Paula photos

Home > Bicycle > Bike rides > 2008-03 BF Bow

36 - Ron56 viewsWe headed out for the first climb, Old La Honda. This is a favorite of local cyclists to "test" themselves on. It is about 3.5 miles, average 7-8% grade (max 15%).

Ron and I hung out for a lot of the climb (photo by Henry).
37 - Top of Skyline57 viewsHowever, when people got to the top, we had a big discussion about whether to continue with the original plans.

The weather was not in our favor, it was very foggy and slick up at the top on Skyline (photo by Pete).

Eventually we decided that we would seek lower grounds and continue riding where it was nicer out. Some decided to turn around and descend OLH. However, this isn't a great descending road, so the rest of us put on our blinkies and rode a bit down Skyline to 84, where we descended instead. These are busier roads (cars and motorcycles) but nicer for descending.
38 - Emergency roadside assistance58 viewsOn the way, I got some "emergency" roadside assistance from Doug and Henry. My chain was a bit loose and wouldn't stay in the lower gears up OLH, and then I managed to slip it entirely going to the big ring for the descent. They did an excellent job, and my bike felt better than ever (photo by Alex).
39 - Me on Arastradero61 viewsIt was certainly a lot nicer to ride at the lower elevations where the weather was nicer. It's not fun feeling chilled even while climbing (photo by Michael).
40 - Alex56 viewsWe made another rest stop on Arastradero, shown behind Alex (photo by Pete).
41 - Me on Page Mill64 viewsWe then did another well-known area climb, Page Mill, although we only went partway up, to Altamont. I think this may be near the beginning of the climb (photo by Pete).
42 - Climbing Page Mill60 viewsHere I am reaching the turn onto Altamont, hence the smile (photo by Ron).
43 - Ron's tulip57 viewsI quickly pulled over just past Ron's bike and headed over to him, my heart in my throat. Alex was just behind me, and pulled over also. Alex, Andrea and I got Ron talking, and he said he felt ok except his hip was slightly sore. He then started to move, and was actually able to stand and start walking. I was absolutely amazed, and totally thankful.

We told him to take it easy and moved his bike off the road. Marco and his girlfriend Ruth also showed up by this time.

We then looked at the aftermath of the accident. None of us saw it happen, Andrea heard the screech and then I was the first on the scene.

Ron: Amazingly enough, moving, walking, and talking. He had no memory of what happened, and was only slightly sore.
Ron's helmet: The rear was disintegrated. I was convinced it saved his life.
Ron's bike: We untangled the chain, popped the displaced tire and tube back into place, and found that the rear wheel was wobbly. It turned out to be a loose spoke which we couldn't fix at the time, but we disabled his rear brake so that the bike could roll.
Ron's tulip: A little worse for wear, but better it than Ron (photo by Alex).
44 - Ron and his helmet64 viewsBy this time, the rest of our group got in touch with us and rode back up the hill to meet us. Ramon lived the closest, so he rode off to get his car. Ron said he felt well enough to continue on to a safe spot to rest. We then all mounted our bikes and coasted slowly, dragging brakes the whole way, the rest of us forming an impromptu guard around him. Alex carried the damaged helmet.

On the way, we passed a couple of bicyclists going uphill, and I heard one of them make a snide comment about Ron not wearing his helmet. Of course, it was too difficult to explain why, we were all big believers in helmets (especially after what we just saw).

We ended up riding to downtown Los Altos and went to a Peet's Coffee to get a bit to eat and drink, and just rest and relax while we waited for Ramon. We all definitely needed a chance to sit and take a break at this point.

Here is Ron smiling holding his lifesaver (photo by Alex).
45 - Ron's helmet62 viewsHere I am demonstrating the holes in the helmet by sticking my fingers in there. So glad it wasn't his head! (photo by Alex)
46 - Marco, Ruth, me and Henry taking a coffee break64 viewsMarco, Ruth, Henry and me relaxing outside of Peet's (photo by Ron).

As we were sitting there, we realized that at some point we had lost Pete! I left him a voicemail to let him know what was going on, and then he called back Ron. It turns out that he had taken a wrong turn when he came back to look for us after the crash, and then just kept on going. He decided to stop for a sandwich and then do a bit more riding and meet us back at the start. Meanwhile, while we were checking for messages from Pete, Henry discovered that one other rider actually had a mechanical issue early on and missed the first climb entirely. Oops! Luckily he was ok, just ended up with a solo ride instead of a group one.

Finally, Ramon came back and took Ron and his bike home. I found out later that Ron got checked out by his doctor and is doing just fine, no major injuries, just bruising.
47 - My final route60 viewsMarco and Ruth decided to stay for lunch. Gary lived nearby, so rode on home. That left me, Alex, Henry and Doug to ride back north to our initial meeting point where the cars were parked. It was a nice ride, apart from the headwinds. It was mostly flat except for one last climb up Edgewood. Alex gave me a ride home (as I had ridden to the start).

Between tulips, bad weather, lost riders, emergency repairs, and of course Ron's crash, this definitely turned out to be an "epic" ride, just not in the way we had thought. I know Bow was as glad as I was that everyone turned out ok in the end.
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