Tag Archives: old la honda

Deer me!

It started last night in my front yard…

About 10pm last night we hear a noise outside the family room window; my wife recognized it instantly as yet another deer that’s munching on apples that have fallen from a tree. Not all that timid, it hung around long enough for me to get the photo you see. More to come, as it turned out.

Heading up Kings to the mid-point hairpin

This morning’s ride started in the fog, a bit mentally, but foggy in a very real sense for the first half of Kings. Since it’s a Thursday we rode up through the park, at a reasonably-civilized pace (defined as any pace that doesn’t drop me like a rock). An interesting observation about the through-the-park route… the ranger was doing a great job getting that bottom gate open prior to our arrival up until the beginning of summer, and since then, we’ve had to squeeze our way through the gate’s bars. Are we supposed to be providing someone a wake-up call?

We weren’t the only bikes on Kings this morning

I was content to have climbed Kings through the park just under 30, especially since I was using brand new shoes and probably have to make some minor tweaks to the seat height (the new Bontragers have a lower profile than my Sidis), and yes, it’s possible that using the inhaler is helping my lungs a bit. Still breathe a lot more than the rest of the guys, but less wheezing at the end of each breath.

There was a sign up on Skyline actually warning cyclists (specifically!) about road construction & gravel, and suggesting a different route, but we ignored it and continued on, fortunately without incident. They’re doing a lot of roadwork up on Skyline, and on the side roads as well, but today, our path was clear.

The pace deer on West-side Old LaHonda
The obligatory view of the coast from West Old LaHonda
Another group at the top of Old LaHonda, including Monica, a very long-time Chain Reaction customer (and very nice person too) (like all of our customers, of course!)

West-side Old LaHonda went pretty well for me; I wasn’t dropped after the halfway point, and decided to try and hang on for dear (deer?) life to whatever wheel was in front of me. But before we got to the steeper section we came across a very small fawn (deer) running literally right in front of us, obviously separated from mom and scared. We slowed down, eventually nearly stopping, giving it a chance to figure out what to do. Could be that a deer taking its time to figure out what to do is no different from a deer acting on instinct; bad news either way. In this case the little guy went straight up the side and then, after we’d passed, came crashing back down to the road behind us.

You can ride the same roads hundreds and hundreds of times, and there will always be something unique and different. Sometimes you have to look for it; today, it was as plain as a deer caught in your headlights.

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!