Tag Archives: chain reaction bicycles

Two Kevins today! Plus Karl, plus fog, plus gradually learning to edit video

Kevin (my son, not the pilot) is off school this week, so naturally he was going to show up on one of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning rides, right? Preferably both? Yeah, right, the last thing a kid wants to do when they don’t have school is get up early; Kevin begged out of Tuesday’s ride with that excuse, but made an agreement that he’d be there today. So, I got up 15 minutes earlier than normal (not fun; I don’t like getting up when the first digit on the clock shows a “6″) and was happy to see that the forecast rain hadn’t materialized so I could ride my nice bike and we didn’t have to throw fenders on Kevin’s.

We rode up to the start a few minutes early, planning to tell whomever might be there that we’d be getting a bit of a head start. Whomever, in this case, was just Karl, but since most show up for this ride with maybe a minute or two to spare, no more, that wasn’t very surprising. I did expect to see Eric, who is most definitely not scared by even a “5″ showing up as the first digit on the clock, but it was likely pretty wet where he lives, in the mountains about Los Gatos.

Kevin and I weren’t riding very fast up the hill, but apparently fast enough to hold off Karl and pilot Kevin, whom we finally saw on Skyline just before descending towards Sky Londa (we’d stopped to put on windbreakers, since it had dropped to 41 up on top). The video tells the story… we were, quite literally, riding in the clouds. Don’t worry, this one’s short (under two minutes). The moving black bars are a result of using image stabilization functions in Adobe Premiere Elements to try and get rid of the shakiness from the camera mount.

Things cleared up just past Skeggs Point, and it was quite beautiful out on west-side Old LaHonda. Unfortunately, we learned a bit more about what’s going on with the road, as we met up with a road crew laying down some patches. They told us there were no plans to do anything about the area where the road is sliding down into the canyon, and in fact they have cancelled heavy maintenance (chip-sealing) because the road doesn’t seem to have a future. Very unfortunate that they are still allowing vehicular traffic without restriction through the failing patch of roadway; I’m sure that the road would last much longer if they posted it as being impassable for trucks. Enjoy it while you can!

I picked the wrong wheel to follow this morning!

Today's West-Side Old LaHonda photo. Kevin, on the right, isn't exactly flying in formation here.

The first Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride under daylight saving time meant you wake up and it’s… dark! Hate that. At 7:05am, the world should be bright and the sun should be out and the roads should be dry and a tailwind in every direction!

Yeah, well, whatever. Thankfully the roads were just dry enough to rationalize taking my nice bike (after all, what could be worse than the soaking it got at the end of Sunday’s ride?), and the bike and I responded nicely heading over the hill to the start of the ride. Karen, John, Kevin, George, and a bit later, we were joined by Marcus. We started out at a pretty leisurely pace up the hill, with me being content to sit behind wheels. Funny how that changes the ride; if I go to the front at the start, things get moving too fast, too soon. If I stay behind, the pace remains pretty mellow. For a while. Just past the park, Marcus picked up the speed a bit, and, since I was on his wheel, I wasn’t going to let it go. Follow the wheel. That’s what I do. Just keep that rear wheel 6 inches ahead of your front wheel and stay there. Yeah, sounds so easy, but after a couple hundred meters I noticed everyone else had fallen back, and a hundred meters more and I blew a gasket and dropped back myself. Remember, this is what I do for fun.

Fortunately, I didn’t completely fall apart (a concern I had since I’d missed last-week’s rides while in DC), and I managed to keep my heart rate up pretty high (as high as 177 at one point), an indication that my overall health is fairly good. I was also able to pull fairly strongly across Skyline instead of just sitting on wheels, so maybe I won’t lose as much fitness (or gain as much weight) this winter as I normally do. Let’s hope!