Solo pre-Christmas-dinner ride (no hills)

One of these days I’ll put together a page of stop signs we (cyclists) hate. This is certainly one for that list, on Summerhill in Los Altos Hills. Breaks up what would otherwise be a great section of road as you flatten out after descending (when heading south).
Christmas Day isn’t on the list for a day to get in a really good ride; family obligations, meals at odd times, presents, a number of different things that fit into a very special holiday. On the other hand, you eat too much to feel comfortable being sedentary on a day when it’s pretty nice outside! Today was one of those days.

Normally Kevin would be out there with me, but he’s getting over a slight cold so I couldn’t talk him into it. By the time I got out I couldn’t get in too long a ride; had to be back for dinner by 4, but figured I’d just do an easy cruise around the loop, maybe 25 miles or so, and see what it’s like to not push myself. Yeah, well that plan NEVER works out. Once you warm up, your legs start delivering some power… that darned power meter proves that to you… and you want to start working that number up. If you’re just cruising along, you might see 85, 100, maybe 150 watts of power. But 200 comes far too easily, and you hit the slight grades and start to wonder how long you can keep up 300, 350, even 400 watts.

And then you start playing around with changing your riding style. Today, that meant trying to stay in the saddle as much as possible. That also makes for much better ride videos, but looking at what I recorded today, I can’t see why anyone would find it interesting. Not enough other cyclists out on the road, and not quite bright enough for a really good picture.

One nice thing about sticking to the Foothills… I can still get some Strava accomplishments! Pretty much impossible for me to get anything on a climb anymore, but on the flatter stuff, I can still challenge my younger self a bit.

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I challenge your shadow to beat my shadow!

A couple days ago I lamented we didn’t have shadows yet. Well that’s not quite true; we just don’t have them in the same places. This morning, heading up Kings through the park, we had some pretty good shadows. In fact, at one point my shadow was actually in the lead climbing one of the steep pitches! Pretty exciting while it lasted.

This morning, last ride before Christmas, we had Kevin, Kevin, JR & Marcus. Yes, it’s still on the cooler side, but nothing below 33 today if I recall correctly, and it did warm up fairly nicely up on top. 41 degrees in fact. Not quite sure why we were having a “spare the air” day because the skies were crystal clear without even a hint of haze.

Thankfully nobody’s trying to set any records this time of year, so I’m not completely shelled off the back on every climb. Still, I feel like I’ve put out just as much effort on days like this, when we finish the ride about 9:32, as I would on a fast summer day at 9:20. What’s an extra 12 minutes anyway?

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