Home > Uncategorized > 39 Miles and cold cold cold

39 Miles and cold cold cold

Right, then…

A few weeks back, I joined Almaden Cycle Touring Club (ACTC) so that I can get some group rides in.  Now that a) I’m all better and b) the bike is back where I like it, I decided to go on a coffee ride this morning.

To make things interesting, the Bay Area has been experiencing some very un-California-esque weather.  Overnight temps have consistently hovered around freezing.  I mean, we do have our cold spells, but it lasts a few days, then goes back to normal.  This shit has been hanging around for over a week.

In light of this, I put on my hook and ladder gear:  High tech thermal Under Armour panty hose; high-tech thermal Under Armour shirt, padded shorts (to save me from the Brooks B17 “taint-banger” seat that I have), gym shorts, long sleeve work out shirt and a rain/wind jacket that I just bought from WGB the other day.  This in addition to a beanie skull-cap and Isotoner gloves (the Dan Marino model).

I throw a few items in the handlebar bag and off I go.

The official ride starts at Foothill Expressway at Arboretum (in the Lucky’s parking lot) and meanders up Foothill Expressway through Los Altos and Palo Alto and into Menlo Park where Cafe Borrone is located. Total mileage is about 25, or so.  In addition to that, I rode from home, which added about 12.2 miles to the overall trip.

Happily, I had dressed warmly enough.  Actually, I was starting to get hot by the time I reached Lawrence Expressway (~2 mi or so, I’d reckon), so I had to pull the beanie off.  Beyond that I was about perfect.

Overall, it was a good ride.  As I had never been to this cafe before (and this was in fact my first group ride) John with ACTC – the ride leader – had me to follow him.  The ride itself averaged about 14 or so mph, so we weren’t hoofing it which was good – I hadn’t done a ride of any real distance in weeks if not months.  Met a nice older couple – Kristina and Frank from Denmark, they moved here in 1962 – who I rode with the entire time.  After stopping at the cafe for ~20 mins for coffee and a cookie, we were back on the road.  On the way in, John stopped to take of his jacket and told me to go ahead and that he would catch up.  I guess, Kristina and Frank ride a little faster than Johns liking as he got there about 15 minutes after we did.  As John wanted to stay and chat, I followed Kristina and Frank out.  The route back wound through old neighborhoods in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, primarily along Bryant Avenue, which, incidentally, is a bike avenue.

I’ve seen bike avenue signs before, but never knew what they meant.  Turns out that bike avenues have limited stops – it’s the cross street traffic that has to stop, instead.  This means that you can go quite a distance without losing momentum.  A nice feature, that.

Anyway, we wound our ways back to Foothill Expressway and ultimately, home.  I was starting to feel my lack of conditioning in my back and legs, but slower riding and lower gears helped that.  If nothing else, it was good to get out on the bike again and restart my training.  If I plan on randonneuring and touring, I’m gonna need me lots of that…

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