On the return trip from a lengthy visit to Santa Barbara, I stopped in Palo Alto to visit long-time friend Frank Slattery. Ostensibly the visit was just an opportunity to spend time with a very old friend (we’ve known one another since 1964 and were roommates throughout college), but a bike ride also part of the plan.
After decades of friendship we are also fortunate to share the cycling obsession.
There were two alternatives.
Option one was to ride from Woodside over the hills to the coast and back.
Option two was to join a group ride with the Western Wheelers bicycle club.
We felt ambitious and began driving to Woodside, but fog lapped over the hills and we decided the coast route was going to be too cold and miserable. So we turned around and headed for the group ride.
We showed up just as the group was rolling out, but we thought we’d be able to catch them.
We didn’t count on getting lost. Multiple times.
We diligently followed the cue sheet, but we encountered numerous roads that had different names depending on which side of the intersection we were on. Fortunately, Tour Guide Frank knew the roads well enough to know when we were off course. On the other hand, I was lost the entire ride. Left to my own devices I’d still be pedaling somewhere in San Mateo County.
The Los Altos Hills, and “the loop” (in the sense that it’s a well-traveled standard route local cyclists ride) that we ended up riding was swarming with cyclists. One thing that seemed apparent: Flourescent orange is the new flourescent green/yellow. I haven’t noticed this trend up here yet. Although the flourescent orange is a new, fresh look for safety-mined cyclists, the standard flourescent green/yellow seems to be a more universally understood indicator to use caution.