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.
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?
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.
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.