TSB: 21 (AKA it's too dark and cold in the morning to keep riding hard )
Teammates: Luke, Rich, Kwan, and Dan from the Saturday ride.
Can't make the cross race tomorrow so put more focus on having a long day in the saddle today. Mapquest said it was thirty miles from my door to the start and figured it would be better for me just to ride there, finish the climb and crawl back home.
Took two hours to get to the start and burned approximately 900 calories even after going super slow up OLH, had to eat most of the food I brought with me to stock back up. The roads were nice, mostly dry and in the case of 84, freshly paved with as Rich noted, a slightly narrower shoulder than before the paving. Going backwards over the course was a good reminder that it is mostly uphill from the start with lots of small undulations. Got to spend some time enjoying the views of the beach as the nearest portapotty was at the state park about one mile away on Highway 1.
Started twenty seconds behind the fellow with SPD sandals who I traded pulls with at Diablo, and forty seconds behind the woman in the Lifestyles RX kit who wanted to know where Lucia was so they could have a little head to head competition. I told her she won by default. Joked with the sandals guy (sorry no name) that he inspired me to go faster as I did not want to get beat by the guy in sandals!
Went out hard for one minute and was surprised that both of the folks in front of me were keeping pace, then against better judgement I kept a higher than threshold pace for the next eight minutes and very slowly reeled both of them in at the same time. "Sandals" caught Lifestyles just a bit before I caught them and then I passed him. Tried to not draft but since the shoulder was narrow had to balance safety with sportsmanship there, once I felt myself easing up, force myself to pass. Then he passed me back. Then I passed him. This repeated itself for the next ten minutes. Was trying to figure out how far back I should stay when Lifestyles told me in a friendly voice to not draft, and figured I'm too close so I passed again. There was an intermediate timing point at Pescadero Road so I made it there in twenty minutes and change, maybe five seconds ahead of "Sandals". We exchanged passes a couple of more times and passed a few other riders before we got to the bottom of WOLH. Here he opened up a small gap to pass a Sierra Nevada rider.
It only takes about twelve minutes to climb WOLH so I comforted myself with the short amount of suffering left. Rode it earlier this week and knew there were a couple of spots where the big ring would be useful and finishing in the big ring was a good bet. Not a few times I thought of easing up but "Sandals" was always just a little bit ahead, sometimes more than twenty seconds and sometimes less. We got to the last bit where if I was just trying to finish the climb I might use the small ring but since we were racing I kept it in the big ring and almost caught "Sandals" at the finish.
S: 26.7 kph