Tag Archives: west old la honda

You don’t need sleep. Just legs and a bike.

Last night was not fun… one of those nights where you’re trying really hard to get to sleep which, of course, keeps you from getting to sleep. You feel your pulse racing faster as your anxiety level rises, leading to… more anxiety. I have no idea how little sleep I actually got, but it wasn’t much. Even thought briefly that maybe I wasn’t going to be able to ride, but that’s nonsense. Cycling cures everything, therefore cycling without sleep will help me wake up. And that’s pretty much how it went.

What I didn’t enjoy was waking up to it being dark. Really dark. As in, should daylight saving time really start this early? But it all changes once you get on the bike. You start up the hill past your driveway and it feels… right. The bike feels light. Things are moving. I can do this. That week off the bike didn’t kill me after all.

Large group today; no way to remember everyone, but I’ll do what I can. Kevin, Kevin, Karl, Karen, Nigel, Eric, Marcus, JR, George. Pace up the hill was reasonable for winter; a few guys riding faster up front but nobody trying to kill themselves. I got to the top in about 28:25 or so, faster than I anticipated. My heart rate was also faster than I imagined, running very high for the entire ride, likely an effect of riding without much sleep. Glad I didn’t have any coffee first!

Cool & foggy at the bottom; sunny & warm up top. Just like a typical summer day… in March. This is Why We Ride.

We ride in the rain so you don’t have to

Not quite sure how it works, but the general idea is that there will be, no matter what, a certain number of us who are going to be out there riding on days no sane person would want to, and because we’re out there, you don’t have to be. You can stay inside where it’s nice & warm and think about what sort of crazy person rides a bicycle in the elements, and you even get to feel superior about it. That’s ok. Those of us in the “no matter what” crowd understand that we’re not normal.

Truthfully it wasn’t that bad this morning. Drizzling at the start, but mostly just very wet roads and a bit of that riding-in-the-clouds thing going on. Marcus, Kevin (the pilot), other Kevin, Eric… I think that’s it. As was the case Tuesday I was feeling better than my son on Kings, who was blaming it on being uncomfortable on his bike because he was on his rain bike rather than his newer Trek Madone, and it’s not set up quite the same. In fact, he rode that bike exactly the way it is now for quite some time, and was fine when he didn’t know any better. But when we got the new bike I set it up the way it should be, which meant less aggressively… mostly a higher handlebar position… which he now understands is what he should have, regardless of the fact that it doesn’t look like how racers set up their bikes.

Now remember that part about feeling better than my son on Kings? By the time we got to west-side Old LaHonda the tables had turned, and it was me having trouble keeping on his wheel. Hate it when that happens. In general, it’s the older guys who get stronger later in the ride, while the younger folk, if they don’t feel great early in the ride, never recover (mentally) from that.

Fortunately, the long-range forecast says that was the last of the rain. Unfortunately, I won’t have as much time to ride, because we’ll be open this Sunday (when we’d normally put in a 60-100 mile ride), and the following Sunday is Christmas, and I doubt we’ll get out then. But that still leaves several Tuesday & Thursday-morning rides before the big event, the annual New Year’s Day ride up Mount Hamilton.