Still more catching up to do

Thursday… nice morning, felt really good climbing up through the park, with Karl, Karen & Mark P joining Kevin & I. Mostly civilized pace; Mark P had just gotten back from an overseas trip where he added some extra ballast (to keep his wheels from spinning, like they do for train engines?).

This morning, Sunday, we got out a bit earlier than normal (for us), sometime around 9am because I had to fly to Wisconsin later in the day for the Trek dealer show. I wanted to do something not too long but challenging… and what would be better than West Alpine?

Unfortunately, Keivn’s going through one of his seizure clusters, and this morning the first one hit him while climbing Old LaHonda (after, of course, he’d thoroughly ditched me). No biggie. The climb up West Alpine went better than expected; any time I can do West Alpine under 44, I’m pretty happy. It really didn’t feel that fast… maybe I can do even better!

Descending Page Mill was a tad bit more exciting than it should have been. Kevin spent too much time trying to figure out if what felt like it might be an aura (what he gets before a seizure) really was an aura or not. Well, it was, and instead of immediately coming to a stop at the first indication, the time he spent figuring out if it was real or not allowed the seizure to set in, causing him to run off the road and down an embankment. Thankfully, his fall was cushioned by vegetation; neither Kevin nor bike ended up with anything more than a bit of dirt. Next outing, he’s going to be far more conservative!

 

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Ringer shows up on can’t-miss bike

We’ve got our regulars, and we’ve got our irregulars. On a good day, everyone’s nice & civil and talkative. On a bad day, the fastest of the irregulars take on the fastest of the regulars, and, as the song says, I’m “Dust in the Wind.”

Yesterday we had our regulars… me, younger Kevin, Eric. MIA were Karl, Karen, and older Kevin (pilot). Semi-regular Marcus showed up, adding the potential for speed. Now, so far, we didn’t yet have that critical mass required for a testosterone-fueled ride up Kings. Until. Until TGOTBOB shows up. The Guy On the Bright Orange Bike. That would be JeffZ, one of the fastest 50 year olds anywhere, on his new amazingly-visible Trek Madone. Our “ringer” who rarely shows up for our ride, having already done 50+ miles by the time we start (he’s one of those “morning people” who does the uber-fast 6:15am ride out of Palo Alto).

I watched everyone ride off into the sunset pretty quickly, holding the pace only up to the first hairpin, where it crosses the creek. Younger Kevin, seeing that I was in distress (I really wasn’t in distress, just slow) held up at the park entrance for me, where I told him not to wait, I’m good, get back up there and try to catch Marcus and JeffZ. He’s young; I figured maybe, even after waiting 30 seconds for me, he’d have a chance. Not quite. He last saw them at the long open section but couldn’t make time on them. Not surprising, really; Kevin, fast as he is, doesn’t have that many base miles so he’s a bit of a fast-burning candle right now.

Me? I eventually caught up to Eric just before the top. I figured that would happen, since by the time we see Eric, he’s already ridden up Kings once. If I were on my second lap up Kings, I’d be finishing a day and a half behind.

Beautiful morning; we got the ride in before the heavy smoke settled in. One of those rides where I really did feel better as it went. –MikeJ

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