JR, Eric, and… Keith. Ouch. Super-fast Keith. Neither Kevin; the pilot was flying to London, the kid at home with another round of kidney pain. It was a bit cool, a bit foggy, actually more foggy than Tuesday’s ride. Eric had already been most of the way up the hill (he does that, when he has time before the ride, guess he just can’t get enough of Kings) and reported that the fog cleared higher up the hill. A good thing, that; my lungs work a lot better in dry air.
I was dumb enough to follow Keith’s lead, while JR and Eric took it a bit easier. I actually felt not-so-bad heading up through the park, yet was hoping Keith would circle at the top and wait for JR & Eric. No such doing; I don’t think Keith’s wired to “idle.” I did what I could to stay on his wheel, and he did what he could to not accidentally ride away. I think this was the first time he’s been exposed to my heavy breathing for any length of time, not realizing that I’m not on the verge of hyperventilating, but rather just doing my best to suck in enough air to keep going.
I made it to the top, with JR & Eric less than a minute behind. The run along Skyline was relatively-brisk and uneventful, but the following gradual descent on west 84 towards West Old LaHonda wasn’t much fun at all, heavy fog having moved in. I was quite happy to have not one, but two flashing tail lights!
Keith started pushing the pace on West Old LaHonda, with Eric jumping on, and I was in that mode of wondering, do I pick some particular point where I figure it’s ok to fall off the back or do I just hang on until I die? I chose the latter, and just kept hanging on for dear life, not knowing if Keith planned to turn on the gas at any moment or would just keep riding tempo. It’s at this point where you realize it’s up to you, nobody else, whether you hang on until the end. You just have to decide there’s nothing more important than hanging on to that wheel in front of you.
We regrouped at Skyline (where the photo was taken) and then semi-gingerly descended damp roads into Woodside. “Semi” because Keith doesn’t really know how to take it easy. We arrived back at the start at 9:22am, a good, in-season time for the “park” version of the ride. And it’s nowhere near “in-season.”