Finally Back in the Saddle Again

OMG, I finally got on my bike this weekend.  I can’t believe this is the first time I was able to ride this year.  I had to miss two weekends of great riding weather due to being on-call … and spent the entire time indoors.  So I was really excited to get on my bike, especially since Camino Real is 1 month away, and I fear I have lost a lot of fitness and endurance.

I was going to do a 100 mile ride today, just as my first step in preparation for the double century.  I was originally going to meet a few friends in Woodside, and in my mind, I was thinking of meeting at 8:30 am.  Well, I was thinking 1.5 hours to get there, but I was also thinking of meeting possibly Ramon at 7 am at Bicycle Outfitters (it turned out he had to go into the office, so that part of the plan was moot).  To meet up at Bicycle Outfitters by 7 am, I would have to leave the house by 6:30 am.  But wait … it only takes 1.5 hours to get to Woodside … why the heck am I leaving at 6:30 am to get to Bicycle Outfitters by 7 am.  With that schedule, I would get to Woodside by 8 am.  Oops … I guess not being able to ride the weekends has really screwed up my scheduling for rides.

Anyhow, Michael and Ramon had to bail, so I went solo.  At 8:30 am, it was still pretty cold out there.  I still had to have my jacket on, but the weather report said it would be pretty warm.  I hope they are right.

OLH was pretty busy today, so that meant I wouldn’t be by myself climbing this road.  With two weekends (actually three, since New Year’s was rainy weather), I knew I was not fit … and my time up OLH showed … only did it in 30 minutes.

I decided to take it pretty leisurely on this ride, so I stopped many many times.  One of the was at Hwy 84 and Hwy 35 intersection.  A lot of motorcyclists hang out at this corner, and Alice’s Restaurant is famous for catering to riders for brunch.  The line of motorcycles parked in front of the restaurant is prevalent, but not many cyclists.  One of these days, I gotta saddle up in there, to see what the big hub-bub is with this famous landmark.

Ok, onto Hwy 84, en route to San Gregorio.  On the way there, in La Honda, I was paramedic truck roll out.  Sirens were blasting, and the first thing that came to my mind was not a fire, but an accident on the road.  Hopefully it’s not a cyclist, and it wasn’t.  However, it was a motorcyclist.  I recall when I was riding down 84, I was buzzed by some speeding crotch-rockets … and whaddayaknow … the one down was one of those motorcyclists.  I saw that someone was holding their hands to the guy’s neck … that’s not a good sign.  I didn’t stick around there, so I went ahead and moved on.

By this time, the sun was out, and my jacket was off, and it felt really nice.  Normally, when heading towards the coast, I should be suffering through some headwinds, but I didn’t.  The ride out to San Gregorio was pretty easy actually.  I am just hoping that doesn’t translate to a headwind when I head back.

I proceeded to climb 2 of the 3 sisters on Stage Road.  For those unaware, usually, there are 3 hills when climbing Stage Road going northbound, and each of the hills represents one of the sisters.  I don’t know who came up with this, but this is a tradition within the cycling community in the Bay Area.

It was so clear out, I could even see a view of the ocean.

I got into Pescadero by around 11 am. It wasn’t too packed at that time. I guess it was still a little early, so I took my time chowing down on my turkey sandwich. Oh that felt good after a brisk 50 miles.

I was originally going to do a loop out to Pigeon Point Lighthouse but decided to skip it. So I went straight back on Pescadero Creek Rd, and as I feared, I am treated with headwinds, headind for Haskins Hill.

By the time I got to Haskins Hill, my legs felt like lead. It just dis not want to move. On my way there, I saw my good friend Paula, who was just leaving for errands. That gave me a little boost but that didn’t last long. Finally, made it to the summit, and ready for a much needed breather and a nice descent, before climbing West Alpine, which I’m not looking forward to.

It was really slow going, but I knew I had at least 4 more hours of sunlight, so that kept me going.  I didn’t pass anyone, and yes, I did get passed by a few groups.  At this point, I just wanted the ride to be over.  The fantastic weather kind of kept me going but I was going really slow … I think I was hovering around 4 mph most of the way.  About 1/2 mile from the summit, Ramon passes me.  So we did hook up after all, even if it was just a short bit.  This was the last climb of the day, and I just wanted to get home, so I took the quickest, least climbing route back home.

By the time I got home, I had a whopping 84 miles, and 6400 feet of climbing.  That was one tough ride, and a tough day.  At least it gives me a gauge of where I am in preparation for the double.  I need more miles, and need to build up the endurance.  Three weekends without riding definitely has taken its toll on me.

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