An interesting Father’s Day ride

IMG_1096imagesAnother solo ride today, since it’s going to be a bit before Kevin’s back on the bike after his accident. He’s actually healing up fairly well, except that an issue has shown up in his right hand that could be a small fracture but it won’t show up on x-ray for a while. It was a bit frustrating, seeing kids out riding with their dads, but Kevin will be back riding soon. Just as it was a bit frustrating yesterday that I couldn’t attend the memorial service for Jobst Brandt, the guy who introduced me to the Santa Cruz Mountains, so many years ago. In fact, it was a Jobst ride that first brought me to the lake in LaHonda. So now we have two of the four photos above explained. :-)

A bit different ride than normal; no loop out to Pescadero this time. Instead I went up 84 (not Old LaHonda) to check out the site where the car hit Kevin last Tuesday, so I could take some photos and gain some clarity in my mind for how it happened. Pretty much nothing to see here, move along. Doesn’t make sense that anybody thought they could thread the needle and squeeze between Kevin and an oncoming car. From there I continued up & over the hill, and in LaHonda spent some time at the duck pond, noticing some very large frogs for the first time.

And then it was time for West Alpine. I was a little bit concerned about taking on a “big” climb, after feeling a bit of pain in my left knee after Thursday morning’s ride, pain which persisted and only very gradually diminished with time. Fortunately, riding seemed to make it better, and my time up West Alpine was my second-best since 2009. I can live with that. Seems that I can climb a bit faster on my own than with Kevin, because I do much better at a steady speed, and Kevin’s pacing is all over the map.

Now those last two photos. Photo #3 is easy; a guy out on Arastradero Road riding in Chain Reaction colors! The last photo is a bit more cryptic. My bike over one of those “stop your bike here to trigger the green light” things… only the light wouldn’t change. It’s a real problem with my current bike because it has too much carbon fiber (including the rims) and not enough aluminum, so the sensing coils don’t pick it up. Hate that. But not enough to want to ride a bike that’s not as light & fast though! :-)

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The Return of Chris

IMG_7532topofkingsA bit strange getting up in the morning for a ride without Kevin, but it’s going to be a few days before he’s back up to speed. From my own experience, two days after a crash is when you feel the worst, so things will only get better from today-forward.

Smaller group today, with Karen, Karl, Eric and… Chris. Chris used to be a semi-regular who disappeared for a few years, ok, almost a decade, had a couple of kids, started racing, stopped racing because he thought it was dangerous, and now he might be back with us once in a while. There were two different versions of Chris on the ride this morning; the “social” Chris, hanging back on the climb and talking with Karl & Karen, and the super-fast-guy we remember and fear from days past, who sets a pace on Tripp Road that is almost impossible to stay with, even though he’s doing far more work. I can’t imagine the wattage he puts out when he’s in that mode. Maybe trying to hold onto that wheel is the reason my left knee is a bit sore, first time… ever?

Or it could have been from a bit earlier, trying to hang onto Karl’s wheel on the upper section of West Old LaHonda, and powering hard up that last steep section to Skyline. But it wasn’t from the final sprint near the end of the ride; Karl took off and I was way too spent to stay on his wheel. No contest there.

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