Channeling my inner Mara Abbott on the upper part of Tunitas today!

I had a few choices for the main photo; a shot of Kevin riding away from me up Tunitas, a "tunnel" shot of the eucalyptus trees on Stage Road, or this. This being the photo that makes me smile, it gets the spot here.
I had a few choices for the main photo; a shot of Kevin riding away from me up Tunitas, a “tunnel” shot of the eucalyptus trees on Stage Road, or this. This being the photo that makes me smile, it gets the spot here.

Do I ever get tired of repeating the same Sunday ride so frequently? Up Old LaHonda, over Haskins, lunch at Arcangeli Pescadero market, north into the headwind on Stage and up Tunitas? I have no doubt that Arcangeli market has much to do with the route choice! The chicken club sandwich and oversized cookies are pretty darned awesome.

The fallen Mastadon near Pescadero
The fallen Mastadon near Pescadero

Of course, to get there, you have to survive the climb over Old LaHonda, where there’s zero chance of me keeping up with Kevin, until you can feel like you’re on equal footing on the grade over Haskins. Today was no different; Kevin was a minute or two ahead of me up Old LaHonda, but I managed to keep pace with him on Haskins. Certain climbs he has a bit of trouble on, or I’m a bit stronger on, not sure which.

We made a brief stop on the way out to Pescadero to take a photo of the fallen Mastadon; poor guy has been on the ground since early winter. The Triceratops has been sadly looking upon its fallen friend the entire time, waiting for someone to put him upright again so they can face off across the field.

Stage Road is my sole remaining climb where I have a chance to do better than Kevin, especially the second bump heading into San Gregorio, and the final climb up to Highway 1. I have no idea why this is, and I doubt it will last, but I’ll take it while I can. Once we get to Tunitas, it’s all-Kevin all the time.

With favorable winds it was a good day to “launch” Kevin on Tunitas. Any day that you can get close to 10 minutes from the coast to the entrance of the forest is a good day to try and get a good time. I watched Kevin ride away, hoping that he’d just get stronger and stronger, but apparently he finished just a couple minutes ahead of me. I felt like I could have done a bit better if only I hadn’t felt a need to keep standing up to keep my legs going, kind of like American Mara Abbott did the final 10k of the Women’s Olympic Road Race… a flaw that cost her the race, as she got caught just before the finish line. For me, does it really matter if I climb Kings in 48:40 or 49:30? The main goal is to finish on the same day as my son. 🙂

Print Friendly

This Scotty guy, how does he ride so fast? Should that give me hope or make me depressed?

By this point on our ride, heading into the forest on West Old LaHonda, I'm finally warmed up and ready to go. Too bad it takes a good hour to get to this point!
By this point on our ride, heading into the forest on West Old LaHonda, I’m finally warmed up and ready to go. Too bad it takes a good hour to get to this point!
It’s pretty amazing when you think about it, a bunch of guys in their 60s riding without limits, or at least doing a good job of keeping denial going by continuing to do what they’ve been doing for 20, 30, 40, close to 50 years. I don’t even know when Scotty, who claims to be closer to 70 than 60, started.

Is 60 the new 40? I hope so. It helps to keep that mortality stuff at bay, not to mention thoughts of retirement. My brother and I have owned Chain Reaction for 37 years… if you’d asked me 25 years ago if I’d still be doing this when I’m 60, I would have said (and in fact recall that I did say) yes, I figured maybe 65 or so. If you’d asked me then, if a 60 year old should be happy being able to get up Kings in 28 minutes, yeah, I would have thought that would have been darned fast for someone that age. But this group of people I ride with, not all of them guys (Karen’s in her 50s, which at least makes her a lot younger than me, right?), they still seem to be able to go from the gun, while it takes me a good hour or so of riding before I’m up to full speed. Which means they’re climbing Kings, the first climb of the day, about 20 minutes after I first clip in, quite a bit faster.

But I do get there, and I know I’ll feel better as I go. By the end of the ride I’m feeling really good; back in the day I’d start out feeling really good and be dragging my butt at the end. Thought of in that context, the current version of me seems not quite so bad. Scotty can whip me good on Kings, but slows down later on. Everybody’s different. It’s interesting thinking about how I’ll be at 70. Will endurance still be my biggest strength? How will I fare against other 70 year old cyclists? And, of course, will I have a miniature motor providing a limited degree of assistance so I can keep up with younger hot shots?

Time will tell. It always does.

Print Friendly