Tag Archives: tree down

Yes, I rode this morning. Why wouldn’t I? Skyline needed to be cleaned up. Who else is going to do it?

How many cars just drove on past without doing anything about this?
The “after” photo, with the tree removed from the roadway.

This morning began pretty strongly; lots of wind, lots of rain, and even some thunder tossed in for effect. In fact, a big one hit just as I was rolling out.

Just… me… today. Well, guess I should count the one other person I saw out there, a woman jogging, who titled her run “All the adversity” on strava. Younger Kevin wasn’t feeling well (seems like he’s getting over something) and I later got a text from the other (pilot) Kevin asking if I rode today. As if? Was he hoping I’d say no, so he’d feel better about staying in?

I took it pretty easy, just enjoying nature’s show on the way up. Pretty noisy from all the wind, sometimes making it sound like there was a car nearby. I looked for tire marks on the wet pavement, thinking maybe, possibly, someone else was out there this morning, but no sign of anyone else.

There was a fair amount of debris on the road, as can be expected when it’s windy, but it was only the one place on Skyline where part of a tree actually fell into the road, waiting for me to come by and clean things up. Think about how many cars drove past without stopping to do something about it. Quite literally an accident waiting to happen. It was a bit heavy but not impossible to move; more difficult was a very large branch that I had to break off to get out of the way. Whatever, you do what you have to do to make the world a little bit better place, one fallen tree limb at a time, right?

Somebody did likely call in the downed tree though, as  I passed a Sheriff and County debris-clearing vehicles heading in the opposite direction after I got going. They’re just not quick enough for the cyclists!

Temps weren’t too bad; I was a bit overdressed for the main climb but fine up on top and descending. Because I was taking it pretty easy, there was no way to do the West Old LaHonda loop. Surprisingly, the roads felt pretty grippy, so much so that, despite the rain, I wa sable to keep up with the cars descending 84. Keep in mind this was on my rain bike, a Trek Boone ‘Cross bike with wider tires (Bontrager AW3 700x28c) and disc brakes, both of which make a big difference in the wet.

Perhaps riding a trainer on Zwift Island might be more sensible?

I was really looking forward to an epic, or at least semi-epic ride this morning. Unfortunately, indications were that the storm was largely heading to the north, leaving me with the icky drizzly stuff to contend with. Light rain, mist, the sort of riding that makes a total mess of your bike without the satisfaction of being out there in the elements.

It did start out that way, but turned out the ride had a bit of a kick to it after all! First off, nobody but me this morning. My son’s getting over a cold (and he seems to think it makes sense not to ride when sick; he certainly didn’t learn that from his dad!). I did come across a guy I know on an electric mountain bike who was descending Kings when I was about halfway up, and further up, a young woman whom I think we’ve seen a number of times before, also heading down. Funny. Nobody was going up! But me. Albeit kind of slowly. Very slowly. I was even concerned about being overdressed, as it was 46 degrees and, like I said, not much rain.

Until Skyline. As I headed south, it began to get a bit heavier, and you could hear the wind blowing through the trees. At Skeggs Point I rolled to a stop and put my lightweight jacket on (helpful hint- leave your zipper connected a few inches when you put it into your bag. It’s still easy putting it on over your helmet, and you won’t have to try and deal with a zipper that doesn’t want to connect when you’ve got gloves on).

The descent on Skyline to 84 felt fine; I was on my rain bike, with disc brakes and 28c tires and felt totally confident. No slippage, excellent braking. And, by the way, I was lit up like a Christmas Tree with multiple rear flashing lights to. Not taking any chances! But I was caught by surprise when I heard what sounded like nearby lightning! A loud crackling noise, and there, on the left-hand side of the road, part of a tree is crashing down to the ground and heading towards me! Truthfully I didn’t even notice how close it got until I looked at the video, and thankfully I’m almost impossible to rattle on a bike (nerves of steel, legs of lead?). But it’s pretty cool watching the video now; glad I had the camera rolling!

I stopped by the fire station at Sky Londa to report it, which they didn’t seem to take too seriously yet when I descended I saw a road-scraper truck heading up, so maybe. Hopefully nobody ran into it in the meantime; there were maybe three cars heading in that direction and no good way to warn anyone.

But yes, one begins to wonder if maybe spending a couple hours on a Wahoo Kickr trainer, one of those fancy ones we sell that varies the resistance according to whether you’re climbing, drafting, descending etc., and displays idyllic surrounding (at least until you get to some gnarly climb and you suffer like a dog!) might make sense on a day like this. –Mike–