Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

If I haven’t figure out Kings by now…

Just me this morning; it wasn’t Kevin’s knee today, but I got a text from him saying he didn’t get to sleep until 3am, don’t try to wake him up. Well ok, it’s not like I need help finding the way, right?

So many years, so fast back in the day, and sometimes, and today was one of those times, I still thing Kings holds some secret that I haven’t yet found, something that will get me up the hill a bit faster. It’s a feeling that I don’t think I’ve ever brought up before. I’m on the wrong side of the curve these days; at 68, there aren’t going to be many surprise days (any at all?) where I look at my effort and think wow, I’ve still got it! Yet that feeling, almost like a repeating dream, that there’s still something left to figure out.

I’m sometimes reminded of things I miss, things that part of me thinks I could still do. Like chase after that couple in the photo, way up ahead of me. There was a time I would play a game where I’d let someone get up ahead a bit, and race back up to them. The game was figuring out just how much ground I could make up.

Still hoping, after my wife’s situation stabilizes a bit (so far, she’s doing pretty good!), to get my lungs checked out again, maybe by a new pulmonologist who finds something the other two didn’t. But the lungs limit mainly my climbing speed, but they don’t stop me from climbing, or doing longer distances. And then there’s the hematocrit, which gets tested again soon. Will it ever get back into the mid-40s again? What would that feel like?

If I’m out there alone on a Tuesday or Thursday morning, this is the sort of stuff that goes through my mind. Maybe it can all be summed up with this question, a similar version of which is likely asked by many when they believe their prime is behind them. Am I a has-been or a never-was? Can I make a difference?

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.