Tag Archives: cold

The coast is always warmer. Right?

Kevin and I had to get in a quick ride this morning since our Redwood City store, normally closed Sundays, would be open today for Christmas shoppers. That meant abandoning the usual Sunday-morning routine of saying we’ll get out the door by, say, 9am and not actually leaving until 10:15 or so. Today, if we needed to be out on the road by 8am to get back in time, then we had to be out by 8!

OK, 8:11am was still pretty close. Still had to come up with something that would alleviate the pain of getting on the scale and seeing something unfriendly, so we chose a fast run over 84 to the coast and back via Tunitas. Best thing about that loop is the coast part, because no matter how cold it is on our side of the hill, it’s always warmer near the ocean. Right?

29.7 degrees shown on the Garmin computer; so cold that I had to highly manipulate the image to get it to show up (LCD screens often fade in the cold). The Trek computer registers more slowly and shows 33 degrees. I’m sticking with the 29.87!

Wrong. This morning saw the temps drop nastily in that little section just past the main descent on 84 (prior to LaHonda)… and stay nasty. And I really do mean nasty. As in, 29 degrees nasty. That was not expected, nor was it expected that the temps would stay in the very low 30s until we were within a mile or two of the coast, where it warmed up to a toasty 40 or so. But y’know, 40 sure felt a whole lot better than 30!

Predictably, nobody else was out there on the ocean side of the hill this morning, because they knew. Thankfully, my biggest fear didn’t materialize, that being the likelihood that the parallel valley that the base of Tunitas Creeks runs up, which is only a couple miles from 84, would be similarly cold. Instead, we had near-tropical temps in the low-40s, climbing to mid-40s on our way up the hill. Totally comfortable & nice! Even better, instead of getting the usual cold blast coming down Kings back into Woodside, it actually warmed up (fortunate for the very large numbers of cyclists we saw climbing up the hill this morning).

Were we prepared for the cold? Sorta. We had our best cold-weather gloves, and within a few hours the tips of my fingers didn’t hurt anymore, so I think we did ok there. No problem for the legs, with thermal tights doing a great job. Booties for the feet so the toes were only slightly blue, no biggie. But we could have done a better job up top. Thank goodness Becky had ordered some heavy-duty Pearl Izumi base layers, over which we had a standard Chain Reaction jersey. What was missing? That all-important 3rd layer, a light windbreaker, left at home. Won’t do that again! Actually I had mine with me but Kevin forgot to bring one, and I didn’t think it would be very sporting if I put one on while he suffered. Oh, you think because I’m a parent that I should have loaned it to him? The same kid who will exploit any weakness in my cycling and run me into the ground? Well, I could have not loaned it to him due to spite, but the reality is that I thought he should be taught a lesson so he won’t forget to bring the jacket next time.

The reality of course is that I forgot it was in my seat pack.

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!