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Old 08-13-07, 11:11 PM   #1
twocoasttb
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Mt Hamilton - Sierra Road Ride Report

Got off the train in San Jose at 8:00 this morning (vacation day!) and met a friend of mine, Patrick. Rolled through town to Alum Rock park, and climbed from there to the top of Mt. Hamilton. The ascent went great- probably the fastest I've ever been up it. The descent was horrible- it's got to be one of my least favorite, what with all the holes and bumps, and piles of gravel in the turns. I didn't lose any fillings on the way down, but I did somehow lose my little toolbag, and I ruined yet another seatpost- this one a mid-priced Specialized carbon. It lost the ability to maintain the seat pitch, no matter how hard I torqued the bolt. So after getting back to Alum Rock park we searched out the nearest LBS where I bought a cheap but indestructable replacement for $21. It weighs just shy of a ton, but it's solid and got me through the rest of the ride.

After a lunch break we continued on to Sierra Road which kicked my ass. Let me rephrase. Sierra Road kicked my ass two years ago when I climbed it for the first time. Today it dragged me off my bike and smashed my head with a brick. Figuratively, anyway. Two years ago I hadn't just climbed Mt. Hamilton, but still... For the last 1500 meters I rode mostly with my eyes closed, opening them occasionally to make sure I was still to the left of the double yellow. It was a tough balancing act considering I was going maybe four miles an hour. Probably more like three and a half. After a break at the top we continued on down the back side, on Felter Road to Calavaras. From there we headed back to my house in Redwood City- passing by Milpitas and Freemont on the east side (North Park Victoria, Scott Creek Road, Warm Springs, East Warren, Paseo Padre, Mission Blvd) and taking the MUP that follows the canal (don't know its name) to the Dumbarton Bridge. We did the last 20 or so miles in vicious cross and head winds- wonderful! All in all a great day. 106 miles, 9,500' of climbing.

At the top of Mt. Hamilton, feeling good:



At the top of Sierra Road, feeling somewhat less than good (with the wonky seatpost in the back pocket):



Google Earth view. The battery on my Garmin 305 died at mile 92 - bummer:

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Old 08-13-07, 11:31 PM   #2
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Seatpost: Thomson, they are rock solid and the best for adjustability.

Garmin: MintyBoost. It's easy to build and add at least 4-5 hours of battery life (longer with Lithium AAs). I attach mine under the stem so it's easy to connect to the Edge when battery level is low.
http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/index.html

Great report.
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Old 08-13-07, 11:33 PM   #3
BenRidin
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Nicely done!

You do look like you got hit with a brick.

BR
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Old 08-14-07, 08:19 AM   #4
jobob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twocoasttb View Post
and taking the MUP that follows the canal (don't know its name) to the Dumbarton Bridge.
It's the Alameda Creek trail. Great report!

I've descended Mt. Hamilton a lot, and while it's the pitts, I personally think it's nowhere near as crummy a descent as Alpine Road from Skyline to Pescadero Rd. But that's just me ...

Last edited by jobob; 08-14-07 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 08-14-07, 12:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Seatpost: Thomson, they are rock solid and the best for adjustability.

Garmin: MintyBoost. It's easy to build and add at least 4-5 hours of battery life (longer with Lithium AAs). I attach mine under the stem so it's easy to connect to the Edge when battery level is low.
Thanks for the seatpost recommendation- the Thompson looks like exactly what I need. The MintyBoost looks like a fun project...

Quote:
I've descended Mt. Hamilton a lot, and while it's the pitts, I personally think it's nowhere near as crummy a descent as Alpine Road from Skyline to Pescadero Rd. But that's just me ...
I'd forgotten all about that Alpine descent. I think I have to agree with you on that one...
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