Old and young and a mountain to climb

A pretty spectacular setting at the top of Kings this morning. Everyone’s all-smiles once on top!
So how to dress? It’s been foggy off-and-on and you don’t want to get cold, but you don’t want to overheat either. So we use PurpleAir to check the various temperature sensors in the area we’ll ride, and PurpleAir made it look like it wasn’t going to be too bad! So, no leg warmers, no base layers.

Three of us today; Kevin, Kevin and me. Me is the wildcard; certainly not strong enough to stay with younger Kevin when he’s got game, and lately a bit stronger than older Kevin. Since it was a Thursday we rode up through the Park, with the two really steep pitches always taking their toll on me. But y’know, it’s either that, or dying on that first steep pitch right at the start, when you go up Kings the whole way. Choose your poison.

Older Kevin making Kings look really, really hard.
Younger Kevin started relatively easy; I held onto his wheel until we got to that first nasty steep pitch and told him to keep going. He was quickly nowhere to be seen, so instead of riding in no-man’s-land, I waited up for older Kevin, and did a very easy ride up the hill. Maybe not quite so easy for him, partly because he’d been swimming at Canada prior to the ride up the hill. Younger Kevin could have written a short novel while waiting for us; he rode a 28 and we finished around 36 minutes.

Older Kevin turned out to have the best idea, heading back down the hill instead of riding the rest of the way with us. Did he know how cold and wet it was going to be for us? Maybe; he does live up there after all. We were thinking of that Mark Twain-ism about the coldest, nastiest winter ride being in summer up on Skyline. That’s actually FAR from the truth; we’ve been up in driving rain and 38 degrees in the winter, and this wasn’t as bad as that.

So the issue with PurpleAir isn’t the sensors you can see; it’s the places that don’t have sensors. And those places were, curiously, all the places that were cold & damp today. Go figure.

I’m still working on getting my short term high-wattage efforts back. I’ll never be great at sprinting again; there was that period of time between maybe 48 to 55 where I could surprise people a lot younger, but that was then, this is now. Today it’s really tough getting a power reading over 800 watts and, when I can, 15 seconds is about all I got. Today it was just 622 watts max; the cold and damp weather takes a bit out of you. But, as you can see in the photos, there were some beautiful moments.

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