I did a short but hilly road ride in Newcastle. Once again Strava's topographical maps yielded a good steep climb, Quail Hill Drive. This one had grades up to 19%, with plenty of 17%. The first steep section ended so quickly that I thought the climb was over, and I was disappointed. I figured I would check out the rest of the road just in case.
After a short descent, the climb kicked up again. For the first time ever, I could hear my riding partner Matthew breathing hard behind me. I actually left him behind for a little while before the climb leveled off a bit. He caught and passed me on the last steep section before the top though.
After that climb we did Glenview (15% max), Vista Amado (14% max), and Happy Hollow (25% max). Happy Hollow is where Matthew crashed in December, so he was very careful on the descent this time.
Bike Ride Profile | steep climbs (Quail Hill, Glenview, Happy Hollow, Vista Amado) near Newcastle | Times and Records | Strava
Newcastle steep climbs (Quail Hill, Glenview, Vista Amado, Happy Hollow) by freighttraininguphill at Garmin Connect - Details
Here's my video of the Quail Hill climb.
Here's Matthew's video.
On Saturday, I did a lovely ride with Marko Polo in his Carmel/Monterey area home stomping grounds. From his house in NW Carmel, we headed down to Pebble Beach via the 17 Mile Drive. From there, along the coast to and through Pacific Grove (including a stop at the John Denver memorial plaque, placed in the turnout nearest to where he had his fatal plane crash - I am not making this up), through Monterey on the famous MUP, and continuing on to almost Castroville. After a light lunch of tacos and deep-fried artichokes from the handy taco truck, we looped back to Marina, back onto the MUP, and up and over the hill back to Chez Polo.
54 miles. MarkoPolo wore arm warmers. I wish I had. But a wonderful ride.
I started the weekend on Friday afternoon by ducking out of work early to climb up Old La Honda. It was colder than I expected!
Ridiculously wordy blog post about it here : http://theredlanternrides.wordpress....-old-la-honda/
Had a sighting of the rare and exotic bigbossman on Sunday. We even rode together from his house in San Ramon down to Sunol and then rode back to his house byu way of Kinder's BBQ in P-town. Mmmmmm, BBQ . . . .
33 miles, moderate pace (I'm being generous here), fun times, pretty day and most of the world's problems discussed and solved. Life is good.
With the health club team: Franklin Canyon and Cummings Skyway... at least that's what they told me. Mostly I was following somebody that had a Death Ride saddle bag so I didn't get to look up too much. Somehow we got to a vista point near the Carquinez Bridge that was kind of cool.
My Saturday morning Diablo buddy had the flu. This was nice for some variety though.
Also did Embarcadero Sunday Streets with my daughter, then we rode to Chinatown for lunch.
Group ride with the WAV Riders women's cycling club. This was their third anniversary ride, so it was advertised as "NOT A HAMMERING RIDE!!!", with a 13-16 mph pace (average speed, maybe?). Of course you know there's still going to be plenty of hammering, so it was still great fun :D. Especially since I chose to do it on my new 42x16 singlespeed, a 2009 Specialized Langster Las Vegas edition. The hills on this ride are great SS hills, and the slightly slower pace meant that I was never too far behind on descents and flat sections, where a higher gear would have helped.
The final steady climb to Trailhead Coffee & Cycling Lounge in Penryn (midpoint of the ride) was easier on this singlespeed than on my vintage Peugeot mixte conversion. On that bike I would've had to stand for sure, even though the gearing is lower at 42x17. On the Langster I was able to stay seated the entire time.
My riding partner and I now have matching bikes. Mine is on the left.
I'm the one with the GoPro on my helmet.
lunch with the gang by ccorlew, on Flickr
Rode with these folks. Got really tired. Affected my Monday tennis.
friday, i rode the back way (east of 680) to the hole in the wall on South Gate, from my home in Walnut Creek. then to the toll booth. i pushed myself and it hurt a little. so Saturday i planned on doing another ride to hole in the wall then immediately turnaround and enjoy the delicious mild downhill all the way to Peets in Danville. didn't turn out that way.
when i got the to the turnaround point, i felt so good that i decided to go up to the 1000 foot sign. on the way up i met a guy and we started talking. before i knew it we were at the junction. i did a couple of repeats on the switchbacks on the last 1/4 mile then paced a TT guy down San Ramon Blvd for a few miles on the way home.
today was a loop from WC to Martinez to Crockett to Valejo to Benicia to Martinez then home to WC. my legs hurt... :cry:
I think I'm addicted to Page Mill Road.
