Riding back up the Bolinas ridge was a struggle.
The road climbs 1500′ in only four miles and as I described in my ride report the ‘man with the hammer’ was sneaking up on me. This pull-out along the serpentine road gave me an excuse to stop and rest, which turned out to be a brilliant idea! I ate half a sandwich and felt better.
The wikipedia bicycling glossary has this take on ‘the man with the hammer‘:
…a phrase that describes what happens to a rider who suddenly loses the ability to race, as in “The man with the hammer got him” or “He got hit by the man with hammer“. This is a reference to the experience boxers have when their legs become powerless and weak just before collapsing (as if they have been hit with a hammer) following a severe blow to the head. The abruptness with which this happens differentiates it from hitting the wall. Alternative expressions are “‘tapped'” short for “he got tapped by the man with hammer”.
Maybe it was the wall I avoided. Either way — hammer or wall — I needed rest and food.