Friday, March 15, 2013

Making it to the Y

The top of the steep part of Tunitas Creek Road (looking west).
Reaching the Y oak tree, dizzy and lightheaded. Definitely bonking. At least I'm in a beautiful forest. 

Trust me, this is not what goes through your head when your body runs out of fuel on a hill. Far from it. Instead you think what happened? This is wa-ay too hard. I'm so weak, I'm gonna die out here. Somebody help me. I'm going so-o-o slow. 

The riders in Woodside yesterday mentioned the detour. But it wasn't until we reached the intersection of Tunitas Creek and Lobitos Cutoff and someone called out when they saw the sign. Then, I remembered. Tunitas Creek is closed. 


At this point in the ride a detour is not welcome. Not 4.2 miles, 530 feet of climbing. No small matter on a bike. Kim's gotta pick up the kids after school.

She mentions this to the guy standing at the Detour sign. He just smiles. His job is to keep people like us away from the workers who are apparently fixing a sinkhole. He's a big guy but it's hard to tell without that paunch, would he still be intimidating. Buddha of the Road Crew.

I'm thinking, c'mon big guy. You get on a bike and haul that paunch up Lobitos Creek. I'll be right behind ya.

"Be nice", says Jim. He remembers the last time. So we do the bonus miles. On the way up Lobitos Creek I realize this is a first. Never gone down Lobitos Cutoff, then back up! A new wrinkle in the Old Familiar.
Forty minutes later, toasty at the top
It's my lack of climbing fitness that's the problem. Not the route. There's plenty of fuel to be had in Pescadero. That's where we stopped for ollalieberry scone, yogurt, and coffee. Ed rang us up. He says he's been there for 86 years, since Stage Road was the highway that ran through town.

Without the detour, that scone would have been enough. It was huge and delicious and only two dollars.

Lately I've been realizing how the unwelcome or unexpected, such as a detour or running out of fuel, have the potential to draw attention away from other, more positive forces. For example how multi-year conversations with unapologetic corporate entities can blot out the sun. The lack of awareness, mindfulness, compassion forms a moral sinkhole into which your whole life can vanish. It's up to me to stay focused. At this point it's taking everything I've got to keep on track.

If like me your faith in humanity needs a little boost, I can recommend spending a day with these 3 SuperTourists. Conversations are smart, funny, engaging. Also ride your heart out on these roads, the best, quietest, most beautiful in San Mateo County. Someone designed and built and paid for them. Go out to Pescadero  and meet Ed, steady and cheerful.

Even the Buddha of the Road Crew answered our questions, politely. No doubt he was right, there was no getting through even on a bike.

At the very top where Tunitas meets Skyline a delivery guy stops to ask directions. He's looking for a place off Star Hill Road. That happens a lot around here; cyclists and locals know their way around. Everyone else is a little lost. Right off the bat he says "Well, you look happy! 60 miles? You're gonna  sleep well tonight!"

That's the Buddha of the Delivery Truck, reminding me of the goal.

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