The Mystery of Marcus Rock Explained!

Far left, Kevin having to survive a trip to Pescadero without a suitable cookie! Middle is the mysterious rock on Tunitas that Marcus posted on Strava. Far right it appears Kevin has discovered its source!

Superbowl Sunday- typically a nice day to ride because there’s not much traffic on the roads. Definitely the case today; in fact, very few bicyclists on the other side of the hill either! Probably because the forecast afternoon rain scared people away from longer rides.

We had toyed with the idea of doing the reverse Pescadero loop (counter-clockwise) and climbing West Alpine, but with the potential for wet roads decided a longer ride might not be the best idea, so we settled on what’s become the usual Sunday ride for me & Kevin… up Old LaHonda, over Haskins, Stage Road then Tunitas. Same as last week. Same as the week before that too if I recall correctly. And my times we just the tiniest bit faster on Old LaHonda (24:00 vs 24:12) and Haskins (10:34 vs 10:49). What Strava isn’t showing is the segment between Flamingo house & Pescadero, where Kevin was absolutely drilling it. I insisted to Kevin that I was actually pushing him from behind, but the truth is that I was doing everything I could just to hang on.

The Pescadero Bakery/General Store was the quietest we’ve seen in ages, and yet… no selection of face-sized cookies! Kevin had something else, as you can see in the photo. But it’s not the same without the cookie face test.

The big surprise was the tailwind heading north on Stage! That’s something you can’t let go to waste, so I made sure we pushed the pace a bit and got a new PR for the first climb… by 1 second. That’s cutting things close! The tail wind also provided for a very fast descent on Highway 1 to Tunitas, and knowing that we’re only 11 seconds off the Strava record for the segment, well, next time there’s a tail wind on that segment, I’m going for it.

On Tunitas we looked for and found the rock Marcus Gosling posted a photo of on Strava. To be truthful, I’d seen the rock last week and pointed it out to Kevin, although he had no memory of that whatsoever. It’s a very odd shape for a rock, leading us to wonder if it is in fact extra-terrestrial, possibly placed there by ancient aliens. Or maybe it’s the world’s biggest kidney stone from a prehistoric dinosaur. Kevin did discover where it had most-recently come from though, on the hillside on the opposite side of the road.

We took it very easy up Tunitas, even stopping a couple times for photos on the way up. The weather was beginning to move in on us, not bad until we began the descent on Kings, and by the time we got home, it was more than just sprinkles. Curiously, it pretty much stopped for two hours right!

Sadly it looks like the usual weather pattern has daily rain on weekdays, clearing up only on the weekend, so it might be another week before we’re out on our Madones again. This year our rain bikes are getting quite the workout… but at least not today.

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Nothing flashy, just messy today

The Corgis of Olive Hill making a rare morning appearance today.
It was the worst type of rain, because it really wasn’t rain, just wet roads and an occasional light drizzle. And I was on my own; nobody else showed up, even my son bailing because he didn’t get much sleep the night before and felt dizzy as he got ready to ride.

That’s OK; nothing wrong with a slow solo ride once in a while. Just ride up the hill, pushing one pedal down, then the other, no hurry to get anywhere. Not that there was any power I could summon anyway; this was what pilot Kevin refers to as a “high gravity day.” But you get there, eventually, and once up on Skyline your power starts to kick in, and you feel happy to be out on your bike, in the 43 degree drizzle that isn’t quite enough for needing your rain jacket but a bit much for riding without it.

Because I was running well-behind schedule, I skipped the West Old LaHonda loop and went straight down 84. About a 6 minute wait for the one-way control where the road is slipping away, and maybe another 5 minutes added to the descent when the traffic slowly moved through the affected area. Could be worse.

Best part of the ride came towards the end, when the Olive Hill Corgis were out yipping and yapping at passers-by. Not a bad way to end the ride and start the day.

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