Just another beautiful morning, made even better by a bike ride. Much better in fact; I really can’t come up with many other reasons to get up at 7:05am instead of half an hour later (or more). A bit cold out there? Yes, but you can dress for it. It takes a while to feel like riding is the best thing in the world; my trip over Jefferson to the start was dreadfully slow, with no hint of better things to come. But they did, as is always the case.
Eric, Kevin, Ludo, John, Nigel, and much further along the course we picked up Millo. Since it’s Thursday we rode up through the park, not at a deathly pace but more than challenging enough for me, falling back on the steep sections and then trying to claw my way back as it eased up. All too typical me, so much unlike the old days when it was the really steep pitches where I had the advantage! One interesting variation on the ride trough the park was that, as has usually been the case, the bottom gate’s been open, but this time the upper gate was locked closed! No biggie, gave me a chance to catch my breath before continuing up the hill. It wasn’t designated that this would be my interval day, and I really didn’t want to do intervals, but at one point I sat up a bit to wait for a couple guys behind, but as soon as the lead group got up around the corner, something clicked and I had to run them down. Painful? Oh yeah. I told them I’d only be doing that once. Of course that wasn’t true; I had just enough energy to do it again a couple minutes later. Ouch. That one hurt even more. And then finally, one last time at the wide open section, and that time I just barely made it. I was really hoping that the guy at the back of the lead group might drift back, just a bit, a foot, anything, to make it easier. I just have to slightly overlap someone’s wheel to claim to have made it.
The run along Skyline was nice, and there was no question of an offshore flow as we pacelined into the gutter (heading south, this makes sense). Nice run up west-side Old LaHonda which, for some reason, my video camera didn’t record. Got to figure out what’s going on there, because if you don’t have photos, you don’t have proof, because who would believe February could be so wonderful for riding?
Ludo, by the way, is getting to be a problem. He’s gaining strength & confidence & tactics each day, to the point where I am no longer going to be winning sprints against him unless I go full-tactical. And even that’s only going to buy me a little time!
Now, regarding the title of this post, which some may recall from the movie Grosse Pointe Blank (highly recommended featuring John Cusack). Descending 84 into Woodside, I was able to stay on Kevin’s wheel. That’s not normal. He usually pushes through the corners a lot harder than I do; I’m always looking for my escape if something goes wrong while he’s confident things will be fine. But today, he was in a more conservative mode, which made me wonder if things are really getting serious with his girlfriend in Colorado. The idea of Kevin settling down/growing up is, well, unsettling! By the way, this is pilot Kevin I’m talking about, not my son.