Chased but never caught (AltoVelo A-ride somewhere behind us)

Kevin not his usual self on West Alpine
Kevin not his usual self on West Alpine

The plan was to hook up with the Alto Velo A-Ride and do the reverse-Pescadero loop. Nice plan, but when we got to the bottom of Old LaHonda for the rendezvous, just a bit early, Kevin didn’t want to wait, so we just headed up the hill, figuring they’d catch up to us soon enough.

Traditional cookie "big as your face" test
Traditional cookie “big as your face” test

But there’s something about knowing that there are “dogs” chasing you… something that makes you go just a little bit harder. Me anyway. I figured they’d likely catch up to us on the long run to San Gregorio, but no, we stayed clear. We continued to stay clear on Stage Road, although I kept looking back across the valley to see where they might be. Figuring that we’d need to keep the food break at Pescadero short, no sandwich today, just a pastry plus half a cookie.

As is usually the case, I feel better as the distance increases, but it was still a bit of a surprise that I’d need to hold back a bit for Kevin on Haskins, and corgisIMG_7298mildly frustrating later on to see that, if I hadn’t held up, I would likely have had my best Strava time up Haskins. West Alpine proved to be a “Bridge of Death” too far for Kevin, as he continued to fall off his normal torrid climbing pace. This was most-likely due to him not riding last Sunday, and made a bit worse because I got in quite a few more weekday miles than normal (when I rode to see the Tour of California stage near San Jose).

Fortunately the ride ended on a high note as Kevin spotted the two Corgis on Olive Hill near Canada.

And, by the way, “they” never passed us. We saw a few of “them” in Pescadero, but it looked like a pretty small group was doing AltoVelo’s A-ride, likely with most if not all of the faster riders off doing a race somewhere.

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A meandering missive on Bike To Work Day

"Downtown Improvement Project" off West Old LaHonda
“Downtown Improvement Project” off West Old LaHonda
The final climb to Skyline on West Old LaHonda is *so* much harder than it looks!
The final climb to Skyline on West Old LaHonda is *so* much harder than it looks!

Every day should be like today. It’s going to rain, that’s a given, but it waits until you finish your morning ride, and your ride to work, before it starts. And then it ends in time for the roads to dry out for your ride home! Is that perfect or what?

It was even a bit warmer this morning; no lower than 41 degrees! Amazing what just a 5 degree difference can make. Not many of us out there to enjoy it though; myself, Kevin and JR. Ah, right, one more person, Tom joined us for the first time in quite a while. Just to the top of Kings (and in enough of a rush to get to work that he had to head right back down Kings, passing JR & I as we were still on the way up).

"Downtown Improvement Project" off West Old LaHonda

Kevin actually pulled for a bit descending 84 west, something rarely seen. West Old LaHonda was a pretty as every single one of the other 663 times Strava says I’ve ridden it since sometime in 2008. That’s actually a pretty amazing thing… 663 times on that segment of road. 663 times I’ve looked forward to “that view.” 663 times I’ve passed that outhouse-like building on the left-hand side of the road with the “Downtown Improvement Project” sign. That comes out to… what do you know, just over 100 times/year, which means I’ve ridden past it twice a week (since the beginning of time as we know it, which goes back to March 23rd, 2008.

Yet another interesting thing to note. Pre-Strava vs Post-Strava. Do the couple hundred thousand miles I rode prior to March 23rd, 2008, count? I’m guessing not. My earliest almost-daily diary entries go back maybe 10 years earlier than that, so maybe I could stretch credibility as far as 1998. I would have been 42 then which, coincidentally, it the answer to Life, The Universe, & Everything. Backing that up is the absolute fact that riding at 42 degrees is comfortable while 41 (and below) is not.

Getting back to the present, Kevin and I celebrated Bike To Work Day by stopping for both donuts and coffee on our ride in to work, arriving a good two hours ahead of the rain. And we’ll be riding home in an hour or so, again, without rain. And without guilt too, since it did rain in the middle of the day.

Random oddness:  A page of quotes reminding me that the movie Buckaroo Bonzai is so much better than most people give credit for.  I’ve always liked that movie, but have had a tough time understanding why. Looking at those quotes, it’s easy to find the answer.

“Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is.”

This is the good life. Now we just have to find some employees so Kevin and I can head to France in a couple of months! I will probably not be the easiest person to get along with come mid-July if I’m climbing Kings instead of Alp D’Huez. :-)

 

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