Tag Archives: pescadero

One hot ride today! 65 very tough miles. 95 degrees.

90, 95 degrees, who's counting?

What better way to prepare for the heat we’re likely to encounter in France than riding up Page Mill Road when it’s 90-95 degrees? Making it especially tough is having Page Mill as the first hill of the day. That’s one mean way to start a ride. Page Mill is one of those hills it’s really tough to get a rhythm on; that bottom section starting just past the golf course/country club turnoff is just plain ugly, and it’s not until you get past Foothill Park that you can really get a handle on it. And that handle is pretty darned slippery, especially between park gates 3 & 4, where it’s gut-wrenchingly steep and you’re thinking why didn’t you go up Old LaHonda instead, an easier grade with lots of shade?

Adding insult to injury is Strava claiming I got a personal best on the climb, at 47 minutes. Umm… no. It wasn’t that long ago I did it in 44, and my son probably could have closed in on that time today too, except that he was being relatively-civil and stayed with me all the way up. OK, it seemed like it wasn’t that long ago, but since I loaded the last three years worth of data from my Garmin into Strava, maybe it was longer ago than I thought!

A beautiful day on West Alpine

We wasted no time heading down West Alpine for another date with Haskins Grade, a climb that Kevin claims to hate but is getting much better at, getting his own personal best today at 9:52 despite not climbing it for time. At least not until the last half mile or so when he noticed his time was pretty good and rode the rest hard. Funny how that works.

I’d like to say it was a fun run out to Pescadero, but not really; the stiff headwind and heat made it pretty tough. The upside? It’s rare that a cold Coke tastes as good as it did today!

Heading north on Stage we once again faced a headwind, yet did pretty good times up the two hills, primarily because motivation was provided by rabbits (cyclists ahead of us). Speaking of rabbits, I should have mentioned we had earlier seen a rabbit the size of a small deer as we rode Arastradero between Alpine and Page Mill. It was seriously huge!

The lower and middle sections of Page Mill proved to be Kevin’s undoing; we’d normally climb Tunitas in 45 minutes or so, but he was barely able to turn the pedals for a while. He can out-climb me dramatically on the first couple big hills of the day, but eventually he wears out and I keep on going. He did a miraculous recovery when the steep stuff ended though, charging the rest of the way at a pretty respectable pace.

In the end a tough ride with the unexpectedly-high temps causing a pretty significant weight loss (6.5 pounds for me) due to not drinking enough, even though I tried. Maybe I did drink enough and I burned 6.5 pounds of fat? Don’t I wish!

We live in “Vacationland”

Vacationland, USA. Or maybe the world.

Vacationland. I saw that in the comments someone made on a ride on Strava. Wherever you live on the Peninsula, just outside your door are some of the most-amazing places to ride a bike in the world. I know a little bit about this sort of thing, having spent quite a bit of time riding in France, often regarded as a cycling paradise. If I were in France, and cycling was a big part of my life, right here, San Mateo & Santa Clara & Santa Cruz counties, would be the sort of place you’d take a vacation and tell everyone back home about the amazing roads, the views, the great places to eat along the way… things that, after living her for awhile, we might be taking for granted.

Today’s ride in Vacationland was the traditional Old LaHonda, Pescadero, Tunitas loop. 58 miles, about 6000 feet of climbing, spectacular weather (no need for leg warmers or jackets). OK, maybe a few stiff headwinds here & there (remember that we don’t admit to tail winds), and checking out the work being done on the west side of Old LaHonda might not have been the best idea (pretty soft & sticky new pavement) Strava details below-

Check out the Peacock staring at itself on the second floor window.

What Strava doesn’t show are the people you see along the way, like Patrick, our Redwood City Service Manager, riding up Old LaHonda on a bike probably 5 pounds heavier than mine, at a pretty good clip. Or the views of the Pacific Ocean and the hills in-between while descending west-side Old LaHonda. Or the fact that I started the ride feeling not-so-great but the warmer weather opened up my lungs and let me explore the limits of my muscles for a change. Or the Peacock staring into the second-floor window of the former “Machine Gun Man” house on Stage Road, wondering when the identical Peacock on the other side of the window would end the stare-down.

Strava says that I had a pretty fast (for me) time up Haskins on my way to Pescadero, but what it doesn’t say is that, for the first time in a very long while, I felt really good on Tunitas and had to hold back for Kevin. This too shall pass; on Tuesday morning’s ride I’m sure I’ll once again be watching Kevin ride away from me up the hill, just as he did earlier on today’s ride on Old LaHonda.

Meantime, when you complain about how much it costs to live here, consider the “Vacationland” argument. Think of what it would cost to have an endless vacation in one of the best places on the planet to ride. Because that’s what we’ve got, and it’s one of the best excuses ever for why you should be finding more time to ride.