Sunday, April 28, 2013

The end is near

I'm FINALLY on my final weekend away from home. I work this week and head back on Friday, and all I can say to that is WHEW! Boy it will be good to be home. I've been gone a month now, living out of the ol' suitcase. I find that the more I travel the less I care for it. Leaving home just doesn't have the allure it used to. I LIKE to be home.

Since I've been gone Sweet Pea underwent surgery to remove 3 Mast Cell tumors. She is recovering nicely, though it hasn't been without it's hiccups. One of the tumors was on a knee, and it was fairly large. The Dr. had to really stretch the skin to suture it closed, in fact she had to cut slits in the skin for more can only stretch skin so tight. The other 2 removals were much smaller masses, and in less flexible locations. The stitches came out last Friday and they are all fine. The big one however has morphed into an open 'spot' about the size of a quarter. Jeannie says you can see the pink muscle underneath. The Dr. said it will be fine though but will take time to close. Over the final week she had a bandage (to keep her from licking it, keeping it open) stapled to her leg to hold it in place. That is off now and it's up to her and nature to keep it clean and healing. Along with an anti-biotic.

All is well up in Sunnyvale, other than I had the entire weekend off. I'd much rather work one or both's why I go on these trips. But things conspired at work last week and my shot at weekend overtime evaporated. So I went for another long bike ride yesterday (Sat). I'm totally out of my "home evil" energy concoction sadly...which I believe is working GREAT! Last weekend I had my final 4 bottles at half-strength. Yesterday I was on plain Gatorade. Not very effective...considering how lousy of an 'eater' I am when I'm riding. It's probably my biggest problem...I just don't eat. Which results in the inevitable bonk. The last 2 weekends I've done two full centuries with LOTS of climbing totally self-supported (finding my water along the way). Yesterday realizing that I'm going to have to EAT my calories rather than drinks hem with my water, I aimed for a lesser route, planning for around 70 miles give or take.

I parked in Saratoga as I have the last two weekends, then up Hwy 9 to Skyline Rd where I then turned north. I rode along that originally aiming to go down into Half Moon Bay. However a rider along the way mentioned there was some kind of big wham-bam going on today and hwy 92 south (which is on it's BEST day a very scary non-biker type of road) would be a death-trap. So I bailed on that idea and was planning on taking La Honda road south to Hwy 1, then maybe head north to Tunitas Creek Rd which would be my approx. half-way-point. As I was just a few miles from La Honda I noticed a HUGE gathering of roadies at an intersection. I zinged on by pondering the significance of that...then another mile or 2 later there was a lone rider heading south, so I shouted out to him asking what road that was going West towards the coast. He said that was "Old La Honda" road and it was a beauty.

So I turned around an caught him, and we chatted as the road gently climbed. He said that road was like an old Italian road, winding thru the trees and eventually turns into the 'new' La Honda. What the hay I figured...I was riding without much of a plan anyway. So West it was. And he was right...though it was a much shorter descent that I would have liked. But it was wonderful...can't find a much narrower road anywhere in the US I believe. Not a single car either, just bikes...oodles and oodles of them going down and up. Eventually it "T'd" into La Honda, and my choice was to continue towards the coast or head back to Skyline Rd. I chose to continue West. The road descended for another few miles, then was nearly flat as it wound it's way in a valley or sorts around various farms. Also there was a nice little head/crosswind at this point. A very MADDENING wind. This went on for MILES. The coast just seemed to get farther and farther away!

Eventually I came into the tiny town of San Gregorio, notable for a some restaurant on a corner that must have had 50 road bikers in/around it. I pulled into the parking area and asked about getting water, and was told they won't even let you fill from a faucet inside (like they hate us freeloading cyclists). So I ate a quick snack (my first of the day, and I was now at mile 35'ish), and finished the rest of my 1st water bottle, and turned around. I hoped I could find a place to fill along the way. The lightly climbing road went by MUCH quicker than the windy descent, and soon I came to came to the intersection of "Pescadero" road. It looked interesting (going up hill) so I peeked at my Garmin map screen, and sure enough it connected to "Alpine Road" which I had heard of. As I was peeking at my maps a rider came uphill behind me and turned onto sure enough it must be good.

So off I went on Pescadero. Not too much farther up from La Honda is where Alpine Rd veered off to the left. Soon after that I came upon the guy who turned a minute or so before me. He was a "serious" roadie (I could tell by his kit, bike and [physical build..this guy was skinny as a skeleton wearing a FULL Specialized kit with a very expensive Specialized Tarmac...which is their full on race bike). He had a flat rear tire. I asked if Alpine connected back with Skyline, which he said it did after a "great" climb of about 6 miles. Sounds good to me, and off I went. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting...averaging around 8% most of the way, with some small bits up to about 12%. I was about a mile from the top when the guy came up behind me...we chatted briefly and he quickly pulled away. Yep...he was climbing pretty fast. I think I was doing pretty good considering I was only on Gatorade, and rationing it at that and riding on the edge of a full-on bonk. I think I could have held his wheel if I had my full-strength "Home Evil" miles wasn't really that high, nor was my total climbing thus far (I figure I was just over 50 miles, and maybe around 6000' climbed thus far...barely half way the last 2 weekend rides I've done).

Sure enough the last mile went pretty quick, and there I was back at Skyline Rd. The other side of Alpine Rd is Page Mill Rd (which I've also heard of as a GREAT cycling route). Had I been feeling more spunky I would have descended Pate Mill and then turned around coming right back up (as this was likely my last road ride up there this trip). But I wasn't feeling very strong at all, and my south end was complaining about the I turned South headed back for my car. The trip down Skyline was uneventful, and soon enough I was back at the junction of Hwy 9 where a quick 7 mile descent takes me to my car and the end. I BOMBED down fending off all cars until the final mile (where the grade drops to just 3 or 4 %). And quickly after that, there was my car. I was toast and so very thankful to have it done. However I did find a NEW favorite road up here...Alpine Road. Yes, it's a wonderful piece of pavement that I can't hardly wait to ride again. Maybe one day I'll do a quick out and back up Page Mill, down Alpine and back again. That will be a very sweet ride indeed.

And so....only 4 days of work and I'm done here. Hooray! I can hardly wait to pull back into my the garage door and have my babies come running out to see "daddy". I won't even get to see Jeannie, as she flys out the day I drive home (she's off on a 'girls' vacation to New Orleans for a week...I get home JUST in time to take care of the babies while she's gone. I'm sad to not even get to see Jeannie, but just want to go home.

It's been a good trip and I've done a lot of good work...but it's time to leave. Hope you have a great week. It's almost Grand Tour season...the Giro is starting SOON! Woo-HOO!!!


1 comment:

  1. Giro d'Italia is live every day on station called BeIN....good coverage too!