I do it a couple times a week mostly b/c it's so close to me, but also b/c it's great training!!
Stevens Creek/Big Basin is ok too.
The only thing I don't like about Page Mill is there's no easy water stops! I've only been up it once, and stopped at the water spout partway up the bottom to fill up, but I sucked down both bottles climbing up that thing (In mid September, it was warm!) and had to survive nursing my emergency drink (small gatoraide, yuck) all the way down Alpine. I found a tiny convenience store with lots of local flavor in Loma Mar and got water and a story about the proprietor's younger days riding bikes over the Rockies in the winter in a t-shirt. At least the water was easy to swallow!
From Cisco Grove on US Route 80 it's only 12.6 miles to Donner Summit. Yeah, right. Old Route 40 was empty till Norden. Road is high and dry !!!
There's also water available at the Nature Center at the top of Page Mill Rd. if you want to walk your bike through the tunnel.
I did the Morgan Territory/Mt. Diablo loop for the first time. It was a group ride with the Hammerin' Wheels and the WAV Riders women's cycling club.
The climb up the north side of Morgan Territory was pretty nice. Lots of mini descents and stair-step climbing. It kind of reminds me of a very mild version of the lower part of Mix Canyon, due to the stair-step climbs. I felt really good here and was able to finish strong at the visitor center.
The descent down the south side was a blast! I look forward to climbing that side sometime in the future, but not if it's hot! It looked like it would be my kind of climb ;).
On one of the flatter roads after Manning Road, some nutless wonder decided to attempt "rolling coal" on me and the other female cyclist riding behind me. Neither one of us was doing anything wrong, and we were on the far right side of the road, out of the way of motorists. What's puzzling to me is the fact that he actually gave us plenty of room before belching out that weak plume of smoke.
Yes, it was caught on video ;).
I talked to a lot of cyclists later, and most of them had the same encounter with this jackass.
Here's the video of the Morgan Territory climb.
I am not worthy of The Mountain right now! :o I faded after the first few miles, so by the time I got to the ranger station I had to stop and eat real quick. Originally I wasn't planning on stopping at all, but I felt like sh_t!
After I resumed climbing I felt even worse. I got a headache and had no energy. Thankfully the headache disappeared right before the climb up the Summit Wall, where I shifted to my lowest gear and just crawled up. My legs cramped up right at the summit sign, forcing me to stop. Another Hammerin' Wheels rider was right there and held my bike for me while I recovered. After a couple minutes I got back on and rode the final few feet to the level parking lot.
As usual, this was caught on video :D.
I will return to The Mountain this weekend and climb it properly (as long as it doesn't rain, that is). This time I will only climb Diablo though, not Morgan Territory.
Here's the view of Mt. Diablo from Morgan Territory and Marsh Creek Roads
Top of Morgan Territory climb, sort of. When we all left to descend the south side, I found out the hard way that this is only a false summit.
Bottom of south side descent.
So far, that's my highest.
I found a couple other rides where I averaged in the 180s for the entire ride. The highest one was 185, done at the New Years Day Beatty hill repeat challenge. The other one was a group ride in the hills. Average HR was 181.
I'm repurposing my blog post. Just 'cause.
Poppies on Diablo by ccorlew, on Flickr
One of the things that's great about bicycling is that you can do it right from your door. Tricia and I love riding new places, but always feel a touch bad when we use a car to get there.
I've always enjoyed a ride up Mt. Diablo. Every time seems somehow epic. Usually we drive over to Arbolado Park and ride from there. Monday, my first day of spring break, I thought I'd try to ride Mt. Diablo from home. There are... issues.
The big one is that there is no good way to get there. One involves riding on the freeway a bit. Not impossible, but not fun. It would be possible to ride Marsh Creek Road, but the commuter raceway that the otherwise delightful road has become would make it a suicide mission. The remaining route is over Kirker Pass Road, another mad-commuter zone. Today I thought I could wait out the crazy commute and ride over, then come back before the rush. It worked. I am still alive.
How much iPhone fisheye attachment is too much fisheye? I'll let you know.
Curtis at Diablo Summit by ccorlew, on Flickr
Bariani RR 35+ 4's. Felt good throughout, dabbled with some pack pulling nonsense and finished with the lead group 26th of 70 (absence of sprint, oh dear). Left the race grinning like a Cheshire cat though. As it should be.