Tag Archives: chain reaction

The Tuesday-morning ride is coming up to speed, plus “Who are those guys?”

We had some visitors from The City this morning; three guys who had taken the train down, arrived in Redwood City at 7:18am and quickly headed up over Jefferson to join us. And, bad as I am, I can only remember one guy’s name- “Space.” Eric might be able to give me the other two. Either all or some were Google employees, and yes, it would be nice if I were a better ride host and would carry on conversations with the new folk but I’m still feeling fortunate to finish the climb up Kings on the same day as the rest of the group!

Actually, I’m doing a bit better than that. While I had told myself I was not going to follow the first fast wheel up the hill, and I intentionally let Karl get a good gap on me at the bottom, it doesn’t seem to matter. I see that wheel in front of me and claim it as if it were my own bike’s 3rd wheel. Karl started out at a reasonable pace but then gradually increased it, such that the first timing point, the house on the right with a reflecting pool that we used to be able to see 20 years ago before, was fast but not blazingly-so, but the second timing point, the hairpin over the creek, came at about 5:33, about 25 seconds faster than normal. I held pretty tightly until we were close to the park entrance, where we (myself, George, Karl & Marcus) dutifully waited for the rest to catch up. I’ll admit to a bit of disappointment that the wait was relatively short, but the good news is that Eric’s making a comeback, knocking two minutes off last week’s time to the top.

(The video above shows us descending Highway 84 into Woodside)

Regarding disappointments though, I’ll admit I was not at the top of my game for the sprints. Had I gone full-tactical and slowed down ahead of the sprint into Sky Londa, things might have gone differently, but it’s fun to just curl up into a ball and see how fast you can descend, never mind that it takes a bit to get yourself out of that ball and feel like turning the pedals again. Plus you’ve got a string of people on your tail, ready to slingshot in front of you at just the right moment.

Hopefully the three Google guys will read today’s report and leave a comment here. And hopefully they won’t think our group anti-social because of my lack of banter while riding. They did seem like very nice guys.

This ride marked the official start of the faster riding season, finishing at 9:22 (the Tuesday ride typically finishing in-season between 9:18 and 9:22am, while Thursday’s ride is typically 5 minutes slower). It didn’t feel like a take-no-prisoners event, so maybe there’s hope for me. –Mike–

New-guy Jim, Karl’s back, Robert makes an appearance and generally yet another great day to ride!

As the weather turns nicer, it would seem normal that more people would show up for the every-Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, but sometimes the opposite happens, as people find ways to do longer rides later in the day, and don’t want to be softened-up too much by a hard ride up the hill beforehand. But today, I think people just wanted to get out and ride!

A beautiful morning to ride up Kings Mtn. Spring is finally here!

Roll call? New-guy Jim from Foster City (mid-40s so he’s not wrecking the age curve too badly), Marcus, Kevin (pilot Kevin), Karen, George, Karl (back on the bike after taking some time off to play chess) and Robert, whom we haven’t seen in quite some time on our morning ride but I see often on my trips to the coast. Eight of us total, a good-sized group for the morning ride.

A bit cooler than I’d hoped for; very comfortable, no issue there, but at 48 degrees on the initial part of the climb, and never warming up past 50 on Skyline and the far side of the hill, my breathing was labored. I really look forward to mid-60s weather, since that’s when my lungs start to open up and I don’t sound like a leaky steam engine. I hung with the faster riders, who weren’t riding particularly fast, until we got to the steeper sections on the last quarter of the climb. George had already decided he was going to take the sprints today by going off the front ahead of me, and I was in no shape to bridge the gaps… that will come later.

Unfortunately Marcus didn’t head for home up on Skyline, so I found myself trying to stay glued to his rear wheel on the upper reaches of west-side Old LaHonda, well in front of the rest of the group, who had decided to ride at a more-sensible pace and enjoy the surrounding instead of being fixated on the distance between your front wheel and the rear wheel ahead.

The only thing to spoil a near-perfect ride was a red sedan that thought we were going too slowly down 84 so he decided to tailgate the guys at the back, which is never a comfortable situation. The car finally did pass us, in an extremely-dangerous location and nearly sent a car coming up the hill into a ditch… all to save maybe 4 seconds at the bottom, at most, since we were able to catch back up to him pretty quickly. He was probably running 10 minutes late for work and undoubtedly will blame us for the additional 9 minutes, 56 seconds.