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.
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!
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?”
Well OK, it didn’t have tailwinds all the way, and in fact I recall headwinds but no tailwinds at all. Not that I’d admit to them if they were there. But if you want a near-perfect 100k ride out of Woodside that’s challenging & fun and even allows for a shortcut if you get in over your head, this is it. But please note the word “challenging” in the description, because this ride has its share of climbing.
Steep climbs? Parts of Old LaHonda & Haskins (from the west side) qualify, but more assuredly West Alpine. Fast descent? Haskins & 84. City limit sprints? This has the classics- San Gregorio, Pescadero & Loma Mar. Great views? They’re endless on this ride. The views of the Pacific from west-side Old LaHonda & Stage Road, the valley leading into San Gregorio, the creek along Pescadero Road, and the sweeping vistas on West Alpine and Skyline. Food? Pescadero’s famous bakeries. Ollalieberry scone & turnover for me today, from a place that loves cyclists (unlike the San Gregorio General Store, where we’re tolerated but not too welcome). Friendly people? Lots of cyclists out on the roads today, including one guy who flagged us down on Skyline… flat tire, no tube, no pump, and said we were the first cyclists in an hour and a half to come through (this was at the vista point just north of Page Mill).
And, as is so often the case this time of year, nicer weather on the coast side than near the bay.
It’s certainly not as difficult as the Santa Cruz loops we’ve been doing so many of lately, but rather a ride that might be described as challenging but fun. Today, perhaps a bit more challenging than it should have been, as I’m getting over a nasty cold and got to watch Kevin ditch me on Old LaHonda. But later I got him on Haskins, and West Alpine saw us evenly matched.