Tag Archives: tunitas creek

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!

Nobody out here but us Turkeys!

Riding up Tunitas Creek in the rain

I can’t really blame anyone for not showing up for the annual TurkeyDay Trot this morning; the weather forecast had been for rain, starting at about 8am, and ending about noon. And our ride started this morning at 8am, and finished… just before noon! This was one of those rare times the weatherman really got it nailed; I woke up around 6:15am when my wife got up to do something with the turkey (what, I’m not sure) and it was completely dry out and not even that threatening-looking! But I went back to sleep knowing this, too, shall pass.

So yes, we got pretty wet, and it was reasonably cold, but hardly epic. In fact, it was disappointing it didn’t rain harder, because we were dressed for whatever came our way. I even had a rack on my rain bike with a rack-top bag filled with extra jackets and gloves, just in case.

The original plan had been to do the Pescadero/Tunitas loop, but this was one of those days where the motivation wasn’t there, and I was easily able to rationalize the need to get back at a reasonable hour to get the “Black Friday” sale email finished. And Kevin (yes, my son at least rode with me!) was pushing to cut it back even shorter!

As it was Kevin bonked, and running out of fuel on a day when even the San Gregorio General Store is closed (a very rare event; where did people go for Bloody Mary’s to take the edge off their hangovers?) caused problems because… he had forgotten to put the Honey Stinger energy bars back into his seat bag. But we did have enough Cytomax to get him up over Tunitas and home. Of course he first tried to ditch me at the bottom, but I got even further up the hill.