Tag Archives: kings mtn

First time for Tues/Thurs ride- descending Old LaHonda

It was a Tuesday/Thursday ride indistinguishable from most, for the most part. Large group, with Kevin, Kevin, Keith, Zack, Karen, Jan, John, George, Todd, and even a guest appearance by Patrick, our Redwood City service manager, who joined us mid-way. Missing were Karl (is he playing Chess again?), Eric, and Marcus (presently riding in Ireland, according to his Strava reports).

We started out pretty easy on Kings but things got serious before the first hairpin (the one over the creek, about 5-6 minutes into the climb), and that was pretty much the last I saw of most everyone. I could have kept up longer were it not for my determination to ride the entire way up the climb remaining in the saddle, which has not been my “style” of climbing for quite some time. Very hard on the hamstrings, but figured that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, plus if I can do more climbing in the saddle instead of standing up, I can get better ride videos (there’s a lot of rocking from side to side when I stand).

Kevin (not the pilot) got to the top in the elite group of Zack, Keith & George, and had a new best time of 24:50. Me? Almost 4 minutes later. So much later that Keith came back down the hill looking for me. I remember, way way way back in the day, when it used to be me doing that, keeping track of everyone on the ride by frequently turning around and riding back down the hill a bit before heading back up.

Passing through Sky Londa we noticed road work on 84 east (the descent into Woodside), so we made the unusual decision to ride down the east side of Old LaHonda. Thankfully not a single car was heading up the road, just a pair of bikes, so it was almost but not quite fun heading down (not quite fun because you never knew what to expect around each corner; if you knew it was clear, you could really have some fun on that descent!). You can see what it’s like below-

Rest assured no Strava KOMs were in jeopardy on the descent this morning!

The sky is always blue when you’re cycling!

You could watch the weather on TV and start to believe that the best days for riding are behind us; that rain is coming, that the days are getting both shorter and colder. And you’re expecting me to tell you not to believe such nonsense?

Good times are where you find them, and your bike is that place. It’s always that place. You go to bed the night before your morning ride, noticing that there’s a bit of a chill in the area, listen to a noise that’s familiar and strangely comforting but then realize it’s the furnace kicking on (is it OK to be comforted by the sound of a furnace?), and you think back to just two weeks ago when you were able to go out without leg warmers. For the last time.

But the sky was blue this morning, and with daylight saving time behind us, it was also light out. Nothing wrong with being comforted by that! And yet, we had only a handful of riders this morning; myself, Kevin (son, not the pilot), Eric, Todd & Jim, joined up on Skyline by Steve L, whom we haven’t seen for a while (he usually rides with the older, er, I mean, more “mature” guys who ride a bit later and stay out of the hills). Looking at the video reminds me just how nice & clear it was as we set a deliberately non-challenging pace up Kings, hoping to avoid Kevin having one of his all-too-frequent seizures. Since he didn’t, I guess it worked! Unfortunately, when you look at our time climbing Kings, you come to realize that he can climb very fast, have a seizure, and finish in 29:30. Or he can climb at a pace where he won’t likely have a seizure, and finish in 29:30.

We did run into a bit of fog at the top, or maybe low clouds. Not bad, but the slight dampness made the 43 degrees up there seem a bit colder. Soon, 43 degrees will feel nearly toasty for us!

Watching the ride play on the video in front of me reminds me that I actually did ride this morning. What would it be like, riding without cameras or downloadable GPS data recording the ride? Without two computers on the handlebars, set to simultaneously display two different sets of data that I think are important (heart rate & speed in numbers large enough for 55-year-old eyes to read)? I don’t know. I understand there are people out there who have no computer on their bike at all, and somehow that works for them. Guess they haven’t discovered Strava yet.