Things were almost back to normal this morning; Kevin’s coming back up to speed on Kings, dropping me just over halfway up the climb. As it should be. A bit worrisome that Kevin had been having some issues climbing for a bit. Of course, Marcus was on another level entirely.
George, on the other hand, had used everything he had… I mean everything… on the infamous “morning” ride. He looked OK at the start, but drifted off the back very, very quickly. In fact, the rest of us (myself, Kevin, Eric, JR) waited 5 minutes at the top before deciding it would be a good idea to head back down the hill and see if he’d run into trouble. We found him, but then had to re-ride the last half kilometer of the climb, which despite the rest, didn’t feel very good at all.
West Old LaHonda was beautiful, as always, but notable mostly for the sudden stop, shown in the photo, due to road & tree work up ahead. Just a couple minutes wait and we got through, but by this time, we were way, way, way behind schedule. In fact, we finished the ride around 9:30am, which is 8-13 minutes late! Still plenty of time to get home, showered, upload to Strava and get coffee before work.
Almost forgot about the group we saw just before we started out. Don’t know who they are or where they came from, but that woman in red in the photo? She’s wearing tennis shoes. And they were flying! They had maybe a 30 second head start on us, and were steadily increasing that gap as they went. Thankfully they turned off on Kings. Would hate to have been beaten by someone in tennis shoes.
Interesting day! It actually started Friday, when Kevin took a phone call at the shop from the organizer for the Ravenswood Family Health Center’s benefit ride, looking for someone to step in at the last moment and help out with bike support when someone else wasn’t able to make it. Kevin basically volunteered that we could do it, figuring that it was early in the morning (7am-8:30am) so we’d still have the rest of the day for our own ride or whatever else needed to get done. And maybe that would get us out on the road earlier than normal, since we’d already be up and moving!
It’s quite an event, much smaller in scale than others we’ve helped with, but very well organized, and apparently a very successful fund raiser for the organization. Julie Brody of Atherton does a pretty amazing job putting it all together.
Afterrward we picked up coffee and breakfast for the rest of the family, and should have been out on the road by 10am or so. Should have, but Kevin wasn’t feeling great, probably the result of strong coffee at the morning event followed by more coffee we picked up for breakfast. By the time he felt more-or-less OK it was… 12:30. A bit late for a ride to the coast and up West Alpine, but you do what you have to do. Not very fast up Old LaHonda, as I might have been feeling a bit too-caffeinated myself, but a nice reward at the top, where we found a young kid with Lemonade, asking for $1 donation to a cause (never found out what) but offering it free if you didn’t have anything on you. At that point we knew this would be a good ride!
And it was a good ride, until the first of my flats, on 84 a mile or two past LaHonda. Might be tough to see in the photo, but there’s a small piece of beer-bottle glass that pierced the tire casing. Drat, two cyclists passed while we were putting the new tube in and patching the hole in the tire with a piece of roadside trash (a part of a potato-chip bag). No way to catch back up to them, even though we were going into a pretty stiff headwind on the way out to San Gregorio, and I’m pretty good at that these days.
Stage Road skirted the coastal fog all the way to Pescadero, quite a contrast from the high temperatures back in Redwood City! And nearly all of the gravel is thankfully gone.
In Pescadero we had the requisite sandwich and face-sized cookie from the bakery and, of course, felt just a bit bloated heading back via Haskins Grade. Kevin was having just a bit of knee pain so we took it pretty easy going up Haskins, and no records were in danger of being broken up West Alpine either. That’s OK, the views were incredible and it felt great finally getting in a bit longer and bit tougher ride than the usual Pescadero-Tunitas loop.
Due to the heat our bottles were running dry so we made what was supposed to be a quick stop at Sky Londa, only to find my rear tire was going flat again. Good thing to figure that out before descending 84! Obviously I didn’t get all the glass out of the tire first time through. Guess I get flats so rarely that I’m out of practice!
In the end it was about 67 miles at a moderate pace.