Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Road or MTB? Couldn’t decide, so I rode both OLH and Skeggs.

Note: I wrote this while watching a movie, so I was mainly rambling here. I found it so hard to read that I couldn’t even go over it once to proof-read.

I rode Old La Honda with other Low Key climbers. My personal best on it so far (before today) is 21:50. That was on a Wednesday after work in May. The condition must have been great because Erik got his personal best on that ride too (20:58). I was hoping to improve on this ride because I would be “racing” with other riders. (Come on, we all know that the Low Key riders are competitive.) Beautiful weather and the test piece hill climb brought around 150 riders out. I saw a few acquaintances mostly from last year’s Low Key series.  I was happy to see Krishna out there. He is a fellow mountain biker, an extremely talented and strong one.  He is riding for Team Mud ‘n Crud. I only wish he could do more of these climbs in the series, but I understand that it coincides with the cyclocross season, in which he excels too. Anyway, I was just happy to see him out on this ride. I was also happy to see Janet Martinez. She is a very strong road rider (2nd place last year over all) and she is always smiling. I heard that she had an accident earlier this year and got injured, so it was good to see that she is back on the bike (and later found out that she was still riding strong).  When I told her that I had been riding my mountain bike mostly, she exclaimed, “ahhh… cross training…” I laughed and said to her, “I guess only a roadie looks at it that way.” And I guess I’m not a roadie. (Just for the record: I have nothing against roadies though.)

Due to the narrow road on OLH and the size of the group, we were sent out 10-15 at a time. The organizers suggested riders to look around and see who might ride at the same pace and join them. Hmmm… that’s a little risky, isn’t it? I don’t want to offend people, you know. Then I got an idea. I found Janet and asked her what her targeted time was, she said with a smile, “Oh, if I break 23, I’ll be happy.” Considering my last time on it was 22+ minutes, that’s about where I was, so I happily stood next to her.  When our group got sent out, I sprinted together with the group (on the initial less steep part), but very soon, most of the group pulled away from me including Janet after she uttered encouragement to me. It took me a while to settle into my own rhythm. I didn’t feel fast, but I felt the work — I was panting most of the time. Passed a couple of Low Key riders and got passed by a couple. When I topped out, I had 21:48 on my GPS. (The Low Key has 21:53 for me due to some  inevitable timing overhead in the group setting.) A mere 2 second improvement. And I was dying! At the food and water stop at the top, I chatted with Krishna. He rode a stunning 17:09!!! And he was not even breathing hard while I was hacking. (Granted, he had 5+ minutes of rest on me already.)

After I wrapped up with the roadies (Krishna is an exception), I went over to Skeggs. Since I forgot my camelpack at home, it was just a small , but fun, loop for me. Ran into the MTBR group on Manzanita and later caught the tail end after Methuselah. And at the end of my ride, ran into Josh (ROMP) and his wife Joe (spell?). We talked pedals and bikes (Blue LTc!) I went home with a big grin on my face because I didn’t have to choose between road and MTB — I rode both.

My road ride:

My MTB ride:

And here is a picture on OLH by Dan Tylayco.

P.S. It turned out that I got the 2nd place in Women’s Category on OLH today. Cool! Here is the Results page from the Low Key site.

4 Responses

  1. Patrick Herlihyon 12 Oct 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I really wanted to do this LKHC – I’ve always done OLH solo and I need more motivation to get down to near your time. Sadly I was in Sacramento this weekend 🙁

    I saw another photo of you rolling out of the Windy Hill lot so I was waiting for your update to see what your time was 🙂

    Sounds like a great day!

  2. mudwormon 13 Oct 2009 at 9:31 am

    There are still a few left in the series. Patrick, come out and ride for Team Mud ‘n Crud!

  3. Patrick Herlihyon 13 Oct 2009 at 9:55 am

    Clearly I’d be bringing the team down (unless we could get Grapevine or Kelly Lake in there 🙂 Maybe I’ll just try to stick to your wheel and improve my times!

    I’m out again for the next 2 but might try and see if I can make one or some of the remaining climbs. Thanks for the team invite!

  4. mudwormon 13 Oct 2009 at 9:58 am

    Yeah yeah yeah, then you leave me in the dust. Oh, wait, this is on the pavement, not on the trail, so there won’t be dust. Cool!
    I’m not doing most of the climbs either (probably will be climbing or mtb riding), but I’ll do enough to get a final standing (requires 4 I think).