Tag Archives: Old LaHonda

71 degrees on the coast; wet & cold heading home on Kings. Should have left 30 minutes earlier!

Welcome to Daylight Saving Time, when we should be able to sleep in a bit because we’ll be able to ride later in the day, except that the weather forecast said there would be “showers” by 4pm… so sleeping in wasn’t in the cards.

We could have gotten on the road a bit earlier had Kevin spotted this last night and taken care of it then

Of course, the best-laid plans, which included getting all the gear out the night before so we could get out on the road quickly, go to pieces when you make sure your son’s checked his tires, which he hadn’t. The first photo tells the story; that tire wasn’t going much further!

Fortunately, I’d brought a tire home last week, knowing that his rear tire was getting pretty thin, and had him install it. Yes, we could have saved some time if I’d done it myself, but then I wouldn’t have heard such silliness as “Dad, how am I going to do this without a tire lever?” Yikes. This is really my kid? Lightweight road tires don’t need tire levers to remove or install, if you have the needed confidence and don’t show the tire any sign of weakness!

We did the usual; up Old LaHonda, over Haskins to Pescadero, Stage Road to Tunitas and back. It’s tough to come up with a convenient & challenging local ride that doesn’t include a run to the coast, with the return is going to be either Tunitas or West Alpine. West Alpine takes a bit longer so we did the always-dependable Tunitas version. Remember, it was going to start getting wet at 4pm or so.

The run up Old LaHonda was relatively uneventful. No seizures for Kevin this time (first time up Old LaHonda in maybe 4 trips that he hasn’t had a seizure there), but his new meds did mess with his vision for a while, causing us to stop about halfway up the hill until his head cleared up. Surprisingly few cyclists on the road, despite pretty nice weather given that it’s still winter.

Climbing the last part of Stage Road up to Highway 1

At Pescadero we changed the routine a bit, opting to split a sandwich for lunch instead of the usual pastries, and I think proper fueling did help Kevin the rest of the ride. Either that or it was the unusual tail-wind heading north on Stage Road (although Kevin’s will never admit to riding with a tail wind; he’s been taught well!). We finally came across a few cyclists climbing the last section of Stage Road; as I’d mentioned, not many out there today!

The descent finishing at the Tunitas Creek bridge was a lot faster than normal, due to that tail wind we won’t admit to, but instead of making the turn

The two horses and goat near the start of Tunitas

and immediately starting the timed climb up Tunitas, we stopped to take pictures of the two horses & goat that inhabit that first field on the left. Those three have been a fixture for quite a few years, always staying close to each other. When finished, we dutifully road back to the intersection, started our timers and rode west. Kevin had initially wanted to remove his base layer, as it had gotten pretty warm (up to 71 degrees) on the coast, but I suggested removing only our full-fingered gloves since it was likely to get cooler and we climbed, and indeed it did, dropping quickly into the mid-50s. Still very comfortable weather for a stiff climb though. The weather held up nicely for us until… the very top. We felt a few drops as we neared the end of the climb, but it was as if we had gone through a curtain separating the dry coast from the wet bay-side.

The descent on Kings was simply not much fun, having to keep the brakes on hard the entire time, and having the rain wash salty sweat into my eyes. I was really hoping we’d get in before the rain hit; I’ve probably got an hour’s worth of work, maybe more, getting my bike cleaned up and lubed again. But still, a good ride, at a fairly-strong pace, despite my having been off the bike for a week (while I was in Washington DC for the Bike Lobby). And nice to do a ride without Kevin have a seizure too!  –Mike–

Sometimes it rains on your plans (even when you planned for rain!)

We knew it was going to be raining today; one of those few times where the weather forecast is for 100% rain. Still don’t understand what 100% rain means, since anything 40% or above basically means it will rain, and 100% rain clearly doesn’t mean it’s going to rain any harder than a 40% rain day. It was fairly obvious though that it made since to plan for rain, so that’s what we did, a non-epic 45 mile ride out to the coast via Old LaHonda, 84 & Tunitas on the return. I’ve ridden up Tunitas when it was really coming down hard, and it was a lot of fun!

So today Kevin and I were prepared for having fun in the rain, but of course, the first thing that breaks up fun is that it didn’t really rain per so, just a persistant drizzle. What’s with that? Your bike is more messed up by drizzle than heavy rain; drizzle doesn’t clear anything off the road, nor does it wash your bike. It just creates muck, and without it seeming like the elements are against you, your motivation wanes. It’s also a bit less motivating when there’s nobody else out there riding, no rabbits to catch in front of you, no dogs trying to catch you from behind. Still, you’re on a bike, and at least you have the motivation of knowing that you’re out there while others are staying home, sitting out the storm. Or, as some might think, stupid people are out riding and smart people are waiting a few hours for it to clear up a bit!

The ride was not without its excitement though, when 3/4 of the way up Old LaHonda Kevin had one of his all-too-often-lately (and all-too-often-on-Old LaHonda) seizures. As is the case with most, he had enough warning that he was able to stop and get off the bike, but this one was strong enough that it gave him quite a headache afterward so we had to alter our plans and just loop over the backside of Old LaHonda and head home, turning our planned 45 mile ride into about 25.

A Coke in the rain. Kevin almost has the product-placement right, but he's obscuring the label a bit.

We did make a stop at the Sky Londa market for a Coke, since the caffeine would help with his headache (not as well as the meds he’s supposed to bring with him but didn’t, but the only thing more unexplainable than random seizures would be the general workings of the 18-year-old brain).

The red line shows the normal route home (over Jefferson); the squiggly stuff shows the short-cut Kevin chose.

Aside from the Coke, Kevin always feels progressively better (after one of his seizures) as he keeps riding, and for some reason wanted to do a tour of the back roads around the Easter Cross above Redwood City. So, add in another two miles of riding in circles (probably looks pretty strange on the Garmin readout!).

Not fun to think about my last ride for a week being a washout; late Monday night I fly to Washington, DC for the annual League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Summit, where we meet with every legislator on the ‘hill, trying to convince them that it makes sense to not cut bike projects out of the budget. I don’t get back until late late Thursday night/Friday morning, so my next ride will be a week from today.