Tag Archives: pescadero

Just because your star climber abandons doesn’t mean you get in the broom wagon too…

It was a beautiful day to ride! Which is always a good excuse for another shot of West Old LaHonda.

It was a beautiful day to ride! Which is always a good excuse for another shot of West Old LaHonda.

Kevin and I needed to get in some miles; it’s less than two months before we head to France and tackle some nasty climbs. Would have been nice to do a Santa Cruz run,

The "big curve" on Haskins

The “big curve” on Haskins

but school work for Kevin meant he had to get back at a reasonable hour, so we set out to do the loop I did April 21st (I think)- Over Old LaHonda to Pescadero, Bean Hollow and south on Highway 1 to Gazos Creek, return to Pescadero via Gazos Creek and Cloverdale. Food. Cokes. Mix more Cytomax.

Up to that point, things went reasonably well. Kevin was running into some pain issues from his kidney (isn’t this getting to be pretty stale news about now?) so he was just barely hanging onto my wheel as we rode into a stiff headwind, but kept it to himself until we were just about ready to leave Pescadero, saying he wanted to pack it in, call home for someone to pick him up.

Fun. I talk him into heading to San Gregorio before calling for the broom wagon (in racing, the broom wagon “sweeps” the back of the race, picking up racers who’ve abandoned), since it would be much easier for someone to come straight over 84 looking for us, rather than have to figure out Stage Road etc. He makes it, painfully, we call from San Gregorio, then head east on 84 for the intercept. I figured La Honda, and sure enough, just past La Honda, the broom wagon appears.

Waaaaay too soon for me to pack it in though! Can’t even believe my wife asked the question. As if she doesn’t know after 34 years? Just 50-something miles by that point, none really hard, it was time for me to finally shake my legs loose, which I did, getting a new personal best for upper section of 84 up to Skyline.

77 miles, “only” 6200ft of climbing, so it didn’t even meet the definition of a “tough” ride (needs 1,000ft of climbing per 10 miles). The original plan had been to head up Los Lobitos Cutoff and Tunitas, which would have been 1000ft more… still not enough! Maybe next weekend…

Great pre-game ride with Jeff & Kevin

Mastadon Country (actually there's a family debate over whether it's a Wooly Mammoth or a Mastadon), just east of Pescadero Road

Mastadon Country (actually there’s a family debate over whether it’s a Wooly Mammoth or a Mastadon), just east of Pescadero Road. Why someone would put a giant sculpture of a Mastadon, facing off against another prehistoric creature, in a farm’s field… well, that’s what makes our rides so interesting, seeing things like this!

Click for larger Mastadon image

Click for larger Mastadon image

This was not going to be our typical Sunday ride, where we don’t get out the door until noon. I wanted to see most of the 49er playoff game, and it also gave us the opportunity to ride with Jeff, friend & customer, who normally does his riding while Kevin would be dragging himself out of bed. And I wanted to see first-hand just how fast & fit Jeff really is; his Strava scores have been looking pretty impressive lately.

Steam on West Alpine

Steam on West Alpine

We had to put something fairy tough together for Kevin and I, since a bit too much winter weight has been showing up on the scales lately. Up Old LaHonda, out to San Gregorio, south on Stage to Pescadero, up & over Haskins the tougher direction, then Jeff went back the faster route, via 84, while Kevin and I took on West Alpine. 65 miles, about 6700ft of climbing, and, for the middle of winter, really nice weather!

West Alpine is a beautiful climb any time of year!

West Alpine is a beautiful climb any time of year!

Jeff proved to be the stronger rider on the climbs today, getting to the top a full minute faster than Kevin, even though Kevin’s posted the fastest Strava times in the past. Me? Another minute or two behind Kevin. I was able to keep up, just barely, on the two Stage Road climbs, but watched them both ride away from me once again on Haskins. It was just myself and Kevin up West Alpine (Jeff having taken the shortcut home), and, nice guy/Dad that I am, when Kevin was in trouble a few times, I waited up. Of course, further up the hill it was Kevin feeling better, and did he wait for me? Not a chance. I asked him tonight about riding up a climb at a “social” pace, and he just looked at me with this quizzical expression and asked “Why?”