Nicest day in a long time to be on a bike!

I so wished this guy was on an ebike, not a fully-loaded fat-tire tank, because it was not easy overtaking him on Tunitas! He must have been putting out massive watts!

The weather report said it would be 78 today; finally, a ride without leg warmers, without a base layer, and without toe warmers. Just what the doctor ordered, literally. I’m supposed to avoid riding when it’s really cold due to my Raynauds (a circulatory condition that cuts

This is what a chillblain-gone-bad looks like. Yes, it hurts, yes, it’s gross.

blood flow to fingers and toes when cold) getting a bit out of control this year, so much so that I ended up with chillblains that became blisters that became infected open wounds on three fingers. Actually just two that became infected; one resolved by itself. The main effect it had on my ride was from the infection kicking up my white blood cell count enough that I had to go on some serious antibiotics (doxycycline) after the less-serious stuff (Keflex) didn’t do the job.

In the end, I don’t think it affected my riding all that much, especially since it was warm and the infection finally seems to be lessening. Kevin and Colin were with me, along with hundred of other cyclists out enjoying the day. Kevin and Colin got to have a bit of fun on Old LaHonda while I straggled in a minute and a half later; I was honestly surprised to get 24-something, thinking 26 would be more like it. I was having trouble breathing, trouble getting my heart rate to respond (it was initially staying too low, possibly from the antibiotic?) and just not feeling wonderful. But I got there.

Today’s ride was the usual Sunday route; Old LaHonda, Haskins, Pescadero, Tunitas. Passing by the Duck Pond in LaHonda there were just as many turtles as last week. A lot! Plus an unidentified black bird that looked like a small crane.

Haskins. It’s been a couple months since I’ve “owned” Haskins, and it looks like it will be at least a few weeks more. Kevin and Colin once again rode on ahead, although I managed to claw my way almost back to them by the top.

Pescadero- Not too busy at the bakery so we were able to go for the usual; Kevin and I splitting a chicken club sandwich (which, for the first time, had more than a hint of garlic), a large cookie for Kevin (which have gone way up in price; from $2.75 to $5) and chocolate pastry thing for me (still at the usual $3 price). Plus a coke each, of course. Colin got coffee down the street and a pastry I think? He self-fuels himself for the most part, carrying food with him.

Winds were mild or favorable but leaving Pescadero it got a fair amount colder as the fog moved in. No view of the ocean at all, just fog. Nice tailwind on the lower flanks of Tunitas, not that we’d ever admit to that, but we weren’t going for time. Kevin made that a certain thing with a stop just prior to where the real climb starts, thinking he was having a seizure (but it didn’t go beyond the “aura” stage, so he was quickly back up and running).

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do on Tunitas but it came as quite a surprise when Kevin hit the afterburners and literally flew away from me. I’ve actually got it on video and it’s quite impressive. I wasn’t going slow at the time; he was going FAST. He did get his best time ever for what Strava calls the “steep” section but missed the all-important “Hammer of Thor” PR because he imploded before it finished. Yeah, well, his version of an implosion is still a minute faster than my Strava best. I wondered it I’d see him before the end of Tunitas but saw him much sooner than expected, after the climb leveled out, because he had a real seizure and had to lie down for a few minutes until it passed.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the ride; my average weighted power was up at 201 watts which, for me, is respectable.

It’s been a while, lots going on

At least we can start with some pretty video of the usual place, West Old LaHonda. This has been an interesting year; “Winter” wasn’t all that bad, but Spring has been much colder than usual, at least on the Tuesday & Thursday-morning rides. Cold enough that it caught me off guard a bit with my Raynauds (a condition that shuts off blood circulation to fingers and toes when cold or stressed), so finally I had to seek treatment for chillblains gone wild.

The Kaiser blood lab
It’s not much fun trying to explain to a new GP Doc at Kaiser that you have something (Raynauds) that some don’t think a real thing, probably largely because it’s largely women who get it, so it ends up being associated with things not typically associated with men. Incorrectly, they’ll associate with being an emotional thing, or maybe driven by hormones. Which, of course, is really a sad state of affairs. She literally told me she didn’t think I had “real” Raynauds because it’s a women’s thing. I had better things to do Thursday than feel kind of imprisoned for a couple hours by Kaiser. But, in the end, I got a bunch of tests done to show my Raynaud’s isn’t related to any sort of auto-immune issues (like Lupus), and a doctor who has learned a but more about Raynauds.

Funny to think that, just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have made an appointment to deal with something like this in the first place, due to my extreme fear of having blood drawn. Now, it’s just this thing I have to do, because of my diagnosis three years ago with Essential Thrombocythemia, a mild bone-marrow cancer that causes my body to make too many platelets. Hard to believe I have no real issues with blood draws anymore. I still can’t look at the needle being inserted, but at least I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t mind seeing the vials of blood after.