September 25 , 2004: Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Democratic Party?

Riding through the mean streets of Montara, with no particular thought in my head, I suddenly became aware that I was surrounded: a Bush-Cheney yard sign to my right, a Confederate flag license plate to my left, and a Proud to be American bumper sticker dead ahead. The isolating iconography of the conservatives. If you're not with us, you're against us, and if you're against us, you're not a true American. Conservatives, by definition want to maintain the status quo, if not hearken back to simpler, more pleasant times. Times like say, the fifties. Ah Happy Days. The infomercials and the product-driven cult of nostalgia remind us that the fifties were about sock hops, safe neighborhoods, sunny days, and normalcy. But the conservatives are also doing their best to take us back to the days of McCarthyism, civil unrest, and unchecked corporate influence. Good times, good times. Thanks W, Dick, Denny, and Bill for turning America against itself to further your personal, and might I say, selfishly short-sighted, divisive, and flat-out dangerous ideology.

But I digress.

The legs felt weak today, and the spirit wasn't far behind. Yeah, I know, same old story: no energy, motivation on life support, and complete absence of focus. What can I say, everybody has their demons. If it was easy, it would be easy. The good thing is I am aware of my propensity to slack and cycling and this forum give me just enough motivation to keep things moving forward. But only just enough. Every day is a struggle to justify the time, money, and effort. But like that one solidly struck shot out of 95 or 102 out on the golf course, it only takes one good section of trail to refire my cycling foundry.

And again with the digression.

Made a beeline from EG to McNee, doing only the barest of backside EGs and them bombing (as best as could be bombed on an exposed roadway into a headwind) up the Cabrillo, through the farm on the horse trail, over to Etheldore, and right on Sunshine Valley. During this first leg of the ride, I was feeling very strong in the technical category. The downhill and singletrack sections had been very smooth and I felt like I was really in a groove and seeing the lines early and well. I'm still on the Hoo-E right now, but after riding it for the last couple of weeks, I'm starting to get back into a comfort zone. When this thing gets the refurbished Fox Float 100 RLs from Blue, this is actually going to be a decent bike again.

The sun was hanging back, appearing at the base of the mountains and promising clear blue sky from there east toward North Peak. I hit the climb and quickly heated up under the warm sun. At the North Peak Access Road turnoff, I had stopped to take a picture when I heard some voices coming from up the trail. In a couple of seconds, two guys on decent bikes popped out of the single track and turned to head to North Peak. "It's your funeral fellas" I thought as I turned off to head up to the San Pedro summit (See September 6, 2004: Doin' the North Peak Shuffle). I could see two other bikes toiling about three switchbacks (250 yards) up the trail. Of course, I hopped on it and went after them. I had already been cooking pretty good in the lower section of the trail and with this added motivation, I easily blew past them well before the top. I was averaging about 10 MPH on the upper section and hit the 12s in the final chute. Not bad, but not the record (See July 24, 2004: One for the annals).

Fog descends on San Pedro summit
Paging John Carpenter
It doesn't say No Trespassing

At the summit, I heard the PA for a high school or Pop Warner football game in Pacifica and decided to head down to investigate. But just as I was about to descend, I heard and then saw some horse riders also heading down. The passing would be ticklish, so I decided to follow the two riders I had passed on the way up and a serious-looking cyclocross rider out to Devil's Slide Head. I rode all the way out to the overlook (without making the Corkscrew), and never saw any of them. Who knows where they went, there's only three ways down from the Head: the trail I was on, the utility road down to 1, and the legendary downhiller's trail, The Mile. (Actually there is a fourth way down -- The Devil's Slide Traverse, shh, it's a secret.) I'd pay money to see somebody take The Mile on a cyclocross bike. Before I headed back, I stopped above the gnarly downhill by the utility poles to eat a sandwich and pick a tick off my leg. I made the descent with only one tapdown, which is pretty good for that particular section.

On the way back down to McNee, I took the turnoff to the Gray Whale Trail (GWT) and rode it all the way to Gray Whale Cove. In the parking lot, I noticed that the gate to the tunnel easement road was unlocked and open, so I decided to have a look-see. The signs said Authorized Vehicles Only, not No Trespassing. The road goes back about a half mile to some sort of compound that looked like a private residence. I have seen this place from up on the summit many times, but I still don't know what the actual deal is here. Is it a private residence or housing for the park workers or what?

Came back to McNee and rolled across the Cabrillo to explore some hardscrabble clifftop singletrack. Over there, I found a long, twisting flight of wooden stairs going down to the sand. I felt that I should go for it (See September 14, 2004: The stairsmaster), but I could see that due to erosion, the last step was about four feet above the sand, which was quite deep. No way, not today, not on the Hoo-E. I watched a couple of guys surfing for a while, and moseyed on.

I mean, what the hell! Coming down the White Whale, I once again wracked my right pinky finger on the cement pole at the bottom (See September 6, 2004: Doin' the North Peak Shuffle), opening up the as yet unhealed prior wound and ripping off some new flesh. That was just lame.


Mileage: 27.50 Time: 2:36:30 Avg: 10.5 Max: 29.0 Weight: 

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