West OLH- we have proof it’s closed. Plus, where did that rain come from???

This was a ride that almost didn’t happen. Lots of water on the ground last night, and I was concerned the roads would still be a mess this morning. I texted ex-pilot at 6:59am (33 minutes before we’d normally leave for the Tuesday/Thursday morning ride’

ME: How wet up there?
EX-PILOT: Not bad. I’ll be there.

So the ride was on. Couldn’t have Ex-pilot shaming us if he was going to be out there himself. Besides, I hate trainers.

It’s been a while since I’ve not been the weakest link on a ride; typically it takes me forever to get up to speed and feel OK, usually 20 miles or so. This morning, I was having a bit of fun pretty much the whole way up Kings, even up through the park. Legs felt OK for once! Lungs, no, still got to do something about the lungs, but my wife’s cancer stuff comes first, then I have to deal with a broken front tooth that needs an implant.

Kevin and ex-pilot were mostly riding together while I was doing some hard (a relative term) efforts for a couple minutes at a time, then back off until they’d catch, and repeat. It’s a lot more fun seeing numbers I used to see all the time, even though for just a couple minutes, than ride up at a steady pace with power numbers that are pretty sucky. Seeing the higher numbers gives hope that all is not lost, I could still get stronger again.

Knowing that West Old LaHonda is now closed for repair, we made the pilgrimage to the fence at the upper end, because without photos, no proof, right? There’s no problem riding from the top (Skyline end) down to the fence, since there’s a house that needs access to the road, so the road is navigable and open between Skyline and the fence.

Ex-pilot had the idea we should descend Old LaHonda instead of 84; said he doesn’t enjoy descending 84 when wet. Says the only one of us on a bike with disc brakes this morning! What the heck, do something different, we followed him down Old LaHonda and met up with the unexpected… rain! Rain and 43F isn’t wonderful. All you want to do is get down off the hill and onto flat roads or hills so you can get your engine going again and get warmer. It’s really all about control. I don’t mean control of your bike; I’m talking control of your life, the environment around you. When you’re descending in mucky conditions, your only reasonable choice is to get down off that mountain as quickly as you can.

We made it safely to the bottom, then headed back to the start via Mountain Home, where it was a good thing we weren’t just a minute or two later as some idiot in a delivery vehicle had somehow managed to veer into the side of one of the small bridges, blocking all oncoming traffic and leaving just a couple feet for us to ride past. I’ll get some video up shortly.

Overall, a much better-than-expected ride for me, despite the rain.

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