Pretty nice day for a ride! Started out cool and foggy, so I put on some full-fingered gloves and a base layer, even though the weather report said it would get quite toasty later. The fog didn’t take too long to burn off; by the top of Old LaHonda that base layer was coming off! With a bit of a laugh at my expense, as I neglected to put the suspenders from my cycling shorts back up, something Kevin (younger Kevin) enjoyed pointing out to me.
Oh right, who was on the ride. It started with Kevin (younger), Kevin (ex-pilot) and Colin. Along the way we came across Karen, whom we haven’t seen since she was in the hospital for three weeks having a brain aneurysm dealt with, and later on, a very fast group including Nicole and Kathryn, owners of many QOMs (Queen of the Mountain records).
Kevin (younger) thought he would avoid having to think about a fast ride up Tunitas by doing a long, hard pull out to Pescadero. It was just last week that he was well on his way to a wicked-fast time up Tunitas but had a seizure about mid-way that obviously wrecked his time. He was hoping to take it easy and just enjoy the ride today. But apparently rocket fuel came in the form of the three tacos from the Pescadero gas station.
Kevin didn’t kill himself on Stage, and in fact didn’t look all that strong on the final climb to Highway 1, but it turns out he was holding something back for the finale. We hit the base of Tunitas with a slight tail wind, and a few hundred meters in front of us was a very fast group that had passed us on Stage. I don’t know why, but I decided to bring our group up to theirs, and it wasn’t too long before Kevin (the younger one, or maybe I should say the faster one) mentioned to me that Strava was telling him we, or I should say he, was in pretty good shape for a good time today.
I suggested that he go for it; what I didn’t know was that he was going to go for it right then. He bolted out of our group and sped on ahead, well before the entry to the forest. And that was the last we saw of him. I rode with the fast group as far as the Bridge of Death, and then watched them ride away from me. Kevin (ex pilot) couldn’t keep up with the fast folk, but stayed ahead of me until I managed to claw my way back just at the grassy knoll, where Tunitas flattens out. We arrive at the top about 8 minutes behind the faster Kevin, who had that exhausted but really happy look you don’t see often enough. He’s getting his speed back, and it’s fun to watch.
Overall a really nice ride, even for us slow guys (myself, Kevin ex-pilot & Colin). And as especially nice ride for younger Kevin, who shaved two minutes off his prior best on Tunitas and now owns a 41-something.