|Route maps thanks to Dr. Dave. I think he is giving us a clue that he may not want to do the Alpine climb after Tunitas Creek. Just a guess. (DrD)|
Chain Reaction Web Site--and we add the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Loop.) Tunitas Creek is the feature climb near the end of the ride. Adding on Alpine Road is like doing Tunitas Creek a second time--though with less trees half way up and thus warmer.
I really misjudged the weather--though the East Bay was heating up the temperature on the Coast didn't move all week. After last weeks foggy Sherlock Holmes weather around Mt. Tam--I expected dense fog accompanying the 61 degree forecast for Pescadero. I was bundled up as I drove to Woodside where it was sunny and warm--at 9:00.
Lots of first timers today--new club member PMM (perpetual motion machine) Rebecca and oldtimers Andy/ Norm who just did a big ride down the Coast. For the Tunitas segment we'd usually break into two groups with Ward, Dr. Dave, Rebecca and I riding ahead of the field and then regrouping at turns.
Luckily I left knee warmers in the car (after a few people gave me that "are you crazy" look.) My contribution to the route was to advocate actually ride into the Pigeon Point Lighthouse area, which includes a hostel. Normally we just see it in the distance as we motor by on Highway 1.
My game plan was try to stay with Rebecca and her very visible constant 174 heart rate monitor. As Dr. Dave said "I can't ride at 174." Neither can I. On the shorter climbs--Pescadero/ Memorial Park Climb, Bean Hollow Road, Pescadero/Stage Road, and San Gregorio/ Stage Road I did well. On the longer climbs--Old La Honda and Tunitas Creek I failed miserably.
My favorite segment was the Gazos Creek Rd run in to the Coast. It reminded me of the back road coming off of Mt. Tam on the Double, and I rode it hard. But later I had my worse Tunitas Creek climb--blowing up half way up.
The loop was great, as usual (though we miss the house with the 1000 pink flamingos and the house with the giant rebar machine gun toting skeleton.) The Old LaHonda Climb comes up almost immediately and usually it is cool and foggy--today it was nice and dry. Passed a guy who does the Mt. Tam Double--I stopped to take photos. I repassed Mt. Tam guy but near the top I could hear him chugging hard so I also picked up the speed. I stayed ahead but felt like shit at the top--great, feeling like crap 10 miles into the ride--how the hell am I going to contend with the balls out Mt Tam Double mass start?
|Dr. Dave and Rebecca on top of Old La Honda (PC)|
|(above) Don't wake me up (below) Andy and Norm play tourist (PC)|
|Rebecca doesn't look older than Jack (WI)|
|(above) Ward, Rebecca and Dave on Gazos Creek Road.|
|While I take photo of Ward (all the way at the top), Ward returns the favor while I eat another Hammer product (WI)|
|(above) The gang at end of Gazos Creek Road--Eureka!, we found the Pacific. (below) Dave and Ward only eat "Bonk Breakers" that match their jersey (PC)|
To my surprise everyone pulled into the Pigeon Point Lighthouse area. Lighthouse is one of those tall tower types. The tallest one on the West Coast. Built with corroding wrought iron instead of steel so teh tower is off limits. When we pass by it is sometimes totally covered in fog, sometimes it looks like a cloud just sitting on the top. Today crystal clear-loads of Kodak moments. Ward trying to perfect his photo technique--any time anyone pulls out a camera/ cell phone to take a photo--if you don't have Ward in front of you there is a guarantee that he's take a photo of you taking a photo with your LED screen (subject to his editing) readily apparent.
|Scenes from Pigeon Point Lighthouse--luckily no real pigeons (PC)|
|(above) Our group photo (below) some of Ward's lighthouse photos (WI)|
|Rebecca disappointed she hasn't seen Brussels Sprouts on the run in to Pescadero (PC)|
|Lunch at Pescadero and THE Artichoke Bread (WI)|
|I'm #1 on Strava through the Pescadero Graveyard (WI)|
|Ward and Dave at the end of stage road.|
|Regroup at the Bike Hut at the beginning of Tunitas Creek. Ward threatens to turn this into Kitty who will again accuse me of goofing off (WI)|
|Dr Dave and Rebecca--the St Mary's Team--at the start of Tunitas Creek (WI)|
Regroup at the top. Ward pulls in--he still looks like he could be the centerpiece of a desalination plant. Dr. Dave reminds everyone he's not in for the bonus miles, neither is Rebecca. Jack rolls in and wonders who is doing it--I raise my hand meekly, after today's crappy riding I'm not "thrilled" about doing extra miles and its real tempting to ride the downhill to the finish. So after Dave says he'll wait for Andy/ Norm I just take off--no clue who is going to join me--but if I don't take off then I ain't doing it.
Rollers on Skyline back to La Honda Road. Intersection has Alice's Restaurant (is that Woody Guthrie, or Woody Hayes or Woody Allen??) Half way there finally turn around and glad that Jack and Ward joined me. Alices' and the grocery across the street stuffed with motorcycle riders. Very hot at the rest stop--top bottles and down loads of drink, a banana and frozen fruit pop.
Then its tree lined and the grade kicks up. It is so narrow that many times it has no center line--and when it does some cars coming down think they need to place their muffler over it and ride in the middle of the road.
Gradually the trees disappear, the grade is still stiff and it gets markedly hotter. Too bad we couldn't bank the cool air on the coast for here. Can see the fog sitting to the West--over the coast--but that ain't helping us now. I'm downing water/ sports drink like crazy, Ward has also almost drained his bottles and doing his imitation of a Rome Fountain.
|2nd favorite athlete jogging by. To bad he missed it.|
|We're in 'GOD's Country', so Ward and I are in trouble (WI)|