Long easy ride with an old friend

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Larry heading up Tunitas Creek, a couple miles from Skyline. He’s a lot happier now than a few miles earlier, riding up the appropriately-named-on-Strava “Hammer of Thor” section.

One of my most-memorable bike rides was in 1973; a 6-day ride staring in Redwood City and heading to Davis, Grass Valley, Incline Village, Calaveras Big Trees, Modesto and finishing in Palo Alto. I raced the Sierra Road Race the day before, and Mount Hamilton the day after coming home. Strava would have been very proud of me that week! The guy I rode with, Larry Rairden, raced for arch-rival San Jose Bike Club (I think?), while I rode for Pedali Alpini. We had a great time, doing an early version of “credit card touring” by staying at the homes of fellow bike racers along the way. I’ll never forget the Incline Village to Calaveras Big Trees day… heading up Ebbetts Pass into a raging thunderstorm! Thankfully it had largely passed by the time we got there.

After high school we all (our group of cyclists) mostly lost track of each other; no Facebook then, so Larry heading to San Diego, me to Santa Cruz, others elsewhere, we might just as well have been on different planets. But when Facebook did come along, a lot of us started reconnecting, and the rest is history. Or something like that. Larry went to work in the oil industry in Texas, but once in a while biz brings him back to the bay area and he drops by the shop to say hi. This trip he was out here for several days so I found a bike to loan him and this morning reacquainted him with our local hills.

Larry climbing Stage Road up to Highway 1
Larry climbing Stage Road up to Highway 1

Since he wasn’t familiar with the Pescadero Bakery, that became an obvious destination. I don’t think the pastry disappointed! He was awe-struck by the beauty of our coastal mountains and valleys, despite it being what many might call a “gloomy” day (heavy overcast). I’m guessing that cycling ’round Houston isn’t terribly scenic.

Larry isn’t terribly fast right now, but did want some miles, so we tacked on a loop up north, taking in Higgins Purissima and Los Lobitos cut-off. 73 miles in all, at a pace that actually allowed me to carry on a conversation! This, too, shall pass (as soon as my son’s back on a bike).

One of the young women at the Pescadero Bakery sending her regards to Kevin.
One of the young women at the Pescadero Bakery sending her regards to Kevin.

Speaking of my son, he’s well-enough recognized at the Pescadero Bakery that I was asked where he was by one of the young women who often works the register.  Yeah, that’s me, “Kevin’s Dad.” Remembering when kids didn’t want to be known as someone’s son.  🙂  Kevin did, by the way, get in a 23 mile ride on his super-duper Tacx trainer. Any thoughts I might have had of having a huge advantage when he’s finally allowed back on the road are rapidly disappearing. You can see his ride here. He wasn’t certain, but thinks it was in Australia.

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Pretty picture tell the story

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There’s not much I can add, is there? It’s like that scene in Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner’s character is asked, “Is this heaven?” No, it’s West Old LaHonda. Well, that wasn’t exactly the answer in the movie, but that’s only because the movie’s producers likely hadn’t cycled ’round these parts. Still, though, Iowa? Really?

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