Hard to stand while climbing more than normal… is that even possible?

Just another pretty picture on West Old LaHonda. Must have a million of them.
Just another pretty picture on West Old LaHonda. Must have a million of them.
After Tuesday’s tough (for me) ride, I was wondering how things would go today as we rode the tougher version of the Tuesday/Thursday ride, heading up Kings via Huddart Park. Surprisingly, despite my back feeling a lot worse than on Tuesday (I could hardly get out of bed this morning), I felt a lot better on the bike… provided I was standing. Of course, me standing more than I normally do is tough to fathom, since I spend so much of my time out of the saddle as it is!

Today we had Kevin (pilot), Marcus, Karen, Scotty, JR… younger Kevin skipped the ride this morning, after spending part of yesterday in the ER again due to kidney pain issues (likely micro-stones). Jr was taking it easy ahead of a big 3-day ride this weekend so I wasn’t last this time, although I certainly would have if JR had been trying. The interesting thing was that I was 2 minutes faster today than on Tuesday. It didn’t feel like I was going faster, but I was. I’ll take it.

What about the odd weather? Terribly hot yesterday (Wednesday), but pretty cool this morning? Cool enough that I even wore leg warmers, which turned out to be a good choice as a saw it hit just 50 degrees several times. Hopefully there will be a few more opportunities to ride with bare legs though.

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Shadow of my former self

VIRB0404shadow_former_self
That’s my shadow on the right, Kevin’s shadow on the left. Note that I’m taller than Kevin, but his shadow, well, overshadows mine. I think it’s a sign.

OK, that was a ride to remember… or forget! For a variety of reasons I didn’t get much sleep last night, maybe 4 hours or so. Mostly one of those things where you know you need to get to sleep, which makes you tense, so you can’t get to sleep. Hate that. And then there is that oh-so-rare back pain, something I might experience once every 5 years or so, if even that. And this one was nasty, likely brought on by repairing our dryer the night before. Dryers, it turns out, are ridiculously-simple machines, but terribly awkward to deal with, especially in small spaces. And, it’s possible, not likely, but possible, that my PR going up Sand Hill Road the day before might have done me in. Whatever, it was really hard just getting out of bed, but you go through the motions, because that’s what you do. It’s Tuesday morning, so you ride.

Kevin, despite having not ridden in a week, looked no worse for wear. Hate that, too.

We started out with Kevin (kid), Kevin (pilot), JR & Scotty. That makes 4 over-60-year-old and one 23-year-old. As we rolled out from the start we picked up Marcus who, at 47 (I think?) helped provide a bit of balance to the age curve. Still, I felt quite out-of-place with this group as they rode up and away from me. My back began to feel better as I climbed, but it was still almost impossible to get any speed sitting down. Eventually I made it to the top, 33 minutes, could be worse. On the other hand, it was worse, because I was literally seeing shadows of myself as I climbed, and the all-too-obvious “shadow of my former self” metaphor took root strongly. Thus the photo at the top of this entry.

Not sure why but Kevin (pilot) took us on a short detour to show us the private water supply system, a mercifully short (but steep) climb off Skyline.

Normally this is where I’d be pointing out that I felt stronger as the ride went on, but I think today was all about mental toughness, nothing physical. Still, we finished the ride just a few minutes behind schedule, which I found surprising. So maybe there’s a bit of life in me yet. Maybe. We’ll see Thursday!

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