Not the planned ride, but still good

Maybe the reason for the deviation from what you had planned was so that you could be there for someone else? Like someone who had run out of CO2 and you just happen to carry a real pump?
Maybe the reason for the deviation from what you had planned was so that you could be there for someone else? Like someone who had run out of CO2 and you just happen to carry a real pump?

It was Sunday, which meant longer ride, probably to the coast, although I was thinking about doing something just a bit different, maybe heading over to LaHonda and back up West Alpine, then south on Skyline, drop down 9, stop in at our Los Altos store to say hello and then head home via the foothills. Unfortunately, this was one of those mornings where my son (Kevin) woke up feeling sorta OK but got feeling worse and worse as we prepared to ride. Some sort of stomach thing. I waited, and waited, and waited, hoping it would settle. No such luck. So, as the skies became increasingly-gray, I finally set out around noon (quite a bit later than the planned 9:30!) and made a “utility” ride out of it by bringing a computer part (a small graphics card that fit in my pocket) to the Los Altos store. Along the way, I stopped for a couple of guys on Canada trying to fix a flax on a mountain bike; unfortunately, it was a regular valve, and my pump only works on presta. A bit disappointed, I re-mounted and, just 50 meters down the road, on the other side, another pair of riders with a flat. This time, presta valve, they’d run out of CO2, so I was able to help (shown in the photo above).

It was a bit weird “riding blind” though. My heart & power monitors both had dead batteries! I managed to find a 2032 battery in an old light that I could use for the heart monitor, but the power monitor would have to wait until I got to the Los Altos store. It’s strange, having your bike computer displaying 3 blank spots where there should be 3 & 10 second power, plus cadence. You really start getting used to looking at your power and knowing how much more you can do, or whether you might be burning a candle or two that you could use later. Yes, I know, there are people who think that paying attention to a bike computer takes away from the beauty and awesomeness of just riding your bike, and that’s fine, I get it, I understand there are some who don’t even see the point to Strava. That’s just not me, that’s all. Probably means I’m a borderline (borderline?) type-A person.

Where the ride got interesting was on the return. I was determined to duplicate as little of the outbound journey as possible; those Strava out & back routings just look kinda pointless, y’know? In fact, heading back, I was even thinking a bit “artfully”, wondering what this route or that would actually look like. All in all the ride back was definitely more interesting than the ride down, and, of course, I now had power to look at as well! Perhaps I carried it just a bit too far towards the end though. Heading back on Canada, feeling a small sectin of duplicated road, with my final climb over Jefferson coming up… well, there’s always Godetia. That ridiculous road whose grade gets ever-steeper as it goes. Godetia did not disappoint. It’s just as bad as I remember, with few (any?) redeeming qualities, other than an opportunity to really see what your absolute max heart rate is. Godetia’s good for that. If you want to know, it will tell you. There’s no way to cheat Godetia!

Just over 44 miles, relatively-low suffer score (no big hills) but definitely not an easy spin around the block. Sadly, it’s going to be 5 days off the bike now, as I head to a bicycle dealer conference in Phoenix. Phoenix, that place it’s always very-warm to super-hot. Except now. 58 degrees is what I’m looking forward to. Sigh.

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Road closed? Like that’s going to stop us?

road_closed_wolhMost of the “Big Storm” had passed by the time we got out on our bikes this morning, but the roads were still soaked and sloppy, so it was another ride on the ‘cross bikes. We arrived at the start about 45 seconds late (Kevin had some trouble finding his glasses) and found nobody waiting. Could be that they took off on time, could be that we were it. We took off quickly, trying to catch up with anyone who might be ahead of us, but it was pretty clear we were chasing phantoms as we didn’t see a single bicycle tire track in the wet pavement anywhere on the ride.

It wasn’t fast nor was it nearly as slow as our times indicated, which of course is a bit tough to reconcile. We took a couple minutes exiting through Huddart Park to shed some clothes, and we weren’t riding really fast on the wet pavement; maybe that’s where the extra 15 minutes came from?

Then again, I’m forgetting about the extra time on West Old LaHonda. As seen in the picture, the road was “closed.” You could argue we should have more respect for such signs, but then again, these signs didn’t appear until at least half a mile up West Old LaHonda. There was really no debate; we were going ahead. What’s the worst that can happen? We’re on ‘cross bikes, we’ve got shoes we can hike in. Turned out it was a broken utility poll with a cable, could be power, could be something else, suspended about 3 feet over the road. Easy enough to squeeze under with no danger of electrocution, even if it was a power cable. So sure, the road was closed… to cars.

Despite it being not so bad out there, we saw just two other cyclists as we returned through Woodside. Guess most of them were on sunny Zwift Island this morning, spinning away on trainers in their garages. I’ll take a real ride over virtual just about any day. –Mike–

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