We ride in the rain so you don’t have to

It could have been a bit disappointing; the weather forecasting a possible slight break in the storm right when Kevin and I would be out riding, leaving us with wet roads, messy bikes and no real credit for doing something stupid. But if you could believe something 8 hours ahead, there was supposed to be a small spot of nasty landing on top of us right about the time we’d be up on Skyline. And this morning, that’s exactly what happened.

Nobody else with us on the ride. On the way, I spotted someone far ahead of us on Canada, probably a die-hard commuter, but nobody returning from the infamous “morning ride” and no tire tracks on the road. Kevin and I headed up at a pretty slow speed, stopping at the park entrance to remove our jackets before continuing on. It really wasn’t that cold; between 48 and 52 most of the way.

Up on Skyline things changed from wet roads to drizzle to pretty decent rain. We did see another rider, heading in the opposite direction, dressed all in black. Without a light, would have been completely invisible. Stealth mode on a rainy day doesn’t make sense.

Since we were running slow we skipped the West Old LaHonda section, heading straight back down 84. Main disadvantage to that is that you can get a bit cold, since you’re essentially descending 2500ft or so continuously, instead of breaking it up into two sections. But once down into Woodside you feel a lot better.

It’s going to be a long winter

I’m back to a “normal” riding schedule, punctuated with an occasional missed commute to work due to rain, and a slight-shortening of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride again, due to rain, causing us to drop the West Old LaHonda section in order to get back in time to get a shower before work. But overall, things are “normal” as the holiday season is past (no skipping a ride just because it’s Christmas or something like that, or the shop being open on a Sunday).

In fact, this first week of the new year has been bigger than most, since it included the New Year’s Day ride up Mt Hamilton. I would love for all my weeks to be 180 miles! But perhaps what made today seem most “normal” was doing the Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop with Kevin for the first time since Thanksgiving. I’ve done the ride solo at least once, but Kevin’s skipped a ride or two to spend time with his girlfriend.

My thought was that Kevin might wear down a bit as the ride went on; he’s not ridden nearly as many miles as I have this past month. Instead, I found myself struggling to keep up with him on Haskins, a grade I typically pull even with him, sometimes even doing better. On Stage Kevin was having some issues that he blamed on maybe coming down with a cold, but on Tunitas it turned out that he had previously been faking that as a tactical play, pulling away hard and fast as soon as it got steep, finishing 7 minutes ahead of me. He says someone he passed on the way up asked if they could borrow his legs. Must be nice.

Pretty cool out there; 46 to 54 degrees, so it was coffee in Pescadero standing in for Coke. As you can see in the photo above, the cookie test was a total failure; didn’t come close to covering Kevin’s face. Not much choice in cookies either; just oatmeal and butterscotch. Maybe they cut back inventory in the off-season?

Overall it didn’t feel too much different from how I remember feeling last year this time, which is a good thing.