Great ride! First time my legs hurt after a Tuesday/Thursday morning ride in some time.

One of hundreds of photos I've taken from West Old LaHonda. Thankfully they're not indexed or cataloged, so I don't have to confront the question of how many do I actually need to take?
One of hundreds of photos I’ve taken from West Old LaHonda. Thankfully they’re not indexed or cataloged, so I don’t have to confront the question of how many do I actually need to take?

Truthfully, I prefer the Tuesday version to Thursday’s, because the ride up through Huddart Park (instead of taking Kings the whole way) is a lot harder on me. But today, I figured, what the heck. Go for it. Get out there and die trying. And I did. Not die, but tried really hard. And with the two-fastest guys in attendance (Keith and Marcus), it was the right day for a really hard effort.

Besides Marcus & Keith we also had Karen, Karl, Eric and “Pilot” Kevin. Younger Kevin stayed home, some sort of a short-term stomach bug that might have resulted in a variant of Greg LeMond’s “bad peach” story had he ridden. I won’t describe the details, but you’ll find the reference easy to decode if you google it. I managed to stay within sight of Marcus & Keith through the park, and even posted my 3rd-best time for that segment. It did not, however, translate to a fast ride up Kings, as I circled around a bit at the top of the park, waiting for the rest, and didn’t have much left in my legs for the remainder of the climb anyway.

On Skyline the story was Marcus, all the way. He did a heroic pull across the top, giving me a view of little else but his rear wheel. Not sure why I had to take the 2nd spot in the paceline, since the draft is easier if you drop back a few riders, but that’s where I was. Part of it was simply a desire on my part to ride myself into the ground this morning. Whatever the case, Marcus’s engine was running strongly and we were all hitched to it.

A bit of a headwind on the descent to West Old LaHonda, but not so much that I wasn’t able to head to the front for a pull, relieving Marcus. West Old LaHonda was at a relatively-casual pace, which was fine by me.

Strava gave me a suffer score of 109, relatively-high for the typical Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides (usually between 90-100), but I’m thinking it was accurate. First time in ages my legs really felt like they’d been ridden hard after a morning ride. I like that.

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Not fair; raining hard when I got up but pretty much stopped by the time we rode!

The woman on the far left must have been extremely-cold, descending Kings on a wet day, 39 degrees. Part of a group from Stanford that we see from time to time. Obviously a very tough crowd!
The woman on the far left must have been extremely-cold, descending Kings on a wet day, 39 degrees. Part of a group from Stanford that we see from time to time. Obviously a very tough crowd!

No, you’re right, it doesn’t make sense that a cyclist would look forward to rain. But if the road’s wet, you’re going to get wet, your bike will be a mess, whether it’s dumping from the sky or just on the ground. The difference? If it’s dumping on you, you get street cred.

Apparently the heavy rain preceding the ride scared everybody off; nobody at the start but myself and Kevin. We proceeded at a moderate pace after first stopping to shed our jackets, and then another stop towards the base of Kings when Kevin had a seizure. A couple minutes later we’re heading back up again and intercept the other Kevin, who’d gotten a late start and was heading down to meet us.

Older Kevin was joking with younger Kevin that we’d started riding too late because there was a group of young women he’d seen up near the top of Kings as he was heading down. Only turns out he wasn’t joking! About half a mile from the top we saw half a dozen women riding down, some of them woefully underdressed for the cold wet morning! Brrr. We were quite comfy, dressed appropriately, keeping to a steady tempo.

 

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