Not a day to repeat; news about our Los Altos store

Today got off to a less-than-stellar start; on the regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, Kevin was lagging pretty badly up Kings due to a pretty severe headache and yes, we actually turned back before the end of the climb, at the archery range. After returning home, Kevin spent a good part of the day in Kaiser ER, where they never could figure out the cause of the headache.

But the least-fun part of the day (and it takes a lot to top your kid spending the day at the ER!) was having to send out an announcement to customers that we’ll be closing our Los Altos store towards the end of September, just 6 weeks away.

We’ve been without a lease for 4 years, 4 very long years in which we’d been working with the landlord for a solution that wouldn’t have us bleeding money, 4 years in which he pitched this and that plan for changes in the shopping center that could benefit us, 4 years in which we saw sales steadily decline, at least in part due to it becoming tough to access our part of the shopping center due to overflow from Trader Joes.

I know nothing about shutting down a store; neither does my brother Steve, who’s basically started that store 24 years ago. Obviously we’ll be moving a lot of stuff into our Redwood City location, and just as obviously we’ll try to sell what we can so we don’t have to move so much. No specifics yet, but if you’re interested in store fixtures, hey, we got ’em!

Each mile better than the last (good thing, since the first felt pretty bad!)

The last few days I’ve had a pretty nasty sore throat, which turned into laryngitis, and after a long day of trying not to talk much at the shop Saturday (but failing miserably at that since it’s tough to work with customers without talking), I was not in great shape, just kinda squeaking and croaking and discovering that it’s not just hard to talk when you have laryngitis, but forcing yourself to talk really causes some lasting pain! So come this morning and I really wasn’t sure what I’d be up to. Making matters more interesting was Kevin having a really nasty headache, so it was just me, heading out for, what, maybe a 10 mile ride?

The “new” duck pond above Portola Valley! Worth the ride up Joaquim? Depends how you like duck ponds. 🙂
Like I said, that first mile was tough. I was thinking I’d be heading out to Woodside and then turn back. But the next mile was easier, and soon I was thinking sure, just do the loop. It was tough passing Old LaHonda and not heading up, but I didn’t see that as an option. Yet it continued to get easier as I rode, so I decided to play a game with myself and do a bit of climbing while forcing myself to stay in the saddle, thinking that might keep my effort down to a reasonable level. Which would be fine except that I decided what the heck, let’s do Joaquim (aka “Walking Joaquim” at the end of Alpine Road). Ouch. But not deathly ouch.

From there I started heading back towards Woodside, still feeling better and better. What the heck, let’s detour up Old LaHonda! Again, staying completely in the saddle the whole way (not my style). Slow, yeah (26 minutes) but nice. Great view on the other side, then back over 84 into Woodside.

Only 36 miles total, but that’s about 26 more than I was thinking at first, and by the top of Old LaHonda, heck, I felt like I could have just kept heading out to the coast and doing Tunitas! But reason prevailed.