Sandstone rocks live in fear of me!

First Tuesday/Thursday morning ride since my return from Africa, and I felt pretty decent. I gained just (just?) three pounds during the trip, of which two have already gone away, a very good sign. This morning Karl took off up the hill ahead of everyone else, with me glued to his wheel for a short distance (it wasn’t so hard until Marcus came along and the pace kicked up a bit). Behind were George, Kevin, Kevin and Eric. I was keeping my distance but saw one of the Kevins (my son) ride away from George, the other Kevin, and Eric, all of whom were having a nice social ride. At the wide clearing (1.41 miles to go) I decided to ease up and wait for my son. Big mistake, as usual. He gets to me in a minute, and pretty much rides right on past. I should know better. I can keep up a pretty good pace if… if I keep it up. I am not so good at starting & stopping. In the end, 28-something up Kings, could have been 27-something if I’d just ditched my kid and kept riding.

The excitement came on Skyline, on the long descent into Sky Londa. A couple of guys ahead of me noticed, and avoided, a large rock in the road. Me? I nailed it. I mean really, seriously, nailed it. So hard I thought I must have broken a wheel, or, at the very least, gotten at least one flat out of it. First order of business, slow down and see if I’ve got a flat tire. Eric, who’d been right on my wheel, wasn’t too happy I’d slowed down so quickly, but I didn’t want to see how well I could handle a flat tire at 37mph, if in fact it was flat. Maybe 40 years ago I would have thought differently.

It was really pretty amazing there wasn’t any obvious damage. It was a good-sized rock, but thankfully sandstone (must have been, because I literally obliterated it). I found out a bit later that I’d ejected my water bottle; will have to go back for that on Thursday.

Only obvious downside from two weeks off the bike is a heart rate running about 5 beats higher than normal, but it “tracks” properly (rises and falls with effort, and does so gradually) so nothing I’m too worried about.

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Being back on the bike is awesome!

Just another day in Paradise! November in Northern California. Doesn't get much better than this.
Just another day in Paradise! November in Northern California. Doesn’t get much better than this.

Arrived home from 12 days in Africa last night about 7:30pm; first thing to do, after showing Becky & Kevin (my kids, although, at 21 & 26, is it really right to call them “kids”?) what we brought back for them, was a shower. A shower to wash away 30+ hours of travel time on planes and sitting in airports. A shower where it wasn’t dangerous to let the water get into your mouth or eyes because there might be parasites. Heck, for that matter, a shower where the hot & cold controls work they way they’re supposed to! Yes, a really marvelous shower.

Thankfully, I was able to fall asleep about midnight, rather than face one of those scenarios where you’re wide away when you want to sleep, and sleepy when you need to be awake. So many hours mostly-awake on planes and in airports likely resets your body clock to some zero point from which you can adapt quickly to most anything.

And this morning, time to get back into the regular breakfast & coffee routine, and not have to worry about yet another meal that has curry in something, just because.

Finally, just past noon, Kevin and I got out riding. Just past noon leaving less time than it used to for a ride, since we moved off daylight saving time while my wife and I were gone, but still enough time to do the “coastal classic” (aka “the usual” or my “reference ride”). I told Kevin, who’d managed to pretty much stay away from his bike while I was gone, that we should be taking it easy up Old LaHonda, but of course, about halfway up, it was bye-bye Dad, including the added humiliation of him riding back down the hill a bit after finishing, to check up on me. Sigh.

I felt better on Haskins, and even better on Tunitas where, predictably, Kevin began to pay for the matches he burned on Old LaHonda. Some day he’ll learn, but his excuse was, what does it matter, the only time that’s really important is up Old LaHonda.

Along the way we met Alec from our Redwood City store in Pescadero, on his own ride with a friend.

All in all a really nice 58 mile first ride back. Looking forward to more!

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