You think you got rid of that monkey on your back, but it keeps jumping back on

George, Karl, Karen, JR & another great day on a bike
George, Karl, Karen, JR & another great day on a bike
Sunday’s Sequoia Century clearly took a lot out of me; that was the longest time I’ve spent in the sun since… well, maybe late last summer? Add to that not riding to work & back yesterday (logistics didn’t work in my favor, having to return the van used to support the Secret Soda Stop on the Sequoia Century, plus dropping by the hospital to see Kevin after his brain surgery), so even starting out from the house this morning I could tell I wasn’t going to be lighting the world on fire.

It didn’t help that I show up at the start and find George, fresh off riding at the Nationals, Mark P, 7th in Saturday’s Pescardero Road Race, and, yikes, JeffZ (we later picked up another speed guy, Marcus, as we approached Kings). For a short time it seemed we’d be riding at a civilized pace up the hill, but JeffZ just rode off the front, gradually picking up speed and splitting up the group. I rode up Kings trying to minimize my losses, noting that I was about 30 watts below where I ought to be, and thinking that one of those hidden motors that gives “only” 50 watts would have made quite a difference for me on the climb!

OK, remember how yesterday’s logistics kept me off the bike? Today’s program wasn’t any less complicated. Ride, vote, ride to the shop, and later, instead of riding straight home after work, Becky and I dropped by Kaiser Hospital to see how Kevin was doing. Surprisingly, it’s not an issue bringing bikes into the hospital and up the elevators to the 5th floor. This would not have been possible in the old hospital building; the corridors were simply too narrow.

Hopefully Kevin will be coming home soon, perhaps even tomorrow (Wednesday). Our dog’s really confused on Tuesday & Thursday mornings, because as soon as he hears my alarm clock go off at 6:55am, he races over to Kevin’s door, waiting for me to tell him it’s OK to jump on it and push it open. Only the door’s already open and no sign of Kevin. It’s definitely time for things to return to normal.

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Another monkey off my back; first 100 miler of the year (Sequoia Century)

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Heading north on Highway 1, passing roughly half-a-zillion Aids Lifecycle participants heading the other way. That’s Orion in front of me, the guy who saved me from the headwinds.

So what happens when you’d normally have two Santa Cruz loops (111 miles) under your belt by the time the Sequoia Century comes around, only this year, life got in the way (mostly Kevin’s epilepsy issues and surgeries), and yeah, you feel it! Overall the legs are capable of 100 miles, no problem there, but you notice, after a rest stop, they really don’t want to get going again. Especially later in the ride. And not sure if I’ve ever mentioned here that I’m pretty much unaffected by saddle issues, but today? Today my hind end feels rather, well, raw. Curiously, more of an issue sitting in a chair than on a bike seat. Go figure!

Route was the same as last year, and, same as last year, I rode to the start (from Redwood City to Foothill College in Los Altos Hills), and finished back home. The big advantage to doing that is, no need to drive a car. I’ve gone pretty much car-free for a good three years now, and have been inconvenienced only rarely. The disadvantage to not returning to the start? No post-ride food, and at the Sequoia, that usually includes an Its It ice cream bar.

That route… even though the same as last year, it was a lot harder this year due to stronger winds. Almost always headwinds by the way. Fortunately I came across Orion, same as last year, and he did some hellacious pulls into the wind, starting with the run from LaHonda to the coast. My legs were OK for the climbs, but pushing hard into the wind wasn’t in the cards for me!

This being the Sequoia Century, we had our “secret” (not anymore!) soda stop at the top of Tunitas, and having Mike F, our service manager who was staffing the station along with my son Kevin, hand me an ice-cold Mtn Dew was rather awesome. Just the right thing at just the right time.

Overall a very good ride, and makes me feel like I can handle whatever gets thrown at me in July.

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