Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back in the saddle

Wednesday I had to get out of the house. C. was coming to clean. It was time to take the Waterford for a spin.

Two and a half weeks of no biking, none at all since the Santa Fe Century on May 19. It's been a struggle to find motivation. No structure = nothing happens.

I would love to just be able to rest. My body is still recovering from Route 66, or the Central Coast Double, or some combination thereof.

Good thing the Waterford is such a pleasure to ride. Light, comfortable, steady. It's that new generation of steel frame. Woodside seemed like a good goal, via a climb up Old La Honda. Beautiful day. I liked it so much I told myself it was Pescadero on Friday. So it was, and we went to Pescadero Friday. Slowly, especially on the way back. Being sick for 2 weeks does not help, either.

I brought the camera. Hoping to see something new in these familiar places. Kinda like all those new-to-me places we saw on Route 66! Maybe what I'm really tired of is not the landscape, the roads, and the same old places to stop. My thoughts have just been in a rut these days.

After climbing the hill and starting down the west side, the first change of note is the pavement. While we were on Route 66, San Mateo County has repaved west Old La Honda! Mostly. They left some mysterious stretches of old pavement.

Like, you missed a spot...
The signs warn us tourists: Narrow Road, Winding Road Ahead, Loose Gravel, Rough Road Next 2.7 miles. Horses on the road. Now, where is the sign for Senseless Unpaved Spots?

This thought and many others fly by on Pescadero Creek Road. I've always been curious about Phipps Farm. How many times have I passed this place and yet never stopped? Still too focused, not stopping today either. Getting back in the saddle, you want to stay in the saddle.

Coming into town, something is different, though. The goat field on the right at the corner of North Street is cleared! Empty! Where are the goats??? What happened here? This corner is, or was, the site of Harley Farms, makers of artisanal goat cheese and other treats. A fixture in Pescadero.

Why did the goats cross the road?
A new possibility: a farm can move. Last September they began moving to a new field and barn across the road.

Taking a photo requires rolling a few feet into a gravel driveway and getting out the camera. The goat-lets may be cute as a button but slouches, no way. A first one bleats a greeting, and in a flash the whole tribe is trotting over, bleating away. Ears bouncing. I am trying not to laugh... What are they asking for, carrots? If so I came unprepared...

Another thing I'm unprepared for is the Welcome Committee. A fat, ankle-high mutt, who chases me all the way out to the middle of Pescadero Road. Hey those stumpy little legs can move! Arriba!

I'm too hungry to argue with him. We are definitely NOT amigos, but the taqueria in the gas station is calling. A tamal plate and a cup of horchata fuel the small-ish climbs on Stage Road. This is the old Highway 1, set slightly inland among gorgeous rolling hills, fields, orange and yellow wildflowers, and occasional ocean views. Takes my mind off my stomach, which is not that happy.

This is a favorite hawk-watching road. They like to soar over the blond fields looking for mice. No hawks today.
Stage Road, Pescadero, San Mateo County, California
Come to think of it, some folk art is missing too. Along the Pescadero Creek there used to be a house with dozens of pink plastic flamingos in the yard. Now it is just a hillside, flamingo-free. And the farm at the bend in Stage Road was guarded for years by a metal skeleton wielding a machine gun. Seemed kind of overkill for an urban sheepdog retreat, but hey! Here's to springing up wherever, like wildflowers.

For some reason I always imagined the sculptor was a teenage boy. Maybe he moved on and took it with him. Then on Highway 84 in La Honda, someone has taken up the possibilities of scrap metal!
Roadside family portrait.

3 faces and a tie of dollar bills....
I like the construction details and the ingenious way the different types of metals are reused. Each piece has its own "personality" but they also clearly belong together. A family. High quality stuff, I say.

A cold Coke at La Honda Market faciliates the climb back over the ridge. My stomach settles during  the ride home.


  1. Glad you got back out there. Sounds like you had a good ride.


    1. Thanks Veronica! Some day you'll have to come and ride these roads. Really beautiful...