Tag Archives: strava

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.

Ohmygosh, 6 pages of KOMs? This guy’s really slumming riding with us!

Not as many friendly faces today as you’d normally see on a Tuesday morning ride; just myself, Karl, Eric, Keith… George was off at the National Cyclocross Championships in Madison WI, Kevin (the pilot) was doing the pilot thing, Kevin (the son) was complaining he was too sore to ride after Sunday’s paintball gig and Karen was probably focusing on her ‘cross skills for the upcoming World Championships in Louisville Kentucky in a few days.

What, confused about me letting Kevin have the day off because he was “sore?” Let’s say that I strongly encouraged him to ride, pointing out that his muscles would feel better sooner if he rode. He wasn’t buying any of it, now claiming that he didn’t sleep much either. After a few minutes I gave up and headed off on my own, believing then, as I believe now, that he would have been a lot better off had he ridden. Yes, he’s got a tough dad.

Partway up Kings we met up with Marcus, and rode a reasonable pace to the top. Reasonable meaning that things split up into two groups, with Keith, Marcus & Karl up front, while Eric and I worked hard to find any remaining oxygen in their wake. It was a bit of an odd morning for the two of us in that Eric’s breathing sounded worse than mine (although my heart rate was running considerably higher than his, an indication that I’m not in the shape I should be).

But that Keith person. Nice guy. But deceptively fast. Deceptive in that he’s going to ride at whatever level his training calls for, so you can get the idea that he’s “normal” because he’s riding not that much faster than you are. But when push comes to shove, the guy has a motor, and when he switches it out of idle, watch out. I finally looked him up today on Strava. He “owns” 6 pages of KOMs. KOMs, for those not familar with Strava, are sections of roads where you have the fastest time. Of anybody. If you’re lucky, you can find something obscure and make it your own (or create a new one and “own” it until somebody else comes along). But Keith? He has 6 pages of them!

So it’s safe to say that he’s riding way below his level when I’m in the vicinity. Karl & Marcus & George & Chris & sometimes pilot Kevin might keep things interesting on a ride with him, but Me? I’m working my tail off to kepe his rear wheel in sight.