a slow time. And with just the two of us, there was no delay at the top waiting for someone to get rid of extra coffee or diet coke, we just turned the corner and kept going. A steady pace, not really fast but never slacking off either.

Kevin had a meeting with someone at 10am so he skipped the West Old LaHonda loop and on some days, I might have been tempted to head down with him. But not today. Don’t know why, but I felt like I just needed to keep pushing on, and started thinking about the possibility of finishing the ride within the traditional timeframe of days gone by… arriving back at the start between 9:18 and 9:22. And in fact I made it by 9:20. Yes, I did wonder what it might have taken to make it 9:18 but I don’t think I left that much on the table. Average weighted power was 218 watts, and, finally, average speed of 16.0mph. I haven’t seen that high an average speed in a very, very long time. Unfortunately Strava doesn’t make it easy to looks for power & speed stats, but I did go back the past few months. Things are looking pretty good.

Before I started today’s entry, I thought I’d look up the entry from 9/11/2001. There really wasn’t much to say; perhaps the lingering question is how I was able to watch coverage of the first plane striking the WTC towers and still get out and ride. I really don’t know why I even knew about it, why I would have turned on the radio or TV prior to my morning ride. But I remember it quite clearly. I don’t recall who else showed up, nor was it mentioned in the diary entry, but I wasn’t alone. Since it was pre-Strava, I don’t have the usual ride details.

09/11/01- A VERY SAD DAY. But first, to answer the single question asked over and over and over on the phone today, yes, we’re open. Please be careful while riding. This morning, in the aftermath of the tragedies brought upon us by terrorists, cars were even less attentive (or more distracted) than usual. Felt kind of funny about going out and riding, just after watching the first tower collapse on the news, but did anyway. Eerie. You don’t realize how much noise planes make until the sky is clear of them. In some ways it was reminiscent of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Please be careful out there.

3 Signs of the Apocalypse and why ride up Redwood Gulch?

The third and final sign of the Apocalypse on today’s ride- an empty scenic overlook on Skyline.

Just me today as Kevin had to get a suit for a friends’ wedding. For reasons unknown I decided not to do the usual ride to the coast but instead head south through the foothills, then head up Redwood Gulch & 9, and return home via Skyline.

Why would anyone head up Redwood Gulch without someone holding a gun to their head? I thought maybe I could do better by somehow riding it “smart.” Think the only thing I proved was that you can’t fix stupid. When I was 16 and weighed 133 maybe that climb was fun. Ok, I’ll admit I actually did get my best time in just over two years today, so not so bad. Of course I had nothing left once I hit 9, but even there I again had my best time in two years. Looking it up, that was the Sequoia Century. Makes sense; lots of rabbits to try and catch.

There remains the question of why I rode it, and that’s where the first apocalyptic thoughts came from. As in, why in most apocalyptic stories is there some guy (yes, usually it’s a guy but you could make the case the first person in that role was Eve) who just has to unleash the worst evil has to offer upon the world. What motivates someone to toss aside logic and do that? I’m thinking it’s a simple extrapolation from the rationalization required to ride up Redwood Gulch.

At least I wasn’t sweating up a storm at that point. That came about 10 minutes later, on 9. It appears I can put in about 23 minutes of hard climbing before my head turns into a water hose sprayer attachment that’s always leaking in the “off” position. Very frustrating!!!

Of course, the reward is an ice cold coke from Mr Mustard at Saratoga Gap. Except he hasn’t been seen for months! At least not by me or another cyclist at the top, someone, presumably for health reasons, a bit repulsed by my desire for a coke. Hey, I’ve been drinking cokes and mtn dews all my life on bike rides and I’m as healthy as a … oh, wait, never mind.

The second sign of the Apocalypse was just prior to Page Mill, where I spooked three very large vultures who were feasting on a very smelly carcass of some kind. They quite startlingly flew up into the tree above them, more than a bit annoyed that I had now stopped to take pictures of them.

The final sign of the apocalypse was passing the large parking lot at the scenic overlook, just north of Page Mill. Nobody there! The place is usually packed. Ok, actually one woman in a truck who’d apparently pulled in to make a phone call.

Temps ranged from mid-70s to mid-80s with a light breeze. A very pleasant day to be out on a bike, and yet not nearly as many as last weekend. The weather is typically a bit nicer after Labor Day, yet fewer people ride. Odd thing, that.