Another cool morning; this one getting down to 48 degrees, low enough that long-fingered gloves will be required, not optional. Since it was Thursday we rode up through the park, “we” being Kevin (not the pilot), Eric & John. I was looking forward to an easy ride up the hill, and Eric & John were happy to oblige, but Kevin took off and put me in no-man’s-land in-between. Just under 30 minutes to the top, fine by me. But, I do miss the warmer weather that’s likely gone for the season, and not just because I’m warmer. When it’s cooler, your tires are bumpier, the road less-forgiving and you feel less sure-footed in the corners. At least it wasn’t too wet, so we’re all still on our nice bikes. The rain bikes can wait!
The original plan went to pieces when Kevin developed quite a nasty headache prior to the ride (a “cluster” headache I’m told it’s called), but, somewhat against his wishes, I did get him out on the road. He was giving me the silent treatment until we got about a third of the way up Old LaHonda when he yells to me, “Did you see the snake?” No, I hadn’t seen it, but he circled back to show me where it was (although between the time he’d seen it and then went back to find it, the snake had literally holed itself up in a hole in the embankment, but eventually came back out to find out what was going on).
This guy was pretty big, and pretty mobile. The warm weather gets them moving faster, but also a bit more aggressive, so that, once settled into the drainage area along the side of the road, he lifted his head up about a foot or so, definitely trying to strike a threatening pose. Normally, I remove snakes from the roadway so they don’t get run over, but thankfully this guy wasn’t in the road (close though) and besides, I’m not going to play around much with what might be a good-sized rattlesnake. So instead we stayed around for a bit, warning anyone riding up the hill to stay to the other side of the road (since this guy was easily within striking distance of an uphill cyclists’ legs). Check this out for a prior ride where we came across a no-question-about-it rattlesnake.
Eventually we moved on, heading over the top of Old LaHonda and down the other side to San Gregorio. The original plan had been to head to Pescadero and return via West Alpine, but that wasn’t going to happen, not with Kevin still feeling a bit under the weather, so instead we went north to Los Lobitos, took in that nasty steep section and then looped back to Tunitas.
Only 47 miles with about 5100ft of climbing, but still a nice ride, and enough to keep my weight about two pounds below where it was last year.