What a difference a day makes

Last night I was wondering if I’d be out there this morning. Of course, I knew I would, but would I want to be? I had been feeling like I was right on the border of coming down with something, obviously a result of the 4 different vaccinations, and went to bed not looking forward to how I was going to feel the next day.

But the next day, this morning, I woke up and felt… pretty good! It might have been a relative thing, pretty good compared to pretty bad not that many hours before, so maybe I just felt normal. Didn’t matter; I was pretty happy I wasn’t feeling bad!

A bit dark & dreary on the ride, as some sort of mini-front was rolling through, but not wet. Eric, Kevin, Kevin, George, Marcus and, a bit later, Milo out there with me this morning. Everyone started out pretty easily but Marcus can’t help himself and was just gradually picking up the pace, while I’m just holding onto wheels for as long as I can. Eventually Kevin (my son, not the pilot) moved off the back, along with Eric. At the wide open clearing (1.41 miles to go on Kings) I let the fast guys go¬†and waited for Eric and Kevin, making sure they were OK. No fast times on Kings today!

But Kevin (not the pilot) recovered and had no issues holding wheels on Skyline, even leading us over the final little hump before the long descent to Sky Londa. Good to see.

West Old LaHonda was interesting. It started out with me hoping nobody would go too fast, but when Marcus picked up the pace (again), it was me jumping onto his wheel. Only me. I just did what I was trained to do, back in the day. Hold the wheel in front of me. By the time we got to the final short sprint up to Skyline I had nothing left, and Marcus just walked away on a section that I’d normally outsprint most anybody. Didn’t bother me in the slightest!

The only “accomplishment” on Strava was yet again descending 84. If it stays dry the next couple of weeks, who knows, I might finally beat my prior times down the hill. Came very close today.

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Started out ugly & slow but turned into really nice ride!

Got off to another really late start (what else is new?). Had to clean up some flight details for my brother Steve, who’s returning from a Trek Travel vacation in Italy. He’d switched his return flights on-line but they weren’t showing up in his itinerary, so I spent about 20 minutes getting things changed from being waitlisted to actually having a flight home. OK, that’s 20 minutes out of a 2+ hour delay. Not sure I have a good explanation for the rest!

Maybe we just wanted to make sure we got to ride when it was uncomfortably-warm heading up Stevens Creek Canyon towards Redwood Gulch? Or maybe we just enjoy racing the sun, trying to time our rides so we get home just before dark.

No Mr. Mustard with cokes & hot dogs... again?
No Mr. Mustard with cokes & hot dogs… again?

Of course even our late start got twisted backward a bit, when Kevin realized he hadn’t taken his epilepsy meds in the morning, we by the time we got done backtracking, it was about 12:30. The original thinking was to do a ride through Big Basin, but not quite enough time for that. Instead we did a run through the foothills to Los Altos, dropping in to say Hi at the Los Altos Chain Reaction and then grabbing a sandwich and coffee at Peets before the run up Redwood Gulch and 9 up to Skyline.

Neither of us felt very energetic so it was a pretty easy pace up Redwood Gulch (if “easy” is possible up Redwood Gulch), and it was a bit annoying to get to the top of Highway 9, at Saratoga

Fire fighters liberating cokes from the machine for us
Fire fighters liberating cokes from the machine for us

Gap, and not find Mr. Mustard! Thankfully, there’s a coke machine at the nearby fire station, and we’d wisely brought along 8 quarters, since the machine hasn’t taken dollar bills in some time. Even more thankfully, the firefighters were there to let us know the machine wasn’t working but they were happy to open it up for us and exchange a couple of cokes for our $2 worth of quarters. Fire fighters truly are heroic!

From there the ride took a bit different route than normal. One option would have been to descend West Alpine, take 84 out to the coast, and return via Tunitas. But how many times can you go up Tunitas before it gets old? This from someone who’s climbed

Incredible view from West Alpine
Incredible view from West Alpine

Kings twice-weekly since the beginning of time… so Kevin suggested an alternative, heading all the way north on Skyline to 92, returning via Canada Road. We compromised; we added the West Alpine descent, then climbed back up to Skyline via 84 before heading north on Skyline to 92. An awesome choice, because the timing was just right for incredible views of the coast and the bay. Nice enough to cause us to stop a couple times for photos, something Kevin usually isn’t into, but today was just too darned nice not to.

79 miles, a bit over 6000ft of climbing, plenty of sun, fair amount of heat, pretty much ended up being the perfect ride for the day.

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