Well, I finally managed to join the Spectrum ride. Of course I did so in my very own special way, having lost them at Arastradero. Somehow I managed to spend too much time in line for coffee at Peet’s in Los Altos, checking out new bikes and bikers from Alto Velo and Lombardi. Both clubs gather there before heading out to their own rides, and it’s fun to see all those bikers in their color-matched outfits. Sad that the teams don’t talk to each other, though.
Well, I left and saw them towards Arastradero, where they were waiting for what must be called the stupidest light on this side of the Rockies. Of course I got there just in time to face a red and see them crawl up towards Page Mill. I thought I might catch them, but by the end of the hill they had vanished, and I couldnt’ make out whether they had turned left or gone straight ahead. I decided to follow a guy with a ‘Steppenwolf’ outfit, thinking he might be just a straggler, but they had gone for good.
I proceeded on my usual ride, didn’t stop in Woodside and went up Canada. The usual lazy day, where I don’t want to confront a hill because, well, IT HURTS! I had become ever lazier, crawling up towards the top of the ‘hill’, then slouching down under the freeway, when a group of four madmen passes me at 32mph.
I try to follow, but to no avail, my legs are burning, and those guys are still zipping at least 5mph faster than me. Damn! I wished I had the strength to follow!
The wind was favorable, which is quite rare on Canada. We cruised along, and I had all the energy I needed – I had to prove to myself that I could make it. And so I did: the distance between the guys and me stayed constant at about 200 yards: too far to draft even just a little, but not far enough to demotivate me. Then the miracle: towards the last ascent on Canada (a gentle uphill, no climb at all) the foursome slowed down and I was getting in reach.
We made it to the end of Canada, me still behind, when we all turn. And then the funny thing happens: unbeknownst to me, the Spectrum ride had been following us, and I had inadvertently been riding between the breakout group and the main mass. Cheers came from all over, since I had been able to keep the pace by myself (moron!), and while everyone was turning around, I was caught in the middle, trying to get out of the group because, as it turned out, they had given all they had.
I rode ahead, and lost them. I stopped briefly in Woodside, where they caught up with me. I ended up joining them again on Sand Hill (where they had stopped because a police car had fined a couple for not stopping at the stop sign) and we rode together all the way home. It was fun, at least for me, who managed to outpace the group again.
Oh, what a life!