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Didn’t seem that bad this morning; Kevin and I actually arrived a minute or two late to the start of the regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, anxiously looking for any signs of others who’d already gone on ahead, but could find no obvious evidence of bicycle tire marks on the wet pavement. As we headed onto Greer Road before going up through Huddart Park we came across a jogger not wearing earpieces (a rarity these days!) so we asked if he’d seen any other cyclists on the road… nope. Just us.

Yes, it rained lightly pretty much all of the ride, but it wasn’t too cold, about 54 on the way up, pretty much a steady 50, no lower than 48, up on Skyline and West Old LaHonda. Kevin wasn’t too fast today and I thought about asking if he wanted to head straight down from Sky Londa instead of doing the West Old LaHonda section, but instead I just let him lead and, sure enough, he made the right turn for the west side.

Not much view, just gray. And kinda wished it had really been raining, since we were ready for it (we were out on our rain bikes, ready for anything!). But still a nice ride. Saw only one other cyclist the entire time. Where was everybody? -Mike-

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Sandstone rocks live in fear of me!

First Tuesday/Thursday morning ride since my return from Africa, and I felt pretty decent. I gained just (just?) three pounds during the trip, of which two have already gone away, a very good sign. This morning Karl took off up the hill ahead of everyone else, with me glued to his wheel for a short distance (it wasn’t so hard until Marcus came along and the pace kicked up a bit). Behind were George, Kevin, Kevin and Eric. I was keeping my distance but saw one of the Kevins (my son) ride away from George, the other Kevin, and Eric, all of whom were having a nice social ride. At the wide clearing (1.41 miles to go) I decided to ease up and wait for my son. Big mistake, as usual. He gets to me in a minute, and pretty much rides right on past. I should know better. I can keep up a pretty good pace if… if I keep it up. I am not so good at starting & stopping. In the end, 28-something up Kings, could have been 27-something if I’d just ditched my kid and kept riding.

The excitement came on Skyline, on the long descent into Sky Londa. A couple of guys ahead of me noticed, and avoided, a large rock in the road. Me? I nailed it. I mean really, seriously, nailed it. So hard I thought I must have broken a wheel, or, at the very least, gotten at least one flat out of it. First order of business, slow down and see if I’ve got a flat tire. Eric, who’d been right on my wheel, wasn’t too happy I’d slowed down so quickly, but I didn’t want to see how well I could handle a flat tire at 37mph, if in fact it was flat. Maybe 40 years ago I would have thought differently.

It was really pretty amazing there wasn’t any obvious damage. It was a good-sized rock, but thankfully sandstone (must have been, because I literally obliterated it). I found out a bit later that I’d ejected my water bottle; will have to go back for that on Thursday.

Only obvious downside from two weeks off the bike is a heart rate running about 5 beats higher than normal, but it “tracks” properly (rises and falls with effort, and does so gradually) so nothing I’m too worried about.

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