Business as unusual

Lots of cyclists are trying to find a silver lining in this shitstorm of a pandemic, and one thing I hear a lot of is “get back to normal,” “resume,” “reopen” and the like.

You know, words that make you think that there is some kind of normalcy to get back to. I am going to write about that a bunch, probably tomorrow.

But this afternoon I want to talk about bike business as usual, or rather business as unusual.

Some people are going to try to resuscitate the moribund local group rides like the Donut, the Flog, or the Wheatgrass. They will have some success! With a bit of re-branding, some cool new bike kits, and a whole lot of “It’s over! Let’s hammer!” there will be people who fall back into the old routine.

That’s good because a lot of people really need that old routine. They need to feel like nothing has changed. Like this was a bad dream. Like the good old days are here again. They have been insulated from the worst effects of the pandemic, or so they think, and they’re looking around going “No one I know died or got sick. Phukkkkkkk. Let’s do this!”

I actually understand how they feel and every single person who can turn back the clock, well, I stand in awe of you. If you can shrug off what has happened, what is happening, and what’s going to happen, then you deserve the piece of nostalgia that you have coming your way as you populate your calendar with Donut, NPR, etc.

More than understanding the mindset, I actually envy people who can pull that trick off, bending the world to their will so that what they believe actually becomes reflected in what is. And I’m pretty sure that I will do a few of those rides myself.

However …

For other people the pandemic is one of two things:

  1. A chance to do something new.
  2. A horrible necessity to do something new or founder.

Whether it’s chance or necessity, one great way to turn the situation to your advantage is to change up your riding which, by the way, has probably already been changed up. My tack has been to discover the training possibilities in my own backyard.

Although the standard routes around the peninsula and golf course get virtually all the love in PV, some of the most bitter, leg-breaking, and fitness-building routes are not the standard fare. I wrote about one of them last week and have added to it. This new, de-proved version is five miles longer, takes about 1.5 hours per loop, and offers up 2,500 feet of climbing per 15-mile lap. That’s 166.6666666666666666666666 feet of elevation per mile.

Here it is, starting at Malaga Cove Plaza:

  1. Via Campesina around the golf course to La Cuesta.
  2. Up La Cuesta, then continue on dirt La Cuesta to Montemalaga.
  3. Basswood, Shorewood, Old Hawthorne to Alvarez.
  4. Down Monero and Ambergate to Golden Meadow.
  5. Up Abbottswood, down Hawthorne to Vallon.
  6. Up Marne/Cartier/Satte/Crest.
  7. Crest to Whitley-Collins, down Highridge back to Silver Spur.
  8. Down Silver Spur to PV Drive N. back to the plaza.

I did three laps of this beast today, and I can tell you this much. Change hurts. But change …

… is good.


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3 thoughts on “Business as unusual”

  1. My new routines involve a lot of Malaga because Malaga Market has a double cheeseburger for $6.95 and a pint can of Atticus IPA for $3.95.
    Best deal in the SoBay!
    Nothing like sitting at the fountain having a burger and a beer and waving to the PV popo driving by.
    Best deal in the SoBay!

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