Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sierra Morena Fantasy

Where have I been, you ask? Sleeping...

Sensitivity to light is a stubborn thing, refusing to go away. Finally the weather here in California has been rainy, cloudy, cool. Just the thing for the light-avoider! My brain is taking full advantage, taking a couple extra hours of sleep every night, surfing dream after dream. For several weeks now.

It's been great. Of course, I feel guilty but come summer, deep sleep and dreams will be unavailable. Time to stock up.

Monday an errand forced me out of the house. The mission was to take Stevens Creek Trail and drop off some paperwork in the corporate wastelands of North Bayshore. A mild spring morning with a few puffy clouds. A straggling flock of Googlers on their colorful bikes.

Crossing 101 at Rengstorff, tacking sleepily through neighborhood streets. Ten years ago Danny and I lived nearby. The twists and turns of the old bike route, groggy with a headache, must be good mental exercise. It sure feels un-natural.

First, get to Woodside. Then, take it from there. No grand plan, but one thing at a time. This is not so much self-deception as using momentum to get something done. Once the bike is in Woodside it will know what to do.

When I wake up I'm completely alone in a redwood forest, a mile-and-a-half up Kings Mountain Road. A long climb with time to recalibrate, to think. The Waterford with its big tires and heavy wheels feels... plush. It still climbs the big hills, though.

Now I remember. Kings is one of my favorite roads. It carries fewer cars than the other routes to Skyline and at the summit you are really in a different world. A rural world. I need that escape today. 

Heading toward the summit at Sierra Morena, elev. 2417
Today's soundtrack should be some earthy classic from Neil Young, like Old Man or Peace of Mind. He does live around here. But no, it's the chorus from Fantasy by Earth, Wind & Fire. Fun and positive. Go ahead, click! (Warning: can cause the sudden conviction good things are about to happen. Has been known to cause spontaneous dancing.)

An hour and 15 miles later on the ridge I must still be radiating a good mood. A guy in the parking lot of the Russian Ridge vista point flags me down, asks how I came up and which way I'm going down. For 15 minutes we compare notes on cycling, which he's just introduced his girlfriend to. She's got the fear of going down hills, which goes away with repetition. Ah repetition, a reliable friend.

From time to time someone in a car asks for directions (they're lost). And of course there's the occasional passing act of disrespect. This might be the first time I've been flagged down just to share in the bliss.

The Waterford hangs a left and screams joyfully down the Page Mill amusement park ride, toward home.

1 comment :

  1. I love that you posted the video of the trip down Page Mill. :) As someone else who is getting (slowly) more used to descents, I can empathize with that guy's girlfriend! We biked up Old La Honda in January, and came down... something that required us to turn right onto Skyline, anyways... all I remember is that it was hellaciously curvy, far too steep, and I had to keep stopping to rest my cramping hands. Once I could unwrap them from the brakes, that is. It's a work in progress.

    I have never biked up Kings Mountain Road, but now I think I will! You make it sound like a lot of fun.

    Also, what's with people being jerks? Really? What possible good is it doing to scream something unintelligible out a car window? They might as well bark.