A Really Lame Roller Coaster


Something about the Los Gatos Creek trail has always reminded me vaguely of a roller-coaster. I think it has to do with this one blind curve descent which flows right under an overpass. You’re cruising along at 20+ mph and see this giant yellow “WARNING REDUCE SPEED” (or similar) sign, at which point you have to get really heavy on the brakes around a fairly tight little turn, often nearly colliding with unsuspecting pedestrians. Something about it just evokes that roller coaster feeling of rapid descent with pseudo-obstacles, followed immediately by the chug-a-chug slow part where the chain pulls you up the next hill. Granted, when cycling, you’re the one doing the pulling…but you get the idea.

This imagery was driven home last night on my second ride with Charles. We set out around 6:30 to do the Los Gatos Creek Trail again; this time with snazzy new biker shorts for him. The weather was great and he was feeling much better this time, as evidenced by the “WHEEEEE!” noises I caught from him while racing through the underpasses. I had already been toying with the roller coaster metaphor for a couple weeks, and that definitely sealed the deal for today’s title. If only I could actually make the turn into the dark underpass with both arms in the air…

Moving on. We maintained a decent 15mph pace until we started having to play dodge the people. And there were a LOT of them out and about. Honestly, it was probably a good thing that I had to bring my speed down some, as my legs (especially the quads) were severely angry at being forced to do anything other than relax in our easy chair. At least the people provided me with a an excuse – other than my lazy self – for taking it easy.

Overall, the ride was pretty uneventful. Charles started struggling with the lack of “bike seat muscles” around mile 6, so we only pushed out to Vasona lake before heading home. My legs were screeching (if you can imagine legs making noises) on even the smaller hills, but I’m hoping that working out some of that lactic acid will prove to have been a good idea come Saturday. We’re definitely considering upgrading both Charles’ saddle and his tires as he is convinced that the majority of difference in our speed is due to a combination of his un-comfortability and his slow mountain bike. I’m pretty slow overall, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see the results!

Back tomorrow with details from the 45 MILE ride!

Distance: 12.4mi

Time: 1:04:39

Avg MPH: 12.4

Max MPH: 25.1

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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