This past Saturday my buddy Tracy and I had planned on riding from San Mateo up and over Hwy 84 to Pescadero to meet up with another group of riders starting in Half Moon Bay. The plan was mainly to just get in some miles at a moderate pace. (at least I thought that was the plan)
Turns out we were joined by two other friends who had a different idea of just what determines a “moderate” pace…..
We started off fine, taking it easy as we spun down Canada Rd and into Woodside. It was only when the road started pointing up that I realized I might be in trouble. The pace wasn’t brutal or anything. I was able to keep up and wasn’t redlining, but I was definitely working harder than I planned. And, when we finally reached the top at Alice’s I was starting to wonder if I was going to have enough gas to do the whole 60+ miles.
(the fact that one of the guys was on a hybrid in tennis shoes wasn’t helping my ego any either)
Well, I may not be the fastest or strongest climber, but when the road points downward I really shine…If you remember your high school physics, you’ll know that,
p = m x v
where p=Momentum, m= mass and v=velocity
The equation illustrates that momentum is directly proportional to an object's mass and directly proportional to the object's velocity.
Basically what this says, is that since I tend to weigh more than your typical bicycle enthusiast, I will go faster downhill than they will. (and, if my teachers had explained it that way, I may have actually stayed awake in class)
We had a great run down the backside of 84 to Pescadero Creek Rd where, unfortunately, it started heading uphill and I was again relegated to the back of the pack. That’s ok, I may be slow but I can go all day.
Eventually we made it to the Town of Pescadero where we had an amazing sandwich from a little market/deli that bakes their own bread every morning. Just as I was starting to enjoy the after effects of a full belly, a comfortable bench, the sun on my face, everyone decided we should get back on the bikes and start heading back...(I ride with guys that always have these types of dumb ideas)
After leaving the deli, you head up Stage Rd which is a long, not too steep grind uphill. There are a couple of nice downhill sections where I redeemed myself, but for the most part it’s uphill and then you get to Hwy 1 where we turned north for Tunitas Creek Rd.
Tunitas Creek Rd was repaved this year since one of the legs of the Tour of California went up this way so it’s in really good condition. There is very little traffic since it’s a narrow winding road and it goes through some beautiful redwoods. It’s actually a very pretty road….except for the fact that it’s 6 miles UPHILL!
- sidenote: If you’re ever on Tunitas Creek Rd, make sure you stop at the bikehut – it’s a cool little rest area where they have water, snacks, a picnic area and it’s all run by the local farmer on an honor sytem.
Once again, I was dropped like a bad habit and spent most of the time on Tunitas Creek by myself just wanting the climb to end. Again, I felt ok, I’m just a slow climber.
Eventually, I made it to Skyline where we “re-grouped” (code for “everyone waited for Rich”) and headed north towards 92.
The ride down Hwy 92 was a blast! We had a gap in the traffic and took off where once again, my ummm...mass... assisted in my downhill prowess and I quickly distanced myself from the cars and the other riders.
Getting back to the truck, we had a beer, I lied about how great I felt and we loaded up and headed for home. We never did hook up with the other group that started in Half Moon Bay. Evidently they better understood the phrase “moderate pace”...