monday, I was fit on my bike by dario at whole athlete. one day later, I checked myself into the emergency room after going way too hard on my first day back. I took a break wednesday, rode a leisurely 70 miles thursday, got stung by a bee, and rode 2 hours of endurance on friday with travis and naveen. I woke up this morning feeling it. the unsettling feeling of sore hips, calves, shoulders, and something called the everything – a special term I’m coining to encompass all muscles involved in riding a road bike. but today was going to be different. two weeks ago, justin and I started planning a big ride down south, near where he lived. it’d hit numerous sections of the pescadero road race (which had, by far, the most enjoyable climbing sections), as well as roads I had never been on before. and though my fitness was crawling out of the gutter still, I was stoked. today was the day I buried my legs knee deep in some big hills.
redwood city at 7:30am on any given saturday. really quiet. I debated wearing shoe covers for the better part of 10 minutes, and decided against them, since it was already 60*F. it was going to be a warm day (I had hoped). we left maggie and ace, and started heading towards old la honda. we climbed up towards highway 84, up into the fog. it started getting cooler towards the top. as we crested, we spotted a tent where cyclists were gathering. I guess they were doing a group ride of sorts, but they continued riding up 84, while justin and I cut across to continue on old la honda. the road was narrow, and twisty. the dense fog also made it’s way onto trees, which kept the road damp in a couple places.
this is what we saw for a couple minutes. it was awesome.
justin’s panoramic of old la honda. as you can see, there was a lot of low laying fog. we descended down and connected to la honda which was slightly downhill and thankfully, empty of cars. the perfect conditions for going really, really fast in the big ring. after making our way past the small town of la honda, we passed the feed zone from the pescadero road race (which was actually on pescadero road), and climbed haskins. the legs hadn’t really been feeling great, but somehow, the fast riding up until that point had energized them. we made it to the top, where the finish line would’ve been, and descended down. minus the fact that a car cut in front of us, it was awesome. my descending skills weren’t really that great previous to the bike fitting, but all the riding up until now had really made me more comfortable in the drops going fast. we smashed through the remaining rollers back into pescadero.
then we hit stage road, which was a series of 3 climbs, 2 of which were done at the pescadero road race. the first two were quick and painless, and the descents were fast since the roads were empty. after passing san gregorio, the last stage climb sat in front of us. we climbed, and climbed some more, eventually hitting highway 1, where we were blessed by another slender downhill section. we flew down the road and made a right turn on tunitas creek road.
a shot looking towards the direction of highway 1.
we rode a short ways down the road, and stopped in at the bike hut. the bike hut is a small refueling station for cyclist, run by the owners of the farmland that it’s located on. it’s unmanned, but relies on cyclists to donate according to the supplies they take on. water and various snacks are all laid out in the room, it’s pretty neat. gabe (mash sf!), daryl, daniel (team mike’s bikes), and their other friend were there as well. they rode down highway 1 from san francisco.
yea, my handwriting skills were sub-par after all the climbing, but at least I was able to put down the blog. that has to count for something. we took a short break, and I jumped on justin’s look 585 to try out his campagnolo super record 11 – just 1 more benefit of having speedplays: being able to ride other bikes that have speedplay (there seems to be a lot more people on them out here). not surprisingly, the first thing I noticed was the round chainrings, my legs were pedaling all weird for a second. the shifting was smooth, to say the least, it shifted well, but the best part were the ergonomics of the shifters. and if there’s one thing that campagnolo does well, it’s their understanding of what makes a shifter nice to hold. granted, some people may not like it, but I was pretty amazed at the difference in feel between the levers an my shimano ones.
we left the bike hut, and continued up the final climb. I spotted some jelly belly sports beans in the middle of the road. they were opened, but looked like they were just dropped, so I ate them. nothing like free electrolytes on a big climb. we climbed, and climbed, and climbed. the road steepened. we both struggled for what seemed like forever, the climb was unrelenting. it was flat at the beginning and end, but hardest in the middle. steep switchbacks that lead to even more steep sections. after it flattened out a bit, we crossed over highway 35, and descended down kings mountain road. a steep, fast, technical descent with lots of blind turns, and a lot of cyclists coming up, which meant cars coming into the oncoming lane to pass. I overcooked a couple corners, but kept upright and stayed focus on getting down the mountain.
we made it safely through woodside, and eventually his house.
the caad10 showed no signs of being tired.
a very tasty apple fritter.
justin’s low track. I just had to get a shot for myself.
I must’ve had at least 4 of these homemade vegan scones that maggie made. they were really, really good.
58 miles, and roughly 5800ft of climbing. epic.
a big thanks to justin for having me out, and maggie for the magical scones and good company. you guys rock. ace, too.