First signs of summer … heat!!!!

Summer is here … how do we tell. Well, first of all, it’s end of June. Second, triple digit heat. But did that mean I’d stay indoors, and watch movies all day long??? Absolutely not!!!!

Well, on Saturday, I didn’t get any riding at all. But that’s okay … I spent it celebrating the wedding of my dear sweet friends, Marco and Ruth, who tied the knot on Saturday. But this blog is not about that day … it was truly a remarkable day, and I’ll leave the details to those that are closest to them. Although I probably should have gotten some phone numbers while I was there … hehehe

Anyhow, since I didn’t ride Saturday, I had to get in a ride on Sunday, right? Seeing that it was hot, temps in the triple digits, I figured if I wanted to do any riding, we should head over to the coast (just like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry). So Michael, Ramon, and I started from Gunn HS, and headed over Old La Honda, Haskins Hill, down to Pescadero, climb the 3 sisters on Stage Rd, then back over Tunitas.

We stayed together until any >5% grade hit us, and that’s where I went into my accustomed position in the back. They were pushing a fast pace going up Arastradero, and I just had to reduce my pace way down at that point. Plus, the heat meant any massive effort would be felt at the end.

OLH was a lot tougher today, and I’m not sure if it’s due to the heat, or the fact that I hadn’t really put on any real mileage (although I did get in a 60 miler on Baldy last week). My time up OLH? 35 minutes … ooh, not one of my best times at all.

Took a water break down at 35 and 84, and at that point, suddenly my trek decided to register that we are at altitude 12,000 feet. Whoa … I tried fiddling with it a little more, but couldn’t get it right.

Going down 84, I just had some boost of energy. I was feeling good, and sprinted up just so I can draft behind Ramon’s fast wheel. We were hovering around 36 mph, but I knew climbing was up ahead, so I left some reserve for that. It felt good, and I wasn’t feeling like I was spending too much energy.

Left on Pescadero, and I drop off to the back. It’s nice and shaded on this climb, and very scenic. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures, as I was concentrating on climbing, and if I took my camera out, I would be taking even longer to reach the summit. The last 1/4 miles before the top is however open and exposed, and I could already feel the heat starting to get to me. However, we are treated to a fairly nice descent, and some of it is covered. When coming through here, it feels nice and cool, even better than having an A/C car. I am told that Paula’s house is somewhere along this road, but I had no idea where it was, otherwise I’d wave and say hi.

When we finally got to Pescadero, I was amazed to see I was only 1 minute behind Ramon. Lunch in Pescadero has better food than in San Gregorio, so we decided to have lunch here, then hit the 3 sisters.

Ramon’s battery for his Polar starts giving out here. He was really obsessed with this, as he no longer had a way to gauge how to proceed on this climb. It was his mission to find a battery … but much to his dismay, none in Pescadero. Ok, no battery, off we go.

As we start climbing, we notice one thing … it’s foggy! Wow, this is great. While it’s baking out in Palo Alto, it’s nice and cool out in Pescadero. My Trek shows it being 68 F. I was really enjoying that. Cool, but not enough to feel cold. But as we made the right turn on Tunitas Creek, and get to the Bike Hut, we feel the fog burn off, and it started getting hot again.

They re-paved a large section of Tunitas Creek, thinking this would be nice for cyclist. On the contrary, some of this new pavement started sticking on the tires. I hate that! There was a definite thin film of tar being spread on the tires, as it rolls on the road. Not only is it adding a thin layer of film, and possibly more drag, but I started to think it may jeopardize me getting a flat. Meanwhile, I’m struggling up this long hill. Much to my surprise, only a few people pass me on the way up. More people started passing me up near the top. When the grade started to level off, I normally get a second wind and start picking up the pace, but this day, I didn’t have it in my legs. Not sure if it’s just lack of training and conditioning, or the heat. I’m not going to blame the heat … that’s a lame excuse.

By the time I got to the top, it was about 92 F. Michael had gone down ahead to Huddard Park, to try to retrieve a canister he inadvertently left yesterday at the wedding reception. We would meet him later on down the hill. Down in Woodside, it was 98 F. It was definitely a hot one.

I decided to head back via Sandhill, and there was a couple stretches where it registered 102 F … but it can be pretty sweltering on Sand Hill, as it is widely exposed.

Now you must be thinking, I’m nuts, insane, for riding on such a hot day. Well, all I can say is that just like you train for hills, sprinting, pacelining, rain … you have to also train for heat … riding in heat is different, so I need to take every opportunity to ride in it, so that in case I get caught out there, I am prepared, not like what happened at Davis this year. Oh, and I did have enough water … carrying a 70 ounce camelback, fully loaded.

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