Totally unexpected- week off bike, fantastic first ride back!

The obligatory West Old LaHonda photo, showing Kevin, Kevin and JR checking out the road construction below.
Waking up to this just isn’t right. It should be light at 6:55am! Without the coffee maker showing signs of life, I might give up.
It was the best of times, it was the… best of times. And I can’t even tell you why. One week off the bike, due to flying out to Wisconsin for Trek business meetings, had me thinking the ride would be a bit of a drag and certainly not fun. And when you add in the numerous delays we faced for road work (including both new ones and extended delays for older ones), it doesn’t add up.

Kevin, Kevin & JR showed up this morning despite this being the darkest morning of the year for this ride, along with being slightly cold and, looking up at Skyline from the start, possibly quite foggy. But I didn’t fear the ride up through the park. Maybe it was because last night I got more than 4 or 5 hours sleep for the first time in 4 or 5 days? Whatever it was, my heart rate scaled nicely with my effort, the way it’s supposed to. 275 watts felt like 20% more than 250, the way it’s supposed to (I know, technically it’s 10% more so 20% doesn’t sound good, but it would usually feel like 50% greater effort, maybe more!).

We didn’t ride very fast, but just a bit faster than pilot Kevin was up to, so I hung back with him when kid Kevin and JR picked up the pace a bit. We climbed out of the fog a few minutes past Kings, and for reasons unknown, the pavement was never wet, so our bike didn’t get trashed. Yet another nice thing.

Since you still can’t get through West Old LaHonda on a weekday, we rode up across the top and descended WOLH to the scenic overlook, checking out the work being done not just on the main section of missing road, but also noticed that they’re getting some work done on the upper section where it slid away a few years ago.

The first (of three) delay heading down 84 into Woodside.
Of course, getting to just about anyplace on Skyline ’round these parts involves delays. There’s the roadwork near Bear Gulch Road (which finally has people working on it again; it had been in limbo for maybe a month or more), and then another spot on Skyline between 84 and Old LaHonda/West Old LaHonda (we did that one twice today). Descending 84 into Woodside there’s the spot they’ve been working on since, when, March? Today that one wasn’t controlled by a light, but rather a flagman, because they needed the whole road blocked off and told us it would be a 10 minute wait. Yikes, we were already running late. Pilot Kevin suggested we ride back up to Skyline and bypass this section using Skywood, which, even though I thought that would be more than a 10 minute delay, we did. Turned out to be just 7 minutes, 35 seconds, so a smart move. And now, yet another section descending 84, no, make that TWO more sections of one-lane road heading into Woodside! A total of 6 in one ride! No wonder we rant about 20 minutes late getting home.

Somehow it all added up to a fantastic morning on a bike.

Where have I been???!!!

Last Thursday, wow, quite a few days ago, nice ride with Todd & Kevin (kid, not the pilot). Nothing fast, except when the road didn’t tilt up too much so I could hang on the wheels in front of me. Didn’t even come close to breaking 30 on the ride up Kings through the park, but somehow that didn’t seem like such a terrible thing. Sadly, this would be my last real ride for a while, because Sunday I would be flying to Wisconsin for a series of biz meetings & seminars at Trek.

Friday morning it was time for my now-monthly blood test, but not before first trying, and somehow succeeding, to order an iPhone X during the first ordering window. It took a few tries, bombing out several minutes after each attempt, before I game up at 12:40am and went to bed (ordering started at exactly 12:00am, and the initial window that came up shortly thereafter said I had just a 3 minute wait before it would be my turn, but when it was my turn, it did the hourglass thing for 10 minutes before I gave up and tried again… did the same sort of thing). But I did, before taking my shower, set it up to try again. And what do you know, I couldn’t get to sleep so I check my phone and, at 1:01am, it let me order one. In theory it will arrive sometime between November 3rd and 11th. What a dork.

Friday morning, without as much sleep as I would have liked, it was off to the vampires for the latest blood test, as well as coffee at Sheri’s Java Shack. Almost makes it worthwhile! Becky and Kevin always accompany me for good luck; in the early weeks, they came with me to make sure I wouldn’t chicken out. Thankfully my fear of having blood drawn no longer causes my veins to collapse! And this time the good luck seems to have worked because I had my best blood test since my diagnosis last May! Platelets have come down to 505k (they’d been as high as 1.2 million; normal is 400k), RDW showed smaller difference between largest and smallest blood cells (a good thing) and overall things just plain looked good.

Sunday it was off to Wisconsin. Uneventful flights (although the inflight entertainment system went out for about half an hour, making me wonder if I’d get to finish watching Wonder Woman or not) and one of the worst excuses for a $13 hamburger EVER in the Chicago airport. The place was called Santa Monica something-or-other and I think the hamburger probably had been made in Santa Monica… the day before.

Today? A lengthy series of 7 different business speakers and guess what? They were amazing! Trek paced things just right, with enough time in-between that it never dragged like I feared it might. Keynote address by John Burke, President of Trek, followed by various people telling us how we could be more relevant to our customers and more efficient for a better bottom line. After having to close our Los Altos store due to bottom line issues, this was good stuff to hear!

More meetings tomorrow, which means… yes, I’m still in Wisconsin, missing yet another day of riding. Looking forward to being home late Wednesday. –Mike–