As bad as I felt this morning, pretty sure I’m going to outlast this tree

On the left, what’s left of the dying tree on West Old LaHonda today. On the right, January 31st, 2017.
I’ve been around, I know how it works. I’ve been doing this ride every single Tuesday & Thursday morning since when? Since Tuesday & Thursday mornings were invented. That long. The idea of something really being a surprise is unfathomble. And yet, this morning, climbing Kings at a snail’s pace, what I know in my heart to be true, that I’ll feel better very shortly, that I get stronger as the ride goes on, well, I just wasn’t thinking that. Such thoughts were nowhere to be found, the struggle seemingly so tough.

Thankfully, things did get better once on top. It wasn’t all-of-a-sudden though. Normally, by the time we’re heading south on Skyline, approaching Skeggs, I’m doing pretty good on that short uphill grade, and from there on, I’m fine. Today I was still waiting to feel fine at that point. Seeing strong shadows cast by a bright sun was beginning to help my spirits though, and I found myself beginning to take pulls as we neared the mild grade that precedes the descent into Sky Londa.

I was back. I took a very long pull at the front as we headed towards West Old LaHonda, and from then on, felt pretty normal. Alive enough that the poor tree in the photo really stood out. Kevin mentioned that it seemed to have dropped a couple more branches since last time, and I’m thinking yes, this tree is going fast. Not quite as fast as we thought though, looking at the photo taken 16 months ago. Yes, it’s heading into oblivion, but at the rate of a branch or two a week.

Back on schedule

Just having a bit of fun here, showing Kevin demonstrating Trek’s new ultra-tiny travel bike. 🙂
Got off to an early start this morning, but not on the bike. First *big* race of the season on TV- Paris Roubaix! Live coverage started at 1:45am (darn time difference between here and France!) but I didn’t get up until 7am, in time to watch the last hour and 15 minutes. Got Kevin up too, but he kind of dozed off and on, and, at the finish, just kept sleeping for a while. By the time we actually did get out, it was about the usual for us, just before noon.

The Red Barn on west 84
The original plan was to do the reverse Pescadero loop, thinking that might put the wind at our backs instead of in our faces, but since we’d climbed West Alpine (which is part of that route) the past two Sundays, we went for the usual. Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas. Pretty nice weather; generally mid-50s except the upper parts of Tunitas and descending Kings, where we saw mid-40s.

Old LaHonda went well, better time than I’ve seen for about 6 months (just barely under 24 minutes, by a few seconds, and it really was “just barely” because there was a car coming down just before the top, and squeezing past it wasn’t easy!). Haskins, well, nothing great there. Normally Haskins and the Stage Road bumps are where I sometimes have an edge on Kevin, but not today.

Saw quite a few customers out there today! Even the family we sold 5 (yes 5!) bikes to on Saturday. Caught up with Paul in Pescadero, whose bike I’d worked on Saturday (thankfully working very well), Laura & Mark, and several others along the way. Kevin’s better at keeping track of the names.

Lance, a Corgi named before Lance Armstrong became infamous, on Canada Road.
Stage Road? Yep, tough headwind and Kevin was simply feeling better. Tunitas? More of the same, so just as we got to the steep part, I told Kevin to go on ahead, have some fun and challenge the climb. I arrive at the top 6 minutes later, although I did stop to take photos of the creek on the way up. Just a minute and a half, so maybe 4 1/2 minutes behind him. Could be worse!

We did have three Corgi sightings! The two on Olive Hill (which we didn’t stop for this time; their attention was being taken by someone walking their own dog past) and Lance, the famous-named Corgi that is often seen walking his owner on Canada Road.

At the end it felt like a good hard ride, with reasonable mileage for the first time in several weeks. About time to get back to normal!