Tag Archives: Old LaHonda

That road’s gonna go… and what happened to Ludo & Eric?

Cool, yes, but not raining! As I’ve said before, we can take rain, we can take wet, but the two together aren’t much fun. This morning, for the most part, was fun. Despite being a Tuesday ride (typically the harder one), the testosterone had been left at home, so Ludo, John, Eric, Nigel and I had a pretty civilized ride, with nothing getting tested until West-side Old LaHonda, and even that was pretty moderate.

Speaking of tested, I finally figured out how to shoot viewable video from my Contour HD1080 camera. Prior to this, everything’s been really jerky as each bump jostles the camera and causes it to vibrate. My solution was a bit unorthodox and definitely not very pretty, but the results were great!

I’ll post the results shortly; I’m uploading about 15 minutes of video to YouTube. It’s unedited and without audio, but you’ll get an idea of what West-side Old LaHonda is like, including the run through the forest which, until now, has been nearly unfilmable.

Regarding the “road’s gonna go” teaser, I’m talking about that section of West-side Old LaHonda where the road has been slipping away and they’ve done some cheap & temporary fill to try and keep things in place. Well, after last week’s rain, the pavement in the area is crumbling and it’s not going to be too long before the roadway won’t support a large vehicle. Our fear is that they might stop maintaining the road entirely, letting that section completely slip away because, after all, how many actually need to use it as a through road (other than cyclists)? Hopefully the video I shot today won’t have historical value in the near future.

I was having a bit of fun heading down 84, with the dry pavement letting me push through the corners a bit harder so I had no trouble keeping up with Nigel and John, but about halfway down noticed that Eric and Ludo were no longer with us. Sometimes Eric can be a bit conservative on the descents, so I didn’t think too much of it until we got to the bottom and… no Eric, no Ludo. We waited… and waited… John kept on riding for a bit but Nigel and I headed back up the hill, hoping we weren’t going to find them picking up pieces of their bikes from the roadway and admiring each others road rash. Fortunately, the more-likely and less-painful scenario played out. Eric had gotten a flat, and Ludo stayed to help (good thing, since Eric’s pump didn’t work). Unfortunately, Nigel and I had to climb almost halfway back up 84 before intercepting them on their way down!

But adding a few more miles and a bit more climbing on a nice morning with a friendly group of cyclists… there are a lot worse ways to start the day.  –Mike–

I’ve trained these guys well

I time things very well; I know exactly how long it takes me to get going in the morning, when I have to get out the door, how fast I need to ride to get to the start of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride in time. If I’m feeling really good, it takes just over 8 minutes to climb over Jefferson and head down Canada to Olive Hill. If my legs feel like a caffeine junkie who’s been given decaf, it can take up to 2 minutes longer. I plan on slower and hope for faster. What I didn’t plan on was feeling slow and having to fight a nasty headwind getting to the start, so I arrived with a scan 20 seconds to spare. George, Karl & Chris, if I recall correctly, were all suggesting that I had arrived late, something unthinkable for a ride that leaves on time, period. Fortunately, Eric was there as well, and he, like myself, has a Garmin GPS bike computer that gets its time from a satellite, and knew that it was, in fact, still 7:44 and some number of seconds.

So, without any time to chat, we did leave at precisely 7:45am, just as we always do. At one point there were 10 of us; I’ll try and recall everyone. George, Karl, Karen, Chris, Eric, John, Ludo, Marcus, and one other person beside myself. Nigel! OK, I think I’ve got them all. Overall the ride was as leisurely (at least for some of us) as it was windy. Most of the time we were protected by trees so the primary effect of the wind was noise, a vey loud noise very much in contrast with the relative calm below.

Eric and Ludo rounding a bend on west-side Old LaHonda
Yes, it was a beautifully-clear morning on the coast, while curiously-hazy on the bay side. I took the mandatory photos of the view from west-side Old LaHonda, but when I discovered that some of our group had dropped behind a bit, I stopped a bit further up to get a picture from a different vantage point, as you can see here. That’s Ludo & Eric heading up around the last corner before heading into the trees.

Oh yes, about those trees. Those trees that initially protected us from the wind. On our return, descending 84, George was literally attacked, not once, but twice, by Eucalyptus branches falling in front of him. After the second one, we decided it wasn’t too safe to be around George and gave him plenty of room! Too bad I didn’t have the video camera running today; there would have been a great shot of him swerving to avoid his second encounter.