Rare Friday-morning ride; Kevin destroys Joaquim

Really, riding isn't all about eating. But this tiny stuffable backback, one of the Tour de France Caravan handouts, works great for picking up breakfast at the end of a ride!
Really, riding isn’t all about eating. But this tiny stuffable backback, one of the Tour de France Caravan handouts, works great for picking up breakfast at the end of a ride!
Kevin didn’t ride Thursday morning due to a short-term stomach bug of some sort, but opted for adding a ride this morning, something that rarely happens. I mean sure, we ride to work & back most weekdays, but the only serious rides are on Tuesdays, Thursday & Sundays. Yesterdays ride was hard enough that I really didn’t have great legs this morning… unlike Kevin.

It started out innocently enough. Up to Skyline? No way. Been there, done that, yesterday. We did “the loop” with a Joaquim kicker. Also known as “Walking Joaquim” for very good reason. We rode pretty strongly up Alpine, and as it started to get steeper towards the end, my legs enthusiasm was declining as rapidly as the road was ascending. Got to the tiny little plateau at the intersection with Joaquim, tried to catch my breath, and started up. Ouch. There was just nothing there, legs feeling so flat I felt like walking. Kevin? He flew up the hill. Stomped on the pedals and was GONE. Nearly a minute faster up that short climb than my fastest time up it. Wow.

It’s possible that yesterday’s ride actually did take something out of me, because my heart rate was as resistant to climbing as my legs. I did recover once we got back on normal terrain, and did a pretty good fast pull on Alpine heading towards 280. Redemption of sorts.

By the end of the ride I felt like we both deserved something from the Woodside Bakery and, unknown to Kevin, I’d snuck that tiny little TdF backpack into my seatbag. Worked out very well.

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Great ride! First time my legs hurt after a Tuesday/Thursday morning ride in some time.

One of hundreds of photos I've taken from West Old LaHonda. Thankfully they're not indexed or cataloged, so I don't have to confront the question of how many do I actually need to take?
One of hundreds of photos I’ve taken from West Old LaHonda. Thankfully they’re not indexed or cataloged, so I don’t have to confront the question of how many do I actually need to take?

Truthfully, I prefer the Tuesday version to Thursday’s, because the ride up through Huddart Park (instead of taking Kings the whole way) is a lot harder on me. But today, I figured, what the heck. Go for it. Get out there and die trying. And I did. Not die, but tried really hard. And with the two-fastest guys in attendance (Keith and Marcus), it was the right day for a really hard effort.

Besides Marcus & Keith we also had Karen, Karl, Eric and “Pilot” Kevin. Younger Kevin stayed home, some sort of a short-term stomach bug that might have resulted in a variant of Greg LeMond’s “bad peach” story had he ridden. I won’t describe the details, but you’ll find the reference easy to decode if you google it. I managed to stay within sight of Marcus & Keith through the park, and even posted my 3rd-best time for that segment. It did not, however, translate to a fast ride up Kings, as I circled around a bit at the top of the park, waiting for the rest, and didn’t have much left in my legs for the remainder of the climb anyway.

On Skyline the story was Marcus, all the way. He did a heroic pull across the top, giving me a view of little else but his rear wheel. Not sure why I had to take the 2nd spot in the paceline, since the draft is easier if you drop back a few riders, but that’s where I was. Part of it was simply a desire on my part to ride myself into the ground this morning. Whatever the case, Marcus’s engine was running strongly and we were all hitched to it.

A bit of a headwind on the descent to West Old LaHonda, but not so much that I wasn’t able to head to the front for a pull, relieving Marcus. West Old LaHonda was at a relatively-casual pace, which was fine by me.

Strava gave me a suffer score of 109, relatively-high for the typical Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides (usually between 90-100), but I’m thinking it was accurate. First time in ages my legs really felt like they’d been ridden hard after a morning ride. I like that.

